New Year Resolutions

January 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

After a disappointing finish to the year 2010 when DREAM failed in the Senate just one week after passing in the House, the agenda for the 112th Congress is already shaping up to signal the coming of more struggles ahead for immigration reform. An example of pressing issues that will be resurfacing include the issue of birthright citizenship and the 14th amendment. The Constitution grants citizenship to those born in the US, regardless of their parents’ citizenship. The infamous Dred Scott decision made by the Supreme Court in 1857 had temporarily taken this right away to exclude US-born children of slaves. The decision created such deep-seated anger within the civil rights community and eventually led to the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1858, which became the foundation of equal protection, due process and American civil rights laws. Since then the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld the constitutional right to citizenship. Unfortunately, over the years, efforts made to undermine the 14th Amendment have materialized repeatedly with the introduction of bills to deny U.S. citizenship to children whose parents are in the U.S. illegally or on temporary visas. The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” There are current efforts being made by legislators and restrictionist groups to rollback the citizenship provision as a way to curb illegal immigration. Certainly our immigration system needs reform, although far be it for that to begin with eroding the very basic principles for which our great nation stands. Let’s resolve in the year 2011 to keep fighting the good fight without turning on each other, to set our sights far and high, and to not be fazed by the difficult battles that lie ahead.


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