House Judiciary Holds Hearings On Racist Republican Bill To End Birthright Citizenship

steve king

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on a bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and 22 other Republican lawmakers, to end birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to a non-American parent. King’s proposal is likely unconstitutional, as it attempts to redefine the 14th amendment. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment declares that:

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.

While the wording of the 14th Amendment appears unambiguous, Congressman Steve King insists that it doesn’t really mean what it says, arguing instead, that the 14th Amendment:

[D]id not contemplate that anyone who would sneak into the United States and have a baby would have automatic citizenship conferred on them.  I’d suggest it’s our job here in this Congress to decide who will be citizens, not someone in a foreign country that can sneak into the United States and have a baby and then go home with the birth certificate.

In King’s mind, the Constitution should be scrapped or at least redefined, because when the 14th Amendment was put into place, King presumes that the amendment’s supporters had no intention for it to apply to kids born to Mexican or Chinese parents.

Congressman King, being a racist, wants to make sure that the 14th amendment isn’t interpreted in a way that might benefit children of color. The Iowa Congressman has long been fixated on despising immigrant children. He once infamously bashed immigration reform by asserting that those who would benefit from the DREAM Act ”aren’t all valedictorians”, and he added:

They weren’t all brought in by their parents. For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who weigh a hundred and thirty pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling seventy-five pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.

Given King’s history, it is little wonder that one of the witnesses called to testify on behalf of his bill was controversial racist University of Texas Law Professor Lino Graglia. Although popular with the political right, Graglia has a history of making blatantly racist remarks, and in 1997, he once commented, “I don’t know that it’s good for whites to be with the lower classes”. Given that perspective, it is pretty obvious why Graglia doesn’t think non-white babies born on American soil should be granted citizenship.

Fortunately, King’s bill has little chance of becoming law. Nevertheless, it exposes just how extreme the Republican Party has become in its disdain for immigrant children. While King is often regarded as an extremist even within his own party, other less marginalized Republicans are also pushing to end birthright citizenship. Kentucky Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul co-sponsored a similar measure in 2011, with Louisiana GOP Senator David Vitter. Even the two Republican presidential candidates that the media likes to label moderates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, are apparently okay with banning birthright citizenship. Both of them enthusiastically endorsed Senator Vitter in his bid for Louisiana Governor, after all.

The Republican Party has become so anti-immigrant that they are now openly trying to find ways to circumvent the 14th Amendment, even though that Amendment was made possible by the first Republican U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln. The Constitution clearly states that children born on American soil, are citizens by right of birth. While it may be upsetting to Congressman King that many of these children aren’t white, that is no reason to tear up the Constitution. The American nation was built by people from a wide variety of nationalities, not just from a bunch of parochial white folks in the heartland. Diversity is one of America’s enduring strengths, and the narrow prejudices of men like Steve King, one of its perpetual weaknesses.

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70 Replies to “House Judiciary Holds Hearings On Racist Republican Bill To End Birthright Citizenship”

  1. King is a hateful bigot, and the fact that the House Judiciary Committee even held hearings on his bill doesn’t say much for that committee either, other than the fact that the members on it must be as bigoted as King himself. Like King, it’s a piece of garbage that has no place in American poltics. His unprecedented hatred for people of color is downright psychotic. I agree with the Democrat who says King should not be allowed to introduce any legislation whatsoever. He’s an embarrassment to his state and to this country.

  2. King and his fellow racists have proven yet again they have no clue how the government works.

    The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is a part of the Constitution. They can’t eliminate or redefine the parts they don’t like with a simple bill. It can only be done via another Constitutional Amendment (as was done with Prohibition) or a Constitutional Convention. Neither of which are going to happen.

  3. Only jus sanguis citizenship can be regulated by Congress, because citizenship derived solely by blood is not guaranteed by the Constitution. Jus solis — born within the jurisdiction– is guaranteed to everyone born on our soil, and subject to our laws (that is, not to parents with diplomatic immunity or part of an occupying hostile force) by the Fourteenth Amendment. Mr. King can huff, and puff, and try to blow the house down, but it’s been attempted before, and this amendment’s made out of brick.

  4. White supremacy? These clowns are not doing anything to make these old white men look supreme. I’ve seen dogs and cats smarter than this bunch. They are probably dumb enough to attempt to negotiate with God. Thank God they have an awakening coming.

  5. Did Cruz vote for this? Its passage would negate his citizenship. Ship him back to Cuba or Canada, wherever his Mother gave birth to this abomination.

  6. Teabags dont know or care about law, they just want to hate and get ahold of that Koch donor money. The baggers will vote for the one with the biggest mouth.

