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Arizona’s next ugly battle: citizenship for immigrant children

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Yet these kids are largely Americans. The Pew Center estimates that there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Most of their children – 73 percent – are American-born. That’s 4 million kids, according to a 2009 Pew report. They are citizens, like you and me.

I take exception to the whole concept of “anchor babies.” It is based on the false notion that illegal immigrants have children in this country to serve as a legal “anchor” for the entire family. In fact, illegal aliens who have children here can still be deported. Elvira Arellano, who received national attention for seeking sanctuary in a Chicago church, was deported in 2007, despite having an American-born son.

Under Pearce’s proposal, Arizona would refuse to issue a birth certificate to any child without at least one parent who could prove legality. Not only is this impractical and unconstitutional, I find it abhorrent that anyone would punish children on account of their parents. Law enforcement should be more concerned with trafficking and drugs, rather than new parents and babies.

The Fourteenth Amendment was enacted in 1868 to ensure that states did not deny former slaves the full rights of citizenship. Its language is simple: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

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