Message to Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz.: Don’t Tread on the U.S. Constitution!

Don't-Tread-On-Me-1024.jpgSen. John Kyl, R-Ariz. said yesterday in an interview on “Face the Nation” that illegal aliens’ children should not be citizens.

Senator Kyl Wants to Abolish the 14th Amendment
In an interview on “Face the Nation,” Senator Kyl said that he supports Congressional hearings to repeal the Fourteenth Amendment. Basically, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to any person born on U.S. soil by what is called “birthright” citizenship.

The argument by Senator Kyl is that the U.S. should not grant citizenship to children if both parents are present in the U.S. illegally. Senator Kyl speciously argues that repealing the 14th Amendment would stop illegal immigration. What would stop illegal immigration is by providing comprehensive immigration reform giving unskilled workers a path to U.S. citizenship both from abroad and within U.S. boundaries. The 14th Amendment was a terrific advancement of civil rights. It was enacted shortly after the Civil War to advance the rights of slaves. The 14th Amendment allowed slaves’ children to be citizens just by being born in the U.S. The 14th Amendment has provided citizenship to millions of persons born in the U.S. and has become a cornerstone of American civil rights.

Hey Senator Kyle: Don’t Tread on Me!
The 14th Amendment’s “birthright” citizenship, along with due process and equal protection, is enshrined into the fabric of U.S. constitutional history. Putting an abrupt end to birthright citizenship would be unconstitutional, impractical, expensive, complicated and it would not stop illegal immigration. France does not grant automatic citizenship to children of undocumented aliens and that country has a real crisis on its hands. Parents are denying they have kids, hiding them from authorities in attics and closets. Authorities are even picking kids up at schools and on playgrounds! Imagine the photographs of incarcerated children and crying mothers hugging their kids – the U.S. should be a party to this and as President Obama said in the run-up to the 2008 presidential elections, “We can do better!”

We cannot fix the problem of illegal immigration by stripping the fundamental civil liberties that the U.S. Constitution provides. We must address comprehensive immigration reform in a thoughtful and deliberate manner. We can do better! Senator Kyl needs to understand bowing to his neo-fundamentalist constituants is not the way build a brighter future for America and those people who call it home.