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. Patrick

    Good law. It will take away a lot of the reasons why illegals come here.

    June 15, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. oustudent1

    gee, for a group of people who are so worried about protecting the constitution, doesn't this seem to go directly against the constitution?

    June 15, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. HD

    It sounds like, the Arizona governour did experiment to balance the State law vs the Federal law. But, latter comes to with no option except implementing the new Arizona law.

    However, the challenged question if Arizona gets green light for its new law, will the other States ask the same? Hmmm...

    June 15, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    I hope Texas does the same thing.

    June 15, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Marcus

    Arizona has NO saying about giving or taking US Nacionality.
    That law is a dead weight even before it's voted.
    It's against the law. FEDERAL LAW.
    But this piece of crap helps the Gopers to get votes in Arizona...
    Go figure...

    June 15, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. GOP is bad for America

    The sad part about this proposed law is that it would really punish the children born here who had no say at all in whether their parents were illegal or not. Imagine being born in a country, raised there with no ties to any other country, considering it your home, but not being a citizen and having no rights - all of this based on a decision that your parents made upon which you had no input at all. It is not fair to punish the children for what the parents did. Once again, AZ is totally off base for how to address illegal immigration. EMPLOYERS hire illegal immigrants and if they did not then poor Mexican people needing jobs would not come here. But, of course you do not see AZ doing ANYTHING at all about the employers do you? That's because it is a bunch of GOPers who are coming up with these laws and the GOP always gives businesses whatever they want, including cheap labor.

    June 15, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. original intent of the drafters

    is this the same original intent of the drafters idea that has every slave equal to 2/3rds of a land owner

    exactly which drafter are you following? or the document?

    Are you following what was precisely written in the late 1700's? Because their have been some changes, say a little thing called the bill of rights for example. There has been a civil war.

    Listen dummy, although I agree with your conclusion about not giving children of illegal aliens automatic citizenship, this original intent argument is dumb.

    June 15, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. John PA

    That's one part of the law that all our states should adopt. Try having a kid in any other country and see if that buys you citizenship! We no longer need more kids, or people for that matter.

    June 15, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Realist

    I agree with the concept of 1070 – it strengthens AZ's ability to police a local problem the federal government has been tasked with handling and has not. I do, however, disagree with this law. A child born within our borders is an American citizen. However, "anchor babies" should not be a free pass for illegal immigrants to stay here illegally. Illegals who have given birth to what is an American citizen should have the ability to apply to become American citizens themselves (a new naturalization process would likely need to be implemented), or subject to immigration laws, be deported. The child has the ability to stay, they're an American citizen. The parent would have the option of assigning guardianship to an American citizen (or even given up for adoption) if they really want the child to stay here, or take the child with them and the child will have the legal oppportunity to return when they reach the legal, majority age to make their own decision.

    Personally, as someone with little to no skin involved in this process, I'd be open to a "documented worker"-type program. Immigrants could come here to work, be eligible for social programs, but would have to go down the path to citizenship in order to do things like vote. I understand the immigration laws would need a radical overhaul, but with all the change and reform "happening", why not add something else to the pile...

    June 15, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Djinn

    Is not citizenship granting the choice of the FEDERAL government?? Arizona needs to get over itself and sooner than later. They are disgracing our democracy.

    June 15, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    Well that will get struck down as an idiotic idea, not to mention it would be illegal and unconstitutional, LOL, but keep talking Republicans, maybe there just is another group of people you haven't alienated yet.

    I'll tell you this much, you won't be winning many elections with only white and a bunch of ethnic uncle Tom votes in a near future, but then again you don't have many young whites joining your party, so good riddance anyway...

    June 15, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Molly Weasley

    It's not just "federal law" - it's a part of the U.S. Constitution - the 14th Amendment.

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States." It doesn't mention who their parents are, or where they might be from.

    These Tea Party types sure do love to pick and choose when it comes to the Constitution, don't they? When they go strutting around claiming they love the Constitution, it might not hurt for them to actually READ it.

    June 15, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Lucullus

    It's sad to say but I have to agree with this bill. The idea that someone can enter the country illegally and then be allowed to stay because they had a child here is ludicrous.

