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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1) It wouldn't matter to Obama because his mother was a legal citizen/resident.
2) No one mentioned deportation at all. It's just no longer granting instant citizenship, and only to babies born AFTER such a bill (would) take place. Thus it would effect 0 children in our country today.
3) Where do you get your figures? Does this take into account that BOTH parents or just one are illegal immigrants, because only one parent needs to be a legal resident to make the child a citizen.
4)As I said before, this isn't deporting anyone and it isn't retro-active. You don't see the millions of current illegal immigrants tying up the courts or having a massive exodus.

Basically, this bill would be to dissuade folks from coming to the U.S and having a baby that would later sponsor them. It isn't an arrow to start shoving anyone out of the country.
Ok. What does that have to do with the topic at hand? These websites existed before our discussion and will continue thereafter. I've never seen them to be influenced by I don't get your point. Yeah, there are hate groups out there.. but that isn't a secret.
No, I didn't stop to think that because I don't see the logical conclusion of such a declaration.
There is already an underclass of low wage workers who are here on work permits or green cards. They are called resident aliens. They are often mistreated and paid much, much lower than the average American doing the same job. The purpose of this bill is to circumvent the growing sector of these people and elevate those in the middle to equality with the freed up resources.
You are correct. It would take an Amendment to effectuate his idea - unlikely unless things get a great deal worse.
I seriously have to move out of Georgia.
1) No one said anything about throwing anyone out. It just means no longer granting instant citizenship. Deportation was never mentioned.
2) Immigrant workers have nothing to do with this. They are by definition working, usually seasonal jobs and with proper procedure can be here as LEGAL aliens. They are not depending on their children for sponsorship because they either aren't here legally in the first place (so without an anchor baby) or already legal and have work permits.
3)The slippery slope argument is usually a weapon of anti-gay rhetoric. I'm not even going to dignify that.

Yeesh, people! I'm mainly playing the devil's advocate here, but I'm really shocked and a little bit embarrassed here by the name calling and lack of mature debating skills. Come on, guys. We are better than that.
Sir, I was born and raised in norther California. I attended school as one of the ONLY English speakers in a class of 60+ children to one teacher. While I'm very grateful for the unique ability to meet people different from myself (which started my love of travel and diverse language skills) I can look back as an adult and realize fully how much my education suffered because of a lack of resources. NOT because of a huge number of immigrants or first generation Americans, but because of a LACK OF RESOURCES.
My best friend's family owns kiwi orchards and uses hired immigrant labor for the work seasons. I have, along with my friend worked the hard hours under the sun with these people and learned a lot about their home countries. His father made sure that each person there was a LEGAL immigrant worker and cared for each of them like the long returning friends they were. That doesn't mean that 'if he could compete with NAFTA, everyone can' it just means that you've pinpointed yet another problem that is creating a complex network of issues.
Perhaps if the people invited to this country were workers making a life instead of pregnant couples dreaming of a life, things would start off on the right foot. How did your ancestors come over? Not by depending on medicare or tax payers, that's for sure.
I didn't go to Thailand with the intention of working illegally. I rather fell into a job and learned the ropes of policy as I went along. I can tell you right now that an illegal immigrant is in one of the hardest positions on earth. If he is mistreated by his boss, there is no where he can go to complain. If his wages are late or do not arrive at all, he has no legal recourse. He can be hired, fired, mistreated and abused based on a whim. The current legal situation is even more prone to exploitation. If you are in most countries on a work permit and you lose your job (for any reason at all, even if it isn't your fault) you have under a handful of days to exit the country. Your entire life is tossed out the window because someone needs to cut back on budgeting or maybe doesn't like you.
The American immigration and social services is in shambles. I have a lot -probably more experience than most- dealing with issues like these. My own boyfriend couldn't come to my home country with me because there was no legal way for him to be allowed to work.
What I'm saying is that there needs to be a revamp of the system starting at ground level, and ground level is where citizenship is granted.
I started off thinking this deal was pretty much ridiculous but might be on to something. I posted it here to ask for opinions. What I've seen is mainly name calling and emotional filled rants, but not a lot of legitimate arguments and thoughtful responses. Obviously this has touched a lot of personal nerves, though I'm having a hugely hard time connecting the dots. Yes, I do believe you are correct in saying that illegal workers are being blamed for Washington's mistakes, but that is because Washington didn't take steps necessary to see that resources would be allotted for all citizens at the time of heightened immigration.
In no way am I speaking as a racist. I don't even see how that comes into the picture. This isn't a policy meant for just one type of person, but for all future people that come here illegally, and believe me, as we see globalization become more and more common, those from farther reaches will also become more common.
Understand that my tone is neutral and that is hard to convey on a computer.
What I'm saying is this: Eventually America will not be able to provide a welcome to all immigrants that we would like. At that point, our resources will be so strained that real racism (that which we are already starting to see) will passionately be ruling and swaying the laws. Before that happens, we need to stem the tide and re-group. The current policy of making it impossible to work for citizenship but easy to breed for it (and then have to rely on social services due to the cost of child care) is obviously not working. Approaching it the other way around might not work either, but at least we are starting to turn the pieces of the puzzle around in our hands instead of continuing to jam them into the same misfitting gap.
So what about a bill that would cease allowing the children of illegal immigrants to sponsor family members that have ever entered the country illegally? (This would mean their mother and anyone else that is currently in the U.S illegally or anyone that has ever been deported for being here illegally)
I think that is the point of the bill, but without the emotive face-lift of citizenship.
If you are born here to illegal immigrants then you are a citizen, but you can't sponsor at all, or anyone that's ever broken a U.S law?
I'm not advocating anything, so get your panties unbunched. I'm saying and have said that I'm playing the devil's advocate just for the sake of hearing both sides of the argument, but personally sitting on the fence so far.
In response to this (And I'll head back and post more later when I've had some sleep) I'd like to say that we screen those that are about to be sponsored the same way we (and most other countries already do) by doing a background check of people that are about to be given citizenship. If they have a criminal record in the U.S, including immigration infringements, they get a NO stamp.
If your mother cannot prove that she was a legal resident at the time of your birth and subsequent citizenship, she gets a NO stamp. Due process of course would be granted in the same shape it already is.
You have a right to be upset, but honestly your emotions won't influence my judgment anymore than the other side's emotions would.
What I'm looking for is sensible, mature debate on an admittedly hot topic subject.

I wasn't alive or in the area of KKK activity, but I have lived in a country where I've witnessed Burmese boat workers and immigrants physically abused (with my own eyes) tortured (admittedly by the Thai navy.) and murdered (or as far as we could tell by the 100+ decapitated bodies found in containers a few miles off the coast from where I used to live)
I might be young, but I am not innocent.
That said, emotions and hot tempers have never done more but incite anger from the other side and partially negate whatever logical ideas you come up with. The most effective thing you or I can do is remain logical and calm. Look at all options without hate, fear or anger, and then work towards a conclusion that will benefit EVERYONE.
Dude.. again, I'm saying this is not my idea. I didn't draft the bill, I'm not at congress pushing it. I'm not calling my local representatives to put it into action. I live in Scotland, for fuck's sake! I'm not even saying it's a good idea!
All I'm doing is opening up dialog to discuss and brainstorm, debate and discourse possibilities that may or may not lead to ideas of potential action in the future.
Now this is the second time you've called these points and or me vicariously racist. I want to know why. I'd like it explained to me in simple terms HOW this is racists? Not being uncooperative here, I'm just feeling like I'm missing something or we are having problems communicating. So this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to state this case as I see it, then you repeat back the parts that are racist, ok? I'm honestly trying to see your perspective here, that's why I posted this in the first place.

-If you are born to TWO illegal aliens, you are not granted the right to sponsor them in the future. (This was presented as my idea, not the legislation. I'm totally doing away with the citizenship thing for a moment.)
-Totally revamp the residency system. Still working this one out in my head, let alone on paper, but hypothetically, this is what I've come up with so far:
Any military service instantly grants you citizenship.
All aliens that can show proof of work for the last (5?) years gain LEGAL residency status that can count retro-actively towards their citizenship.
Multiple violent offenders loose residency with due process.
Work permits count towards your citizenship (not sure if they do already)
Work permits are based on work, not company sponsorship.
Work permits are granted BEFORE a position is secured, along with a timeline for finding work.

I'm sure there are more to come, but this is still brainstorming stage for me.

Seriously, doone. Show me once, just once that I've parroted anything racists and hate filled.
You do realize that these regulations would apply to EVERYONE, not just Mexico? That sort of negates the race point right there. This very situation is kicking me in the ass because my boyfriend and I (he's British citizen, I'm U.S) are having problems between our two countries. We are not finding a legitimate way to be able to live and work together. We are of different citizenship, but our family tartans are the same. We are genetically 50% similar. (I'm part Native American)
What really gets me is that I'm of the opinion that it's impossible for most Americans to be racist. You walk into any bar in Scotland and say you're Scottish with an American accent, you're either going to get laughed at or head butted. Same thing for Ireland, England or any other 'Proud to be white' ancestry. To the rest of the world, we are all American. Period. I feel the same way. Our way of life is our culture, and most of us don't have a 'race' of half to pure genetic lines. Even if we did, I think you'd have to spend time in your mother country and uphold those traditions to be counted. That's just my opinion and off on a tangent. Anyway, just because you live in a country doesn't even mean you're of that majority race, anyway!
So get back to me. Tell me what you've got a problem with and move the conversation forward. I don't know how many times I have to say this, but one more time... this bill was being turned over in my mind as a springboard, NOT the completed deal.
My opinions and ideas on it are only now being expressed fully because I want to hear other voices on the matter. I can say I fully agree 100% with the citizenship issue, but not the sponsorship one. Toss out some of your own ideas. That's the point of this discussion! Never was it intended to be simple name calling and finger pointing.
Did you even read my post? At all?

I think this has nothing more to do with even the current conversation and has taken a turn elsewhere. I'm going to reply to your mailroom until we get it sorted out, ok?


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