  7. But but but…I thought the Republicans were the only party that honors the Constitution? Aren’ t they always after us liberals about that? Aren’t they saying every day that President Obama is trashing that document? And here all along, it’s those Christian conservatives who understand the Constitution about as well as they understand that Bible in their pockets next to their GLocks.

  8. How many of us “Baby Boomers” have mother’s from Germany? Italy? England? Japan? Korea? France? What shall we do with them (me too)? Hmmm?

  9. I am this early watching one of those post army propaganda films! It warns the soldiers not to be friends with the people of post WW II Germans because of the potential of the Reich rising to power through the” ordinary citizen still harboring Hitler’s hate”
    We should have taken that warning with the Right Wing after Obama’s first election! I feel we are fighting the same war! If we had made it clear that we knew we were dealing with a hateful bunch, that we too would carry guns into battle, Mr. Stephen King would say his words in private!

  10. I would add an amendment making it mandatory that King be sent out of the country for the sake of his personal safety. Tierra del Fuego seems a likely spot.

  11. In other words nothing has changed in the last 200 plus years: Conservative Christians Believe If You Are Born In USA You Aren’t Necessarily An American Citizen, Even If They Themselves Were Not Born In The USA And Demand All The Rights, Protections And Privileges Given To Them Under The Law, As American Citizens.

  12. Who wants to immigrate to a racist, hateful, corrupt nation? At the rate the GOP leadership is going, immigration won’t be a problem. We don’t have much to be proud of these days and if “we the people” don’t get out and vote it will get worse in a hurry. If your not white, holding a bible, and carrying a sidearm then your not fit to be in America.

  13. Racist Republican Bill To End Birthright Citizenship
    “““`
    Nonsense…stop sucking up to the principal.

    Canada and the U.S. are the only developed nations in the world to still give birthright citizenship to tourists and illegal aliens.

    Andorra
    Australia
    Austria
    Belgium
    Bermuda
    Cyprus
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Faroe Islands
    Finland
    France
    Germany
    Greece
    Holy See
    Hong Kong
    Iceland
    Ireland
    Israel
    Italy
    Japan
    Liechtenstein
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    Monaco
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Norway
    Portugal
    San Marino
    Singapore
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    South Korea
    Spain
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Taiwan

    and the
    U.K. all do not.

    Have all these countries based their immigration policy on racism?

    Before special interests and the desire for a permanent voting bloc took over the party, many Democrats believed in the bedrock principles of sovereignty, rule of law, and ordered immigration.

    Too many Dems have now abandoned any morsel of common sense on immigration. Quite sad.

  14. Andorra
    Australia
    Austria
    Belgium
    Bermuda
    Cyprus
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Faroe Islands
    Finland
    France
    Germany
    Greece
    Holy See
    Hong Kong
    Iceland
    Ireland
    Israel
    Italy
    Japan
    Liechtenstein
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    Monaco
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Norway
    Portugal
    San Marino
    Singapore
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    South Korea
    Spain
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Taiwan

    and the
    United Kingdom all do n
    I don’t recall those countries ratifying the 14th amendment but I may be wrong

  15. Its time that this republican, “King” gets replaced in his next election,I hope the voters see through this “nutcase” He is a very “Sick Man”

  16. My point addresses the -once again- false allegation of “racism” being the motive for the need to clarify and possibly reform birthright citizenship.

    Your point addresses the fact that the 14th amendment needs to dictate policy.

    Which would you like to discuss?

  17. Why should we reform birthright citizenship? Do you really think that we would be discussing this if northern Europeans were sneaking across Canada?

  18. Why should we reform birthright citizenship?
    “““`
    So U.S. citizens/taxpayers aren’t forced to subsidize an endless stream of babies born to illegal immigrants.
    .
    .
    Do you really think that we would be discussing this if northern Europeans were sneaking across Canada?
    ~~~~~~
    Yes… if it were predominantly white Europeans who were taking full advantage of the birthright citizenship loophole…we would most certainly be discussing it. Illegal is illegal.
    What”s so hard to understand about that?
    .
    .
    The 14th amendment needs to dictate policy? WTF does that even mean?
    ~~~~~
    The 14th stipulates that Congress has the power to enforce its provisions by enactment of legislation, and the power to enforce a law is necessarily accompanied by the authority to interpret that law.
    Therefore, an act of Congress stating its INTERPRETAION of the 14th , as not to include the offspring of illegal aliens, would fall within Congress’s prerogative.
    Which is what King wants.

  19. Racist Representative King and TWENTY-TWO other racist Republicans who join him need to specify how far back will their White supremacy, anti-American law go, because if they remove the 14th Amendment – that was signed into law in 1868 – and his family tree turns out to not extend that far back (which must be proven in SCOTUS with irrefutable documentation) then he and his racist cohorts will lose their citizenship as well. Did they ever think about that possibility?

  20. Highly improbable since his constituents are as racist as he is. The proof is, he’s been espousing racist and xenophobic crap like this for years, yet his constituents continue to vote for him.

  21. Looks like Racist Republican King once again brings out the underbelly of American society – of which charlie appears to be a card-carrying member of – and once again shows the disrespect his xenophobic/racist ilk hold for the U.S. Constitution.

    Ju solis – born within the jurisdiction – is the core of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, NOT jus sanguis – right of [White?] blood – which, apparently, charlie and fellow Racist Republican Steven King would prefer.

    So, charlie, Democrats believe and uphold the U.S. Constitution and U.S. sovereignty while you racist and xenophobic Republicans loathe and disrespect the bedrock principles of U.S. sovereignty, U.S. rule of law, and U.S. ordered immigration according to the U.S. Constitution.

    Your fear of learning that the White race might become a minority race in the United States in 30 years has only exacerbated the xenophobia your parents instilled you with in order to secure your DEvolution. And that’s sad.

  22. Not everyone that has a different viewpoint is a bigot, raciest or Republican. Open your eyess over 80% of Americans are against illegal immediately. Name calling is the bigot & racist problem.

  23. Doesn’t King know that the entire American continet has been BROWN for at least the last 10,000 years?

    Doesn’t he know that the people in this North-American sector have been fluxing back & forth for thousands of years, back to see relatives and to bring innovations.

    Artificial borders cutting man made “reservations” exist, with Native people, some considered Mexican while others are US citizens, living in their ancestral lands for the last 2,000 (two thousand) years.

  24. Damn! That picture makes me think the Iowa Republican committee called up Central Casting and said “We need someone who looks like a crazy-ass psycho to run for the House.”

  25. King is not a racist. The law has nothing to do with race. All modern developed nations have ended automatic birth citizenship. It was intended to give US citizenship to freed slaves. There is too much abuse today. Time to change the law.

  26. Flunk constitutional law. And shut your ignorant trap before someone reports you for practicing law without a license.

  27. Do you understand that international law frowns heavily on the creation of “stateless persons”? And do you understand that rendering people “stateless” is a pretty advanced step towards genocide? But I bet you like genocide.

  28. Its part of what makes Canada and the United States great countries. But if you want to be more like Europe, then maybe you think it was a mistake for the Colonists to take on King George and fight for Independence. I disagree, but each to their own I guess.

  29. “All modern developed nations have ended automatic birth citizenship.”

    We haven’t.

    But I guess you don’t believe in American exceptionalism. Ronald Reagan would be so disappointed in you.

  30. Virtually all of the nations in the Western Hemisphere retain birthright citizenship. But let’s not pretend that either our bigoted commenter above or the most bigoted elected rep in Congress give a damn what other countries do. Both of these individuals, and their entire party of frightened, pasty white folks are pissing their pants at their coming loss of privilege as the world moves forward without them. They lash out at brown and black people, women who think for themselves, LGBT persons – anyone who might demand the rights bigots have enjoyed for centuries. Sadly, they think their tantrum can halt the passage of time.

  31. You would think for as long as she has been on here she would have been deprogrammed from idiocy. I guess the cult of republicanism is even beyond our powers

  32. Doesn’t that mean people like Charlie and King are illegal immigrants also?
    Their ancestors did not originate/ evolve in the Americas but in Europe and came here as murderers, thieves and rapists who stole the lands and resources from the native Indians, Mexicans ie the rightful owners of said lands. White doesn’t make right.

  33. RE: “Canada and the U.S. are the only developed nations in the world to still give birthright citizenship to tourists and illegal aliens.”

    Yes. So what? Of what relevance is that?

    The United States, a few troubled Balkan states, and the Soviet-style autocracy of Belarus are the only developed nations in the world that refuse to provide all of their citizens and residents with health insurance.

    Based on your clear-as-glass implication that the United States should “join the rest of the world”, I’m sure you’d agree that the USA should “get with the program” and start providing health insurance to all of its citizens and residents.

    Thanks for conceding that America can actually take a lesson from the rest of the world on how to be civilized. I look forward to seeing the United States finally put an end to its shameful stigmatization as the only First World industrialized country having millions of people who lack health insurance.

  34. Conservatives never liked the 14th amendment. The 13th freed their slaves and the 14th gave those people rights.

    They haven’t liked either since the days they were the Southern Democrats. Just because they switched parties, doesn’t mean they switched mindsets. In fact their failure to move past 1865 is WHY they switched parties…

  35. RE: “Before special interests and the desire for a permanent voting bloc took over the party…