Lawmakers reconsidering 'birthright citizenship' in U.S.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The law says, if you are born in the USA, that makes you an American citizen, regardless of whether your parents are. But some leading Republican lawmakers say "birthright citizenship" is a mistake. They say it is allowing too many illegal immigrants an opportunity to, not only break the law, but take advantage of it.

Senator John Cornyn is calling for chamber hearings. Representatives Jeb Hensarling and Louie Gohmert want discussions on the floor. Both originally co-sponsored legislation still pending, which would amend the 14th amendment, restricting citizenship to children with at least one naturalized parent or to children with at least one parent who is a legal permanent resident.

If enacted, the law would not affect the citizenship of anyone born before it goes into effect.

"If you want to get serious about the problem, you have to deactivate the magnets that are drawing people here," said Hensarling. "I don't want people to be incentivized for engaging in illegal immigration."

Gilbert Urbina, with the Hispanic American Association of East Texas considers it to be more of a consequence.

"I don't think the term anchor babies is really an appropriate term," said Urbina.

He was referring to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. He says most immigrants come for a better life, not to have children.

"The fact that you have U.S. citizen children does not minimize, or mitigate your removal from the United States," said Urbina.

Urbina says drastic, radical legislation is not the best solution.

"I understand people who are just trying to feed their children, but you have to separate those from the ones...trying to exploit our laws," said Urbina.

"They certainly have the right to propose legislation, but it's something that people should look at very carefully," said Joanna Reagan, with Texas Democratic Women.

She says it is a dangerous wedge issue.

"It is settled law...and they are our rights," said Reagan. "You want to be very careful in an election year that you don't get carried away trying to score political points and hurting people in the process."

The House resolution now has more than 90 co-sponsors. We would love to know what you think about putting "birthright citizenship" under the microscope. Scroll down to the comments section to share your thoughts.

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