State Senate President Russell Pearce's baby-bashin', anti-14th Amendment legislation will get a hearing Monday, February 7, in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Pearce's ally, state Senator Ron Gould.
Fortunately, the pro-immigrant advocacy group Border Action Network, has a plan for battle:
A "One-Thousand Baby Chain," made up of real and imagined infants and children, flooding the legislature with more goo-goo-in', screamin' , and diaper-changin' than an outing to Chuck E. Cheese.
For those sans rugrats, BAN even offers you a baby cutout you can bring along to show solidarity. Granted, this is a little dangerous, given the fact that the Republinuts in the legislature are now packin' pistolas, and may confuse those cutouts for the sort of paperr targets they fire at out on the shootin' range.
Grand idea, this children's crusade. Those kiddies are guaranteed to be Mensa-smart by comparison to the Republitards who're backing Senate Bills 1308 and 1309 in an effort to undermine the birthright citizenship provision of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Though reputedly written by the "brain trust" at the DC-based hate group FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform), these have to be two of the most asinine pieces of proposed legislation I've ever read.
And since I do read a lot of the dumb bills the Arizona legislature spews forth from its bile-filled belly, that's saying something.
SB 1308 is not only moronic, it's dishonest. It attempts to set up a "compact" with other states to create a two-tiered system of birth certificates, and in doing so, it lies about what the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship provision means.
Take this passage of 1308,
As used in this compact, "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" has the meaning that it bears in section 1 of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution, namely that the person is a child of at least one parent who owes no allegiance to any foreign sovereignty, or a child without citizenship or nationality in any foreign country.
Total made-up bull. The 14th Amendment says nothing about parents, about one parent being American, or any of that claptrap.
Literally, it says,
"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."
Nativists want to twist that phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," to mean what they want it to. But the 1866 Senate debate on the language makes one thing clear: Both proponents and opponents of the provision agreed that the children of foreign nationals -- save for those of diplomats -- would become citizens as a result.
You can read that debate, here.
Aside from the original intent of the language, and the plain meaning of the language, there's over 100 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, making it clear that "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" refers to kids of foreign diplomats who have immunity from U.S. laws, and not to children born to, say, Chinese nationals, as was the case in the 1898 Supreme Court case, United States vs. Wong Kim Ark.
So SB 1308 is immoral, unethical, unconstitutional and plain illegal, as the 14th Amendment also dictates that,
"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"
Which is exactly what Pearce, Gould and the rest want to do: abridge the privileges of citizens of the United States, and deny them equal protection.
Interestingly, the language of SB 1308 makes it clear that the proposed compact is, essentially, meaningless unless the U.S. Congress agrees to it:
This compact shall not take effect until the United States congress has given its consent pursuant to article I, section 10, clause 3 of the United States Constitution.
Similarly, SB 1309, is also hollow, as it attempts to create a non-existent "Arizona citizenship," and prevent so-called "anchor babies" from becoming Sand Land citizens. (The bill doesn't actually use the term "anchor babies," but it might as well.)
Still, in 1309's very last sentence, the bill's authors sheepishly admit they're doing little more than playing cops and robbers in their own backyard:
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Citizenship of the state of Arizona shall not confer upon the holder thereof any right, privilege, immunity or benefit under law.
All of this would be hilarious if it were not outright racist. The only "anchor babies" Pearce and his ilk are truly concerned about are the non-white variety, you see.
Mark my words, anyone who supports these idiotic, bigoted bills will forever be branded as a laughingstock, and perceived as one-step away from being a white-hood-wearer. Those who do not strenuously oppose them will be damned by inaction.
Because even if these bills are doomed to failure in the courts, they still symbolize the ugliness, prejudice and stupidity of Arizona in 2011.