June 15th, 2010
07:32 AM ET
13 years ago

Arizona bill would deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants


 A fence separates Mexico (left) from the United States (right) along part of a 226-mile stretch of the border known as the ‘Tucson Sector.’ (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

(CNN) - A proposed Arizona law would deny birth certificates to children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents.

The bill comes on the heels of Arizona passing the nation's toughest immigration law.

John Kavanagh, a Republican state representative from Arizona who supports the proposed law aimed at so-called "anchor babies," said that the concept does not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

"If you go back to the original intent of the drafters ... it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens," said Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 - the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.

Under federal law, children born in the United States are automatically granted citizenship, regardless of their parents' residency status.

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. jp,michigan

    The Arizona Law basically is the copy of the Federal Law, that has been on the books for many years, but never followed. Many immigrants come to the USA for only one reason, pregnant women to have their children here , so to make that child a citizen so they can stay in the USA, it doesn't matter what country they come from. By passing immigration laws. God only knows how many illegal terrorist have migrated here , we know drug runners have!

    June 15, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  2. Michelle

    Way to Go Arizona !--I'm so proud of the leaders of Arizona for their stance on immigration. If you want to extremely slow the influx of illegals into the US repeel the law that says if you are born here you are legal regardless. That would keep all the illegals from coming here and dropping kids left and right and would also help the medicare and heathcare system since we wouldn't ahve to support them. If Obama was immigration reforn then follow in Arizona's example

    June 15, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  3. ggg

    Illegal is illegal...plain and simple...But what does Obama do give the ILLEGAL detainees a movie night and dance classes to keep thier morale up...WHAT an Idiot...

    One more statement...Does Mexico have directions for english as an option...Press one for english??? NO !!!! so why do we!!! this is America and we speak english and if you can't or won't learn it then go home!!!

    June 15, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  4. Rob

    Violation of th14th Amendment. Plain and simple.

    June 15, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  5. YES

    This bill needs to be put into law. It's about time someone addressed this issue. There are untold billions spent every year on these kids. If the parent is not legal, then the children should not be legal either. They should not be automatically eligible for any kind of government aid that is paid for by the legal taxpayers. Tighten the border and to hell with what calderone thinks about anything.

    June 15, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  6. El Gordo

    To John Kavenagh: What does this sentence say?

    "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."

    June 15, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  7. Kahuna

    Geez, I love all these Republicans who "Know" exactly what the original intent of the Founding Fathers in all that they did. And, what a coincidence, it's exactly what they want.

    Glen Beck has practically redefined the Founding Fathers as biblical figures who would have been at the last supper had they just been born a little earlier.

    It won't be too much longer before the radical right takes control and the masses will be subjected to a patriot test to see who's the "Real Americans".

    June 15, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Okay, and while we're at it they should propose a law to cancel the business licenses of those that employ their illegal parents.

    A child does not choose where he or she is born, but you're clearly making a choice to break the law when you hire its' parents to work for you.

    I'm sure we can come up with some creative punishment for the hundreds of thousands of housewives who hire the illegals to raise their children and cook and clean for them. Let's get to work on THAT!

    June 15, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  9. Gary

    Keep going with this crap AZ

    June 15, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. Choice that matters

    I think this should be a federal issue not a state issue. If you have one state doing it. You will have another state doing it and so on and so forth creating different immigration laws across the land. Our federal govt needs to handle this issue.

    June 15, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Is there a seperate class of citizenship for the different states? if there is, then the "independant republic" of Arizona can have its own citizenship rules. As I recall it isn't a seperate republic and must adhere to the citizenship rules set down by the federal government. That could be challenged outright in court.

    June 15, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  12. Get A Grip

    Arizona knows how to do it right....GREAT JOB Arizona!!!!

    June 15, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  13. Michael

    I'm sure God is smiling at the good people of Arizona for turning away His children.

    June 15, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  14. Lost

    If children born in the USA to illegal immigrants as parents can't be US citizens what will they be??? They won't be US citizens – technically they are not illegal immigrants, then what do we call them???

    June 15, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  15. Tony in Maine

    Actually, it's a Constitutional thing, but since when has the Constitution meant anything when it interferes with the conservative agenda.

    June 15, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  16. BLM

    We need this kind of leadership in Washington.

    June 15, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  17. Jim in Kansas

    I would like to draw your attention to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and I quote-

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside, NO STATE shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunuties of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    What does this say, it says Arizonia's attempts to deny citizenship to children born in the United States of illegal immigrates parents is unconstutional. The only way to deny citzenship would require a change to the Constution of the United States, not an illegal State law. It also says that no one can deny ANY person within its jursidiction EQUAL protection ofthe law. In other words you can not make up rules that deny equal protection on anyone-yes that includes any one that is located within the jurisdiction of a State or the United States.

    June 15, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. Alex Valiao (Fresh Meadows, NY)

    I haven't read the entire bill per se. However, the law about denying citizenship to babies of illegal immigrants make sense. The concept of "anchor babies" have actually paved way to high end prostitution, IMHO. Women have utilized this scheme in order to find a way to stay here in America. It is just another loophole. They have lowered women's dignity to a very low level, sacrificed their values & even their faith for the pursuit of a better lifestyle / financial gain. USA is seen as a utopia by a lot of people. However, the country also needs to be responsible to uphold its moral values & help the people see it as so. In a side note, shall we also talk about people using "marriage" as a gateway to gain citizenship. It is beyond sacrilege. Immigration reform has been a sticky subject simply bcoz there are a lot of toes that will be treaded upon. However, our own cowardly ways has led to immorality that is condemning our own country. It's time to speak the real truth & stand up 4 what it really is.

    June 15, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  19. Pat Ellsworth

    Since children born abroad of American parents are given US citizenship automatically, why wouldn't the US support that children of illegal immigrants be citizens of their parents' home country? I think the AZ proposed law would be correct. If it's good enough for us under our Constitution, it is good enough for illegals too.

    June 15, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  20. Angus McDugan

    Please Mr. Obama. Secure our borders. Then put a process in place that allows an easier path to citizenship to our good neighbors to the South. That is all that is needed. You will get your new voters and provide security for our nation all at the same time.

    Please be proactive and lead. I know the government likes to have a situation become a disaster before jumping to fix it. If you were really running a tight ship, you would not need any heros.

    Please put that big Harvard degree to work and solve the issues before they are worse. By the way, that is your job.

    June 15, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. FM

    What will be next! Denying those kids of illegals going to school because they are not US citizens??? Why all these controversial!!

    June 15, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Richard Madison

    Now the rest of the states must step up and stop being traitors and cowards! Uncontrolled illegal immigration is destroying our country–this is an undisputable fact! We must stop the anchor-baby phenomenon and get our immigration crisis under control now! Thank you to all those who are doing whatever you can to stop illegal immigration. R.M.

    June 15, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  23. philme1

    well I see someone wants to take the lead...my question is does the nation follow? however, it is thought around the world, all one has to do is be born on american soul to be american! This has to be a knee jerk reaction. The legal,illegal status of one is much deeper than a
    new born baby...

    June 15, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Donkey Party

    Interesting that the party that claims President Obama doesn't adhere to the Constitution, is always the party that tramples on it, or just uses it as toilet paper. The direction the right-wing is trying to take the country is no different than totalitarian theocratical regimes like Iran. The real enemies of the country invaded this country long ago, and they're called the GOP.

    June 15, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. KEVIN

    I am 100% with Arizona on this law. It is about time we amend the Constitution. No more Anchor Babies. Illegals should not be rewarded for breaking our laws. We are a country where no man is above the law, and that must include all people within our borders. People love to say if your not native american than you are Illegal, this is pure and utter nonsense. Once this country became the United States of America all that went out the window. In 1986 the Republican President R. Reagan gave amnesty, which he should not have. Reagan should have enforce our Laws and sent all Illegals back to the country they came from. If we want to curb this problem, than let start by fining and putting into jail anyone and everyone who hires the Illegals, let the government audit their business and make them pay $250.00 dollars fine for every Illegals that works for them, then double it if they try it again. Last but not least if a company do it for a second put the boss in Jail for at least a year and what all the Illegals go home, because believe me they don't think of this country as their home. Send the Parent and the Kids back to their country. America = Laws. Follow them or leave and never come back.

    June 15, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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