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Steve King Tries to Introduce A Birthright Citizenship Amendment, Calls Immigrant Mothers "Birth Tourists"

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This afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee is continuing their markup of the SAFE Act (known on twitter as #HATEAct), which is already the worst anti-immigrant bill in recent history.  (View the press conference denouncing it here.)

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), however, apparently just can’t help himself: King just attempted to insert a birthright citizenship amendment onto the bill–which would alter the Constitution, repeal the 14th amendment, and change an American way of life if passed into law.  But as he said, he’s convinced that immigrant mothers who give birth to US citizens are nothing but “birth tourists,” which is reason enough for him to want to strip US-born children of their citizenship.

Even Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) knew somewhat better and shot down King’s amendment, though he did say the issue “needed to be addressed.”

What needs to be addressed?  For more than 115 years, the Supreme Court has rejected the argument that children born in the US should be denied citizenship based on their parents’ immigration status.  The King amendment would create a permanent underclass of children born in the U.S. and promote the very kind of class-based society that American should reject.

In any case, that’s a bullet dodged — for now.  King’s Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives should take this episode as a sign of who they’re standing with every time they side with King, however.  All those GOPers who voted for King’s amendment to deport DREAMers last week?  There’s only more extremism–and less big-tent support–down that road.