The Senate Judiciary Committee in Arizona has tentatively scheduled a vote to decide whether to advance a measure that would eliminate birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.
According to media reports, State Senator Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu City) — a sponsor of the bill and chairman of the committee — called off a previously scheduled vote because he thought the legislation would have been defeated. Gould said that he plans to seek a vote on Feb. 14.
Senate Bill 1070, if approved by Arizona's legislature, would define a United States citizen as an individual who has been naturalized or who has at least one parent who has no allegiance to a foreign country. Supporters of the measure, which was crafted by State Senator Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), believe that this law would prevent taxpayers from having to cover the costs of services to illegal immigrants and their children.
Opponents of the bill claim that the law would violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized" in the country. However, advocates for the legislation argue that the 14th Amendment was never intended to apply to children born of illegal immigrants.
In an interview with CNN, Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) cited statements from former U.S. Representative John Bingham (R-Ohio), who is considered one of the fathers of the 14th Amendment. During an 1866 Congressional debate, Bingham said that birthright citizenship should not apply to children whose parents owe their allegiance to a foreign nation, according to Metcalfe.