Arizona may deny U.S. citizenship to babies, Harvard University student faces deportation and Chicago activists hold immigration protests

In Arizona, seems some politicians haven't tired yet of going after immigrants, teachers with accents or ethnic studies programs.

So they have a new group of people they want to corral - babies born to undocumented immigrants.

Arizona Republicans are expected to introduce state legislation that would deny U.S. citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants. State Sen. Russell Pearce is behind the initiative, according to Time magazine.

Now this flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution as defined by the 14th Amendment.

"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."

If you are born here, you are a U.S. citizen and that is your birthright. If we dare to challenge that we undermine what America is all about.  It's a terrible idea that would create a class of countryless children.

Why is it so terrible to deny children citizenship?

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Eric Balderas

It's a waste of talent and potential they could contribute to this country. One only has to look at what is happening to a Harvard University student now facing deportation.

Eric Balderas, 19, has lived in the United States since he was 4 years old. He is studying biology at Harvard on a full scholarship. Last week he was flying from his home in Texas back to Boston and was questioned when he showed a Mexican government consular card and a student i.d. to board the plane, according to a story in The Boston Globe. Airport security called immigration and he was detained and now will have an immigration hearing on July 6.

His case illustrates why Congress needs to pass the DREAM Act, which would give permanent residency to youth who came here before 16, have lived in the United States at least five years and complete two years of college or military service.
Harvard University's President Drew Faust also supports the DREAM Act.

"These
dedicated young people are vital to our nation's future, and President
Faust's support of the Dream Act reflects Harvard's commitment to access
and opportunity for students like Eric,'' Harvard spokeswoman Christine
Heenan told the Boston Globe.

There are so many more Eric Balderas' out there. And youth across the country, and particularly in Chicago, are campaigning for the DREAM Act. Among them are Tania Unzueta, who protested last month at Sen. John McCain's office in Tucson. She and other youth from Chicago's Immigrant Youth Justice League also held a protest last week at Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez's office. They want him to step up his support of the DREAM Act, which Gutierrez agreed to do.

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Photo from chicago.indymedia.org

We are far from the border but Chicago politicians and activists are active in the immigration debate. Last week, the Chicago City Council voted not to sign new contracts with Arizona companies as part of a boycott. (But that does not impact an existing red-light camera contract.)

And on Saturday local activist Jorge Mujica and about 75 others protested in Naperville against a Tea Party and Illinois Minutemen rally organized in favor of the new Arizona law SB1070. So the debate rages on locally.

But it is up to our federal lawmakers to do something. Congress is moving way too slow on passing comprehensive immigration reform. But they can start by passing the DREAM Act, so we don't waste the potential of young people like Balderas and Unzueta.

The worst thing our immigration laws can do is destroy the future of immigrant youth.

There was a terrible tragedy at the border last Monday when 14-year-old Sergio Hernandez Huereka was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. He allegedly was part of a group that threw rocks at agents and one agent fired in self-defense.

What really happened is in dispute and there is some compelling video at ABC News.

Immigrants often risk their lives to come to this country. But immigrant children should not be targeted by our laws or guns.

Comments

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  • He obviously did not adopt American values. Otherwise, when he turned 18, he would have obeyed the law, returned home and applied for a student visa.

    He thought the law did not apply to him and he could ignore it.

    He is not of good moral character and should not be in Harvard. What will he do once he gets out into the business world? Ignore any laws that don't profit him or his employer? We have enough crooked people in high places in this country already.

    He has now learned something about America.

    In our country, no one is above the law. No one.

  • On the surface the Dream Act sounds nice, but unfortunately it will encourage MORE illegal immigration. Additionally, when these students become citizens, they can sponsot their illegal parents to join them as citizens. The kids weren't at fault for being here illegally, but the parents shure were.

    Our immigration laws must be enforced. The Dream Act must be defeated.

  • It should be noted that the Supreme Court stated in a footnote of the 1982 Plyler v. Doe case that "[e]very citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States", and that "no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful." Yet this note specifically addressed children who were born outside of the United States, and not those born to illegal alien parents within the United States. Thus, it indeed remains within the purview of Congress to act to interpret the 14th Amendment in accordance with Article I of the Constitution.

  • All told, federal law (not the Constitution) gives citizenship to an estimated minimum 400,000 babies each year who don

  • I am astounded to see thousands of youth leaders taking up the challenge to better America, while the so called leaders ignore them. The DREAM Act is the first step to fixing our immigration system. Its is irrational to deny the talented youth of America their right to dream. They are smartest, dedicated and determined individuals in the nation.

  • ARGUMENT: Why reward lawbreakers?
    REBUTTAL: DREAMers are not lawbreakers as they did not chose to come to this country. Furthermore, punishing talented young adults, many college educated, would deprive the United States of an incredibly skilled and sorely needed source of future engineers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals.

    ARGUMENT: Why help undocumented immigrant students and not documented ones?
    REBUTTAL: The DREAM Act does not provide more benefits to DREAMers than to documented immigrant students. The Act only puts them on the same plane and students will have to work just as hard as everyone else.

    ARGUMENT: Wouldn

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