AP -- U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, has proposed changing the long-standing federal policy that automatically grants citizenship to any baby born on U.S. soil, a move opposed by immigrant rights advocates.

Supporters of Deal's proposal say "birthright citizenship" encourages illegal immigration and makes enforcement of immigration laws more difficult. Opponents say the proposed law wouldn't solve the illegal immigration problem and goes against this country's traditions of welcoming immigrants.

Automatic citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says: "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." That provision, ratified in 1868, was drafted with freed slaves in mind.

Deal and his supporters say the 14th Amendment wording was never meant to automatically give citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants.

"This is a sensible, overdue measure that closes a clause that was never meant to be a loophole," said Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks tighter immigration restrictions.

Under Deal's proposal, babies born in the U.S. would automatically have citizenship only if at least one of their parents is a U.S. citizen or national, a legal permanent resident of the U.S., or actively serving in the U.S. military.

Azadeh Shahshahani, director of the Immigrants Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, said the proposed law "is not cognizant with the American spirit."

"We would stand in strong opposition to this bill as it's in fundamental contradiction to our nation's long history of welcoming immigrants and bestowing inalienable rights" on all people born here, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, she said.

Story continues below Supporters of the bill say automatic citizenship provides an incentive for women to risk coming to the country illegally. They call U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants "anchor babies" because, when they become adults, the children can sponsor their parents for legal permanent residency.

"Coming into the country for the express purpose of having a child in order to anchor that child and yourself is, in effect, gaming the system," Dane said.

Lisa Navarrete, vice president of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, said the proposed law wouldn't stem illegal immigration and would make the problem worse because not only would illegal immigrants be undocumented, their American-born children would be too.

"The worst part of it is you end up with potentially millions of children who are stateless, who were born here and have no ties to any other country, yet they're not considered citizens or part of the United States," she said.

Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that favors restricting immigration, said the policy of granting automatic citizenship to people born here is "out of sync with the modern world." He and Deal said that the U.S. is one of the few wealthy industrialized nations that still allows birthright citizenship.

Deal, who has submitted his bill to the House Judiciary Committee, said he's not optimistic about it becoming law this year unless it is tacked onto another bill.

"I think the current makeup of the Congress is such that this will never get a hearing and will never be an issue that we get a chance to vote on," he said. "But I think it's important to keep the issues that are part of the immigration problem alive."


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I think flashbacks are the least of your problems, man. You've shown time and time again you either can't read, or you simply skip over anything you disagree with. The Hitler comment, and your insistence that this isn't hypothetical and that I'm advocating something I'm clearly not has reached a point of hilarity that can only be surpassed by my need for sleep:(
Which means, of course, I'm going to have to bow out. This spectacle has become so amusing, I'm not even going to close the discussion, just leave it open for the entertainment of others.
On that point I'd like to say that the immigration laws (which change quite often) are in no way violating the 14th amendment.
The 14th amendment outlines citizenship. Immigrants are not citizens. Go check out for more information on this if you want.
Secondly the reasons I've stated for the need for change are pretty universally echoed. If resources don't raise in relationship to demand, everyone dies of starvation, lack of clean water, ect. Now, I'm not being melodramatic and stating this is our looming future. What I did say (and many agree with) is that in some shape or form, something needs to be done before our already strained system becomes even more strained, which will in fact lead to racial tension and other problems. That is why we have immigration laws already and these laws will continue to evolve to match the needs of people already in the country. What I was discussing was the attempt to brainstorm the best ways possible to control this evolution in a way that will benefit all people, including immigrants.
. Unless you are saying we have or should have a totally open boarder policy, you in fact agree with this. If you ARE saying this, you are either utterly insane, ignorant of current policy or very out of touch. If I had to pick one, I'd say you are nuts, just by reading over all statements in this argument. Notice how a lot of people started off agreeing with Doone but are now arguing against you? That isn't sending off warning signals for you at all?
I'm not excluding anyone! I'm trying to make it more appealing to LEGALLY include MORE!

Um.. where did I say anything about denying undocumented workers or ANYONE for that matter medical attention? You realize that's against the law, right? A hospital HAS to care for anyone in their emergency room, no matter what their economic status is, or their race or their documentation.
Where on earth could you have found anything to make that head of yours think I supported such a thing?

And no.. except for the points you seem to be pulling out of your ass, you haven't debated anything.. and by the way, I think you ought to check with doone before you start tossing his name around. I'm not sure he wants to be any part of your obvious crazy.

People of color?! Is that term even used anymore? Doesn't it mean African-Americans or African-Africans, anyway?
So by your claim, folks of dark skin will suffer more than Poles or Pakistanis (or are they also 'people of color' according to you?)
Can you give me some proof to back up your claim? ~yeah, I'm actually cringing as I type that~
I never denied it's racist, bub. I'm defending a well-known and well-liked site contributor from your demonstrably baseless slander.
Well, as much fun as this has been (and I'm sure will be) This well-known-and well-liked (but also apparently racist and as much of a threat to humanity than Hitler himself was) site contributor is heading to bed.
I hereby leave Frink and Rev. Thomas Hicks, DD to defend my honor!
(from slander, gentlemen! Don't think I'd trust either of you with THAT kind of honor. I'd be the meat in a Misty Mansandwich before I even closed my eyes, huh?)

Everyone play nice and have a good day/night wherever you are!
I'm not taking the "racist" slur seriously. It's a shallow, last-ditch effort to try to salvage some sense of moral superiority since his argument was shown to be nothing more than a mean-spirited, baseless attack. Have a good night!


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