Friday, May 24, 2024

Protesters in Neighboring California Stand with Arizona

As the Arizona state legislature pushed a measure to deny the children of undocumented immigrants automatic citizenship guaranteed to them under the 14th Amendment, activists in neighboring California took to the streets in a show of solidarity.

The protest took place over the weekend in the predominantly Latino suburb of Pacoima, with more than 1,500 people peacefully marching and chanting “Si Se Puede,” the legendary United Farm Workers slogan made popular during then candidate Barak Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

As previously reported in La Plaza, state Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills officially filed a House bill targeting the children of undocumented immigrants in Arizona.

“Dispensing citizenship like a door prize is poor policy and greatly increases the costs of education, medicating and giving other benefits to the children of illegal aliens born here,” Kavanagh said.

On Friday, La Plaza also reported that Republican Senators David Vitter of Louisiana and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have introduced a measure at the federal level to change the 14th Amendment of the constitution calling for an end to automatic citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants.

The proposal, which was used by many Tea Party candidates during the last election, was immediately denounced by Latino and civil rights groups.

The 14th Amendment extended birthright citizenship rights to former slaves after the Civil War.

Opponents of the bill in Arizona are concerned that if the proposed measure passes, more states are soon to follow with their own copycat versions, further escalating the unconstructive force pushing back on the national immigration debate.

The bill faces an uphill battle and is expected to be struck down by the courts.

“I don’t see how a state can curtail something guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It’s very unlikely that that any effort to curtail birthright citizenship can prevail in the courts,” Kevin Johnson, a law professor at the University of California at Davis who specializes in immigration law, said.