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?
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.
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.
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.