Arizona’s new immigration law has yet to take effect, but Sen. Russell Pearce has already moved on to the next step in his quest to rid Arizona of illegal immigrants: deny birth certificates to children born in the U.S. to non-citizen parents.
But that’s not all. Pearce said he also wants to require students who are here illegally to pay tuition to attend public schools.
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The proposals, which Pearce said he plans to introduce as legislation next year, are part of a coordinated strategy by Pearce and groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) to remove all incentives for illegal immigrants to live in the U.S.
“My issue is protecting the taxpayers. You can’t come here illegally and not be a legal resident and expect the taxpayers to pick up your tab,” Pearce said.
Critics, though, said revoking citizenship to people born in the U.S. would undermine the principles on which the nation was founded and redefine citizenship for far more people than Pearce may be envisioning. It may even create a set of people who lack citizenship of any country.
Requiring children to prove citizenship to attend public school, they said, would create a permanent lower class of uneducated residents who would be unable to sustain themselves or contribute to their communities.
“Why penalize the child?” asked Sen. Amanda Aguirre, a Democrat from Yuma. “Why do we want to create this type of society where a certain group of children — we want them to grow up without education?”
Within the last decade, Arizona has passed laws to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants, penalize business owners who hire undocumented workers and arrest people who cannot prove they are U.S. citizens.
But Pearce’s most recent ideas go far beyond establishing stricter enforcement of immigration laws and may signal the next steps for Pearce and immigration hawks across the nation: redefining citizenship and targeting the children of illegal immigrants.
“What is markedly different is that Russell Pearce, up to this point in time, has been bootstrapping federal law to justify his state laws,” immigration attorney Matthew White said. “This is a drastic approach that’s saying ‘I am now going to interpret the 14th Amendment. I am now the federal law and you are going to listen to me.’”
Both of Pearce’s proposals would challenge longstanding interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and past rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Constitutional experts said Pearce’s proposals, if passed into law, would ultimately wind up in federal court because one would require overturning a longstanding definition of the 14th Amendment, and the other would rely on the Supreme Court reversing previous decisions that affirmed the rights of all children to receive a free public school education, regardless of citizenship status.
Paul Bender, who teaches constitutional law at Arizona State University, said the odds are stacked against Pearce because federal courts likely will refuse to upend such deep-rooted legal interpretations of the Constitution. What Pearce is trying to do, Bender said, may require a constitutional amendment.
“The fact that he doesn’t like what the Constitution provides is irrelevant,” Bender said. “He would be the first to tell you that liberals who don’t like the Constitution’s language need to get it amended if they want to change it, not rely on an ‘activist’ interpretation.”
What Pearce has on his side, however, is momentum from the successful passage of S1070, polls indicating majority support for the law and a frustration by the public at federal government inaction.
Pearce sees his proposals as the logical next step in a battle to reduce government spending on programs that benefit illegal immigrants and enforce laws that protect the sovereignty of the U.S.
“I no longer can stand by, you know, and watch the destruction of this country,” Pearce said. “I mean, have we not listed all the folks… who have been killed and maimed? Have we not seen the data about the cost to the taxpayers?”
Pearce’s allies said they welcome any efforts to end birth-right citizenship because the policy has been abused by people who enter the U.S. illegally.
“He’s not going after the children. You know, the absence of a benefit is not the same thing as a punishment,” FAIR spokesperson Ira Mehlman said. “I would say that he is systematically going after all the incentives to come to the United States illegally.”
Pearce’s ability to turn his ideas into state law would depend on many factors, including the results of the November election and the composition of next year’s Legislature. This year, Republicans control both chambers of the Arizona Legislature.
The dynamic of the next Legislature will depend on those in leadership positions. Pearce has indicated he will campaign to become the next Senate president if re-elected this fall, which would give him more clout to influence the legislative agenda and to make sure his measures advance.
Pearce’s ideas, if drafted as bills, would ensure Arizona’s continued place at the forefront of the immigration battle, prodding, cajoling and even threatening the federal government to do something about the complex problem of illegal immigration.
But while most Arizonans have supported state laws to crack down on illegal immigration in the absence of federal immigration reform, some lawmakers said Pearce’s new ideas go too far and may turn public opinion against him.
