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Vitter Sponsors Bill Trying to Strip Rights Granted By 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

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VitterEarlier this week, we learned that Senate David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation, S. 723, that attempts to alter the meaning of the 14th amendment. From USA Today:

Four Republican senators are pushing ahead with plans to limit automatic citizenship for children born in the USA to illegal immigrants.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., introduced legislation today to end what he calls “birth tourism.”

The measure, which faces an uphill battle in the Democratic-led Senate, would limit birthright citizenship to children born in the USA who have at least one parent who is already a U.S. citizen, legal resident or active member of the military.

Earlier in the year, Vitter proposed a constitutional amendment, S. J. Res. 2, that would change the 14th amendment. That’s not going anywhere, so he’s trying this new tactic. While Vitter claims that he’s “just” amending U.S. immigration laws. But, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid exposed what Vitter’s bill really does:

“I am disheartened when Senators who swear by the Constitution in one breath look to re-write it in the next for political gain. The Constitution is clear: if you are born on U.S. soil, you are an American. The courts have repeatedly reaffirmed the 14th Amendment because it is the only objective, non-political criteria to determine citizenship.

“Senator Vitter would leave thousands of Americans in judicial limbo with his attempt to alter the Constitution and potentially put in doubt the citizenship of millions of Americans of all ethnic backgrounds. Instead of focusing on jobs and our fragile economic recovery, the Republican Party is wasting time on polarizing political stunts meant only to please the Tea party.”

In February, a poll by the Pew Hispanic Center found that a solid majority of Americans, 57% don’t want to change the 14th Amendment’s provision on birthright citizenship.