The legislative angst over illegal immigrants is going to begin percolating in several states including Pennsylvania.
Lawmakers intend to push similar bills as to the one that passed by Arizona’s legislature last year. A federal court ruling has, at least temporarily, hampered a full roll-out in Arizona.
Republicans are leading the charge on clamping down on illegal immigration. Among the proposed measures: prevent illegals from seeking higher education, and crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
The first salvo starts next week with an agreement among a handful of states to put the breaks on automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S. by parents that are here illegally. Pennsylvania is among the states that will join the campaign to deny American citizenship to children born in those states to illegal immigrants.
Representative Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican, is leading the charge in Pennsylvania, Metcalfe is quoted as saying he wants to eliminate “an anchor baby status, in which an illegal alien invader comes into our country and has a child on our soil that is granted citizenship automatically.”
Opponents tell the New York Times, “the effort would be unconstitutional, arguing that the power to grant citizenship resides with the federal government, not with the states.”
But with Republicans gaining nearly 700 seats in state legislatures this past November, it presents the most opportune time.
Randy Terrill, a Republican representative in Oklahoma, who has led the drive for anti-illegal immigration laws told the Times, “the federal government’s failure to enforce our border has functionally turned every state into a border state. He went on to say, “this is federalism in action, the states are stepping in and filling the void left by the federal government.”
In Arizona, the law allowed local police to inquire about a person’s immigration status under all circumstances that led to detainment. A federal judge stayed portions of that law.
Legal obstacles are abound, and historically courts have determined that the 14th Amendement guarantees birthright citizenship. The mechanics around that may well be tied to a constitutional amendment.
( Rock The Capital covers politics, education, business, and the environment.)
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