If you're born in the U.S.A., you're an American citizen. Some lawmakers, however, plan to challenge that basic assumption.
In what might be the next great flash point in the nation's ongoing debate about immigration policy, legislation has been introduced in Congress and a pair of states to deny birth certificates to babies born of illegal-immigrant parents.
"Currently, if you have a child born to two alien parents, that person is believed to be a U.S. citizen," says Randy Terrill, a Republican state representative in Oklahoma who is working on an anti-birthright bill. "When taken to its logical extreme, that would produce the absurd result that children of invading armies would be considered citizens of the U.S."
Bills to challenge the fact that citizenship is granted as a birthright in this country have been perennial nonstarters in Congress, although the current legislation has 91 co-sponsors. As with other issues surrounding immigration, however, some state legislatures still might act, if only in hopes of bringing this issue before the Supreme Court.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Alan Greenblatt reports for NPR: