Readers know I oppose recent Arizona immigration legislation and enforcement initiatives. I don't think government should be stepping in to effectively license who can and can't work in this country, and am thus a supporter of open immigration (which is different from citizenship, please note). As I support open immigration, both from a philosophic standpoint as well as a utilitarian perspective, I don't support laws to get tougher on illegal immigrants, any more than I support laws to get tougher on the failed practice of drug prohibition.
That being said, reasonable people can disagree, though some for better reasons than others. But I don't see how all these folks who support tougher laws on immigration with the mantra that it is all about the rule of law can justify this piece of unconstitutional garbage: (Hat tip to a reader)
Buoyed by recent public opinion polls suggesting they're on the right track with illegal immigration, Arizona Republicans will likely introduce legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona "” and thus American citizens according to the U.S. Constitution "” to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. The law largely is the brainchild of state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican whose suburban district, Mesa, is considered the conservative bastion of the Phoenix political scene....
The question is whether that would violate the U.S. Constitution. The 14th Amendment states that "all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." It was intended to provide citizenship for freed slaves and served as a final answer to the Dred Scott case, cementing the federal government's control over citizenship.
But that was 1868. Today, Pearce says the 14th Amendment has been "hijacked" by illegal immigrants. "They use it as a wedge," Pearce says. "This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we've created." Pearce says he is aware of the constitutional issues involved with the bill and vows to introduce it nevertheless. "We will write it right."
I didn't like SB1070 that much, but as ultimately amended it was not nearly as radical as this. I think those of us who feared SB1070 as a first step on a slippery slope should feel vindicated by this.