Among the different debates that Democrats in Congress have against Republicans, one that currently stands out is the immigrants’ subject, on which democrats regularly accuse the GOP of going after them.
On Wednesday, House Republicans started a hearing on whether the United States should still permitting the rule of granting the citizenship to any children born in the country.
Some Republicans have the opinion that birthright citizenship encourages birth tourism and illegal immigration, as also considering that the 14th Amendment is been misinterpreted on which establish that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States”, adding that this amendment is been applying incorrectly on undocumented immigrants.
Though Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) have both introduced bills during 2015 to eliminate birthright citizenship neither has so far received a vote.
Until now, it is likely that those bills don’t get a vote, and now the issue is been treated in a hearing making Democrats start a debate in defense of the right for newborns on United States soils to become citizens.
During a press conference, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif) said that “This birthright citizenship legislation and a decision to hold a hearing on its merits are outrageous examples of just how far shameless Republicans are willing to go to demonstrate their hatred for immigrants,” accusing later Republicans of introducing bills to stigmatize and generate hatred for immigrants.
Rep. Luis Guitierrez (D-Ill) was present in the same press conference, adding that, “In Spanish-language media there will be one more piece of evidence that Republicans will do anything and everything to keep their nativist wing happy”.
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who is the leader of the House Minority made an statement on which accused Republicans of pleasing “to the most radical, anti-immigrant corner of their party” and labeled their view as “one of the most loathsome, xenophobic proposals in recent memory”.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) made also a statement on the issue, calling the hearing “a humiliating reminder of the jingoistic insensitivity of the few toward multiculturalism and the changing face of America in the 21st Century”.
At the same day as the hearing, a coalition of pro-immigration reform group released the “2015 GOP Mass Deportation Agenda”, a detailed paperwork that explains “An Overview of Anti-Immigrant Attacks by the 114th Congress”.
Among Republicans, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) stands in favor of holding the hearing.
During the hearing, Goodlatte said, “the question of whether our forefathers meant for birthright citizenship in all circumstances to be the law of the land is far from settled,” adding that, “in any event, we must still determine if it is the right policy for America today”.
King had a strong stand that it is not the correct policy, and he worries of what could happen “to the demographics of America if this policy is not reversed,” and he also suggested that Democrats may be supporting birthright citizenship because they are looking ways to win the elections.
“I don’t think I’m hearing an argument as to why it would be a good idea to grant automatic citizenship to any baby that could be born in the United States to any mother who could find a way to get into the United States,” King said. “That hands over the immigration policy to everyone except Americans. So I don’t know that that’s even a debate before this committee unless you want to expand your political base by any means necessary.”
University of Texas Law professor Lino Graglia, Jon Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies, and John Eastman of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence were part of witnesses from the Republican side, and all of them were against the policy of granting citizenship to anyone who born in the United States, considering as a bad policy or a unnecessary law.
“It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one that makes unauthorized entry into the country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry: a grant of American citizenship,” Graglia said, who wasn’t talking on behalf of the university.
With Graglia’s appearance, Democrats are now going on the offensive. The Law Professor has a history of racially radical remarks, who was blame allegedly for using the term “pickaninny” on his statement that says that black and Hispanic students cannot be with white students, because it isn’t “good for whites to be with the lower classes”.
During the hearing, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Guitierrez brought Graglia’s past comments.
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