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Monday, August 16, 2010

Carlos Rich: Defending the 14th Amendment

Originally posted at Imagine 2050. Imagine 2050 is project which includes activists, immigrants, artists and students who are invested in a future nation that embraces multiculturalism and tolerance.

Defending the 14th Amendment
August 16, 2010
By Carlos Rich

The 14th Amendment is the affirmation that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are, in fact, U.S. citizens. Efforts to dismantle are moving us backwards on American democracy.

It would take us back to a time when all other people, besides those of European descent, were not good enough to be first class citizens or worthy of attaining any status in this country.

I’m sure that after ratifying the amendment in 1866, lawmakers did not intend for it to be overturned. Advocates for changing the landmark bill are afraid of how immigration will affect the demographics, and are desperate to control the racial composition of the nation. I’m not an expert in immigration or Constitutional law, but I can give some reason as to why this is happening and why it’s a bad idea.

Opponents want to continue debating the issue of immigration and not actually solve it. The last couple of years, politicians have dragged their feet on the issue and not done anything meaningful to fix it. Rather, they rant and rave of how immigrants do this and that. Most of their talk is not substantiated by anything but rhetoric.

If politicians in favor of altering the 14th Amendment say that it will solve the issue, then we really should question their motives. According to the Immigration Policy Center, ending birthright citizenship would not stop undocumented immigration: “Since children born to undocumented immigrants would presumably be undocumented, the size of the undocumented populations would actually increase as a result of the new policy.”

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