republicans want to reconsider birthright citizenship

As if it isn't hard enough already to become a citizen... Leading Republicans are joining a push to reconsider to constitutional amendment that grants automatic citizenship to people born in the United States: Republicans want review of birthright citizenship.

Up to now, this particular sticking point in the debate over immigration has largely been confined to the far right, but in recent days other Republicans have questioned or challenged birthright citizenship:
The senators include Arizona's John McCain, the party's 2008 presidential nominee; Arizona's Jon Kyl, the Republicans' second-ranking senator; Alabama's Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a leading negotiator on immigration legislation.

"I'm not sure exactly what the drafters of the (14th) amendment had in mind, but I doubt it was that somebody could fly in from Brazil and have a child and fly back home with that child, and that child is forever an American citizen," Sessions said.

Legal experts say repealing the citizenship right can be done only through constitutional amendment, which would require approval by two-thirds majorities in both chambers of Congress and by three-fourths of the states. Legislation to amend the right, introduced previously in the House, has stalled.
But challenging a constitutional amendment is not going to be easy, and as the article points out, any congressman pursuing the repeal of the citizenship right runs the risk of alienating Hispanic voters. I wonder if any of these Senators read this article and got spooked. My question is, if birth doesn't guarantee you citizenship, what does? And yes, this has everything to do with race.

UPDATE: Bill Ong Hing, Professor of Law and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis, writes about recent Republican grumbling about challenges to the 14th amendment, calling it a "distraction" and "pointless political chest-thumping": Babies 'R' Us.

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