“At some point, the public is going to stop supporting this — they’re going to say enough is enough,” Democratic Sen. Paula Aboud said. “I think after a while Arizonans are going to get tired being the brunt of all the jokes, especially when legislation like this does not stop illegal immigration.”
14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
“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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Somebody please boot this bigot out of office. He is a disgrace.
Move to california and get rid of them here to….
The scenario unfolds (read as if “The Guns of August”).
Phase I. Pearce, along with Sheriff Joe, gets re-elected and becomes Senate President. He gets his second bill, that redefines the 14th amendment, put into law. Sheriff Joe and others enforce the new law.
Phase II. Does President Obama join in with other Presidents — Lincoln (1861), Eisenhower (Little Rock, AR, 1957) and Kennedy (Univ. of Miss., 1962) — taking federal control with troops, federalized National Guard, or US Marshalls?
Phase III. Pressure is put on Gov. Perry of Texas to be true to his words and secede from the Union. Does Arizona, not to be undone, follow suit? Does Ron Brownstein’s “The Second Civil War” manifest itself beyond party politics to true secession?
What?? Time for my pills? No, No. This is real! It’s real!
Russell Pearce is correct. Why do anything at all about illegal immigration, if we don’t stop the flood of anchor babies. What Mr. Pearce will attempt is the next logical step in removing those incentives to steal into our country. The word
“illegal”, for those unfamiliar with it, is clearly defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition. It even uses as an example of the word,
“one who crosses illegally into the United States”. Their offspring should be entitled to citizenship? I hardly think so.
I want to thank the good Senator for exhibiting a little known character trait. It’s called COMMON SENSE. So few people know what it looks or sounds like since it’s so rare today. The bleeding heasrt liberals make me want to puke. Sit down and shut your stupid face. This is MY country you want to give away. I will NOT stand idlely by and allow this to happen. If this leads to civil war, so be it. I cannot believe that real Americans continually turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the demise of my country. How on God’s green earth can people even elude to allowing the infiltration of illegal people from another country to invade my country ? You need your lawn mowed that bad ? Move to mexico. I’ll help your sorry butt pack and I’ll escort you to the border. This country was founded on law and order and I don’t care if there is an illegal alien in the white house there aren’t going to be any in my house. In so much as “anchor babies” are concerned, two things come to mind. First, will they anchor a boat too ? Secondly does sitting in a garage make you a car ? Does sitting in a chicken coop make you a chicken ? This country was started by legal aliens and has welcomed LEGAL aliens since. Note the key words “LEGAL ALIENS”. What part of LEGAL don’t you nitwits understand ? Again, thanbk you Senator Pearce for attempting to bring some COMMON SENSE back into the equation. Thank you Gov. Brewer for forcing this issue into the limelight. It’s courageous people like you that make me believe in my country once more.
Power To The People, Right on.
Bob, you’re a self-inflated tool bag. I’d rather have illegals here than self-righteous bigots such as yourself.
What the hell is a self inflated tool bag? Is this something you can pick up at Harbor Freight? Liam, your a whack job. The old door swings both ways pal, don’t let it hit you in the *** on the way out. Way to go Sen Pearce, keep fighting the good fight.
I crack at this idiots, but at the same time, I am enraged by their stupidity and narrow mindedness. OF course, yeah, sure bribe on and on that this is YOUR country, I believe, people have short term memories, because before the WHITE DUMBASS EUROPEANS came on their MAYFLOWERS, there were other people inhabiting this part of the land, they are called NATIVE AMERICANS, remember them?! So, really, who should be more kicked out of this country, but the white europeans, who had and HAVE no right to call this land their own. Ah, but that was the past, now let’s get back to 2010, yes, you believe that ILLEGALS STEAL our jobs, and go on welfare, but what you don’t see is all the OTHER UNDOCUMENTED people working decently in any way they can to provide for their families. As a matter of fact, undocumented people have no right to receive any sort of $$$ just because their children are born here, but I do see alot of “AMERICAN” white welfare mother’s popping more kids, just toreceive alousy check for ea. different fathered child they have. I also see lots of so called “veterans” on the street homeless, and guess what? the majority refuse to ask for help because either they are crack heads or just lazy to go to their veteran offices to claim their right as CITIZENS of the US, and the most shocking thing of all is that the majority are WHITE, BLOND HAIR, BLUE EYES, with their lame posters ” HOMELESS, NEED $$$”. It doesn’t surprise me, since the only thing these white racists only know how to do is beg and whine about how unfair everything is FOR THEM. And what about teenagers?! they are having kids too, and many are 2nd/3rd generations “AMERICANS” who were born here and no nothing of their great grandparents, grandparents homelands… hmmm. All is see is that these conservative nut cases all have a grudge against everyone else, but they never see what THEY’VE done wrong, of course, why, because they are the “PERFECT RACE” right? White is the only color that should exist, seriously?! I really believe that if there is a creator, he really fucked it up, with all you nutcases, because, you guys are the most ignorant of all the ethnicities.
VIVA LA RAZA!!!
PS: YOU GUYS CLAIM YOU ARE ALL SUPERIOR… WELL, THEN HOW COME YOUR EUROPEAN WAY OF THINKING HAS ONLY BROUGHT CHAOS, DESPAIR AND DISEASES. MY ANCESTORS KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THAT, UNTIL THE “SO CALLED” PERFECT WHITE EUROPEAN RACE CAME TO THIS CONTINENT. AND SO, IN THE SAME ANTI-HUMAN SPIRIT YOU’VE ALL COME TO EXPLOIT… I ONLY HAVE THIS TO SAY TO ALL OF YOU RACISTS: “SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTHS, AND GO BACK TO EUROPE”
Marielli, You’re’re barking up the wrong tree , People from this country are sick and tired of Illegal Aliens and they aught to be, don’t call people racist
because you’re defending the same people screeming on the streets that
how we should ignore the law breakers 14.millions of those people Marieli and you calling them racist? what is happening in the U.S is not a legal immigration is called an illegal imvation, the difference between an immigrant and the illegal
alient is the equivalent of the difference between a bulgar and a house guest
that you guys want us to provide for, I, was born in Brasil but i,am a legal resident since 1984 and this country and is the best thing that ever could it happen to my family and me. So Marieli please i beg you to respect the people of the U.S because you’re mighty wrong by calling them RACIST.
If a bank robber steals money from a bank and then gives it to his children, should the children be able to keep the money?
Marielli, your the bigot, Americans are talking about Illegals, no race mentioned. You came right out calling a particular skin color and race. So that makes you the uneducated idiot. This isn’t Americans against any race, color, or creed. This is Americans against ILLEGALS!!!!!. As an ILLEGAL they are breaking an American law, which now makes them criminals!!! There is no such thing as African-American, no such thing as Mexican-American, Nor Polish-American or German-American. It is AMERICAN, PERIOD, ONE LANGUAGE, ONE FLAG, ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!!!! If you don’t like it here you are FREE TO LEAVE. America needs to make room for Proud Americans, all others can go home.
A terminological point: Pearce doesn’t propose to eliminate “birthright citizenship.” While eliminating the right of citizenship by virtue of American birth, he would preserve birthright by blood. He seeks to transform American citizenship from a civic to a hereditary matter. Under his proposal, if a child were born in, say, rural Kyrgyzstan of an American father, even if the father was just passing through & the child lived his whole life w/o ever even having heard of America, he would remain a US citizen. But a child born in America of undocumented parents, even if he lived his whole life here, built a home & family, knew no other country or language & had no other citizenship, would be turned into a deportable alien. He & his children & grandchildren would have a hereditary legal taint. For ill-formed & hateful people this may be common sense, but it makes a mockery of American exceptionalism, which, after all, also has always confounded the “common sense” of a lot of people.
Ira Mehlman’s claim that Pearce is “not going after the children” is ridiculous on it’s face. He proposes to make children’s lives worse in order to change their parents’ behavior. It’s beside the point whether he deigns to call this “the absence of a benefit” or a “punishment.” If it didn’t harm the children, it wouldn’t have its desired effect. This man has no shame.
Pearce is “systematically going after all the incentives to come to the United States illegally” by “going after” what’s special about America, by destroying the things that make anybody, legal or not, want to come here. He would turn America into an object of pity & contempt, & then brag that no one wanted to come.
In the middle of an economic crisis, Arizona’s politics fallen in the hands of man of bad character. It’s past time to call them by their rightful name.
Marlielli, If you or your Laraza friends do not like our laws then pack up your fat butt and thake your little rug rats and go back to your sweet country. I think all Illegals should be given 90 days to leave this country or turn them over to Sheriff Joe Arpario.
Every day it becomes apparent that the only legislators with ethics, morals, and courage who also honor their oath of office and our laws are located in AZ.
If Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce were the President/VP in D.C. this country could turn around within a year.
For those bleeding hearts who refuse to recognize the damage to Americans and America incurred by the millions of illegal aliens who have, and continue to, invade(d) what was once a land of law and order, I would ask them what inside them would allow these illegal aliens to turn our country into a clone of the third world countries these illegal aliens left behind.
My relatives did not fight and die for 30+ illegal aliens who brazenly march through our tax paid streets demanding rights to which they are not entitled nor deserve.
The children of Illegal Aliens possess STOLEN CITIZENSHIP, and that citizenship needs to be revoked! What other nations grant carte blance citizenship just because of a birth on it’s soil?…Does Mexico? Japan? France?
To say that because a criminal, a person who refused to obtain a U.S. Visa, and therefore, showed contempt for our laws, feeling that THEY are exceptional, should be granted Amnesty, or their children, by virtue of birth on U.S. soil, should be granted citizenship is a premise of the ridiculous!
The individual, “H”, has no shame! For in his screed, he ties “American Exceptionalism” exclusively to ANY birth on U.S. soil! And through his hard left, “Progressive” rant debases the “exceptionalism” of U.S. citizenship to some sort of George Bush type “New World Order” fascism where all nations are equal…Only the U.S. taxpayers fund the illegal and illegitimate.
“H” should renounce his citizenship and move to some “Workers Paradise”, or perhaps some “Progressive”, or more “enlightened” nation. Would Socialist France, or Japan, Mexico, or China be more to your liking? Or are they, in your words, “objects of pity & contempt”?
SEN. PIERCE YOU ARE INDEED A MAN THAT IS NOT AFRAID TO STAND UP FOR AMERICANS. I WISH THERE WERE MORE OF YOU. THESE ILLEGAL LATINOS HAVE BEEN ON A FREE RIDE WAY TO LONG. WHY SHOULD TAXPAYERS HAVE TO FOOT THERE BILL. WE ARE 100% BEHIND YOU, BE STRONG, AMERICA NEEDS SENATORS LIKE YOU.
I THINK ALL ARIZONA SENATORS SHOULD BE FIRED FROM THEIR JOB SINCE THEY ABSOLUTELY SHOW THEIR MENTAL RETARDATION AND DISABILITY IN COMMON SENSE. MCCAIN AND PIERCE ARE NO EXCEPTION!!! HOW CAN YOU NOT ALLOW KIDS THAT WERE BORN IN THE U.S. TO BE A U.S. CITIZEN???????
WELL HEY LETS NOT ALLOW BUSH’S FAMILY TO BE IN POLITICS FROM NOW ON SINCE HIM AND HIS FATHER BROUGHT THIS COUNTRY TO ECONOMICAL COLLAPSE, HAS ANYONE THOUGHT OF THAT??? I DON’T THINK SO. AS LONG AS WE ALLOW THE FASHIST POLITICIANS TO CREATE AND AMEND DRACONIAN LAWS THIS COUNTRY WILL FALL INTO THE DARKNESS!!
OHHH YEAH TO ALL YOU MORONS THAT AGAINST IMMIGRANTS JUST TRY TO REMEMBER THAT YOUR GRANDPA OR GRANDMA WAS AN IMMIGRANT TOO:))
u are a disgrace pearce my boyfriend and his family have lived here there whole lives they went to school here and my fiancee graduated with honors and what you are proposing to do is just racial profiling god people like you make me SICK you need to get the hell out of the office you are pathitic
The children of illegal immigrants are serving in the US military and dying in our wars. The very first death in Iraq was an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. A friend of mine from Nicaragua also was killed in Iraq. My son is the son of a father who was illegal and he is fighting in Afghanistan as we speak. So that so called stolen citizenship …well my opinion is many of these children are far more deserving than you…and the 14th is not misinterpreted..it has been interpreted that way. What is screwy is that Arizona can´t figure out that Supremacy is the federal governments and the constitution specifically gives the federal government the right to decide citizenship…if this nazi wannabe wants to change the constitution he needs to get his butt elected to congress and try to rewrite the thing to his liking..but I doubt he will ever suceed.