The U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing over a week ago to again raise the issue of the section of the Fourteenth Amendment that the majority would like to abolish- specifically birthright citizenship for those born on US soil:
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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities 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.
Four testimonies were taken by invitation, three of which backed the altering of the amendment by legislation or constitutional amendment, The Republican majority-held subcommittee is headed by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa with known ties to the anti-immigrant movement and who was chided for a remark he made in 2013, “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
The lone testimony that supported preserving the amendment came from the Southern Poverty Law Center-a group that is located in Alabama and defends human rights. Richard Cohen is president of the Southern Poverty Law Center and testified before Congress the day of the hearing.
He asserted that altercations to the amendment would create a new population of second class citizens in the US:
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the hearing saying that ,”House Republicans that refused to give the American people a vote on comprehensive immigration reform are giving a hearing to one of the most loathsome, xenophobic proposals in recent memory.”
The bill to end automatic citizenship introduced by Representative King is expected to fail.