Photo: Congressman Steve King
Representative Steve King (R-IA), who will likely head the Immigration Subcommittee when the new Congress convenes in January said in a CBS interview on Monday, that he is “looking at dropping a bill early in the 112th Congress.”
King says he does not believe hearings on the bill will be immediate, as Congress has “other priorities” to deal with.
The offer of citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrant parents is known as “birthright citizenship”, and its advocates say it is protected by the 14th Amendment which states, “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.”
King argues that the clause “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” infers that babies born to undocumented immigrants do not have Constitutionally-protected citizenship rights, and adds that one must look at when this amendment was created and what its initial purpose was. The congressman argues that the “anchor baby industry” has made changes a necessity in order to ensure that the exploitation of the law stops, adding that birthright citizenship presents an incentive for immigrants to enter the United States illegally and have their babies. Such births allow for the children’s parents to gain U.S. government benefits.
King’s critics, and defenders of the 14th Amendment, believe elimination of birthright citizenship goes against American values, and that by doing away with it will only serves as punishment for innocent children.