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Date set for unveiling of birthright citizenship bill

Rep. John Kavanagh (File Photo)

Rep. John Kavanagh (File Photo)

The 2011 legislative session will begin a few days early for two Arizona lawmakers who will be in Washington D.C. for the unveiling of legislation intended to end birthright citizenship.

Immigration hawks Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of SB1070, and Rep. John Kavanagh will attend a Jan. 5 press conference at the National Press Club to introduce model legislation that aims to force the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the longstanding interpretation of the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. Lawmakers from 14 states who plan to introduce the bill will attend as well.

Despite worries from the business community, lawmakers and others that the controversial proposal will turn the Legislature’s attention from more important issues, such as the budget and the economy, Kavanagh said he doesn’t expect the birthright-citizenship bill to be a distraction.

“The budget and jobs will be the No. 1 priority, but we’ll still be able to deal with a lot of other important issues like illegal immigration,” the Fountain Hills Republican said.

Legislators in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah plan to introduce birthright citizenship bills in 2011.

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