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New Report: 14th Amendment Repeal Would Leave Millions More Undocumented

by Mahwish Khan on 09/10/2010 at 12:35pm

File this one under “more good reasons not to repeal the 14th amendment.”

Yesterday, the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute released a report entitled, “The Demographic Impact of Repealing Birthright Citizenship,” which found that the controversial idea birthed by some GOP senators — that of repealing the 14th amendment– would, over the next ten years, actually exacerbate the illegal immigration crisis by increasing the undocumented population by about 5 million people.  According to the report:

“Under a constitutional repeal of the birthright citizenship language of the 14th Amendment or the proposed Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, these U.S.-born descendents of unauthorized immigrants would be denied legal status in the United States, even though in all likelihood they would be thoroughly American in other respects… In short, the repeal of the 14th Amendment or enactment of the Birthright Citizenship Act would lead to the establishment of a permanent class of unauthorized persons.”

Early in August, some members of the GOP decided that they would rather re-write the Constitution for political purposes than do the hard — but necessary  — work of fixing America’s broken immigration system. Started by former reform champion Senator Lindsay Graham, the idea quickly caught fire within the Republican party, as top GOP leaders called for hearings on the 14th amendment. Unfortunately for certain elements of the GOP, busy raising the spectre of surging “birth tourism,” the idea turned out to lack evidence — “birth tourism” was not quite reality-based:

…immigration experts say it’s extraordinarily rare for immigrants to come to the U.S. just so they can have babies and get citizenship.

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