    Understand, I am ot a right wing maniac. Indeed I believe in all the great liberal causes from Abortion to Unions and most things in between. Those who defend illegal immigration have no clue the damage that is being done by these people. Right now the unemployment rate among minorities is double the national average. One reason for this is because they can't even get the menial jobs that were available in the past. These now go to illegal aliens.

    The ILGWU, helped put an end to sweat shops in the garment industry. There are now sweat shops in the garment industry because of illegal immigration. Why hire the union worker when an illegal is willing to undercut them. Union people literally put their lives on the line to make life better for workers.

    The lie that there are jobs Americans won't do is just that, a comforting lie. Americans will do any job, as long as they aren't paid slave wages.

    So I say, put an end to the anchor baby ploy.

    June 15, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. Bob (Illinois)

    Well, I guess that settles a legal question once and for all: The US Constitution does not apply to Arizona.

    June 15, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Marcus

    "While I understand that folks in Arizona and across the country support S.B. 1070, they do so because we have seen no action from the federal government," said (Kyrsten) Sinema (D). "Unfortunately, the so-called 'anchor baby' bill does nothing to solve the real problems we are facing in Arizona."

    Not only that.
    While there is some base to justify in legalese terms the support to the SB 1070 (which can be improved by the removal of the Unconstitutional stuff it harbors and therefore become just another Arizonian law), THERE IS NO LEGAL BASE FOR THIS LAW.
    It's not any state business to legislate about CITIZENSHIP.
    No State has such power.
    Even Scalia (whom I considere the spin-master of Conservative bench-lawmakers) couldn't find a why to support constitutionally this law, supposing that Arizonians lawmakers vote it and the Arizonian Governor... Oh wait, she might support AND sign it...
    You betcha!!!!

    June 15, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. dg

    we dont need to be supporting parasites. illigal is against the law. liberals dont care about following the law.

    June 15, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Chuck, Tennessee

    So, where are Sinema's proposed solutions to the problems she says are not addressed by the bill? Answer: she has none. Most politicians, both Dem and Repub, have no desire to do anything to protect our borders.

    June 15, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Matt R.

    About time! Allowing children born here to become citizens was merely a loophole to keep parents here as well–no one wants to separate a child from their parent, regardless of which "side" of the immigration debate you're on, but we have rules on how you may enter and stay in this country. If you don't follow them, you can't stay. For children of immigrants: when the government finds out about your parents and deports them, be angry that your parents broke the law, not that it's being enforced.

    June 15, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. David

    ARIZONA IS DOING IT RIGHT. Take notice, Obama!!!!

    June 15, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. richardc

    This may be reaching a bit...

    June 15, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. LIP

    I loved the email from someone this morning that said "why should a child of illegal parents become a citizen? Standing in a garage does not make you a car, does it?"
    Send them all back to where they belong and where their country encourages them to leave due to their own inability to take care of their own people.

    June 15, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Slick William

    I agree 100%, if they come and spit out an anchor baby we pay for it with tax dollars at the hospitals, $20,000 tax payer dollars a year for each illegal family is the reported cost. Their actions create the moral dilemma about splitting families, not ours. I seem to recall John McCain being born in Panama but was a US citizen due to his parents being US citizens. If they are here illegally, their kid is a citizen of where ever they are from and NOT a US citizen automatically, this is just another absurd liberal argument in support of buying votes. Why is it that the media, especially CNN continually tries to legitamize BAD and illegal behavior?

    June 15, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. GI Joe

    Hey these are the same people that keep sendng McSongbird to DC. Go figure.

    June 15, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Senator

    Well according to this law I guess, only Native Americans would be Citizens..........

    "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.'

    someone brief this person on the fact that the original Drafters were Illegal aliens

    June 15, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Ernie

    That;s the way it should be the Mexician sheoudn't have to come to the United Sates to have their babies and then their babies become citizens it doesn't work that way. The Mexicians come to the country legally become citizens have their babies then the babies become citizens not the other way around. The Mexicians still think that Califorina, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas still belong to Mexico well they don't. People are tired of and they are tired of the politicians in Washington who do nothing for the people all the politicians are worried about are votes and to make sure they get elected when election times comes. Don't forget if an illegal has a baby in the United States all the tax payers have to pay for the baby and the mother of the baby think about it not only are you supporting your family your support an illegal family and their baby.

    June 15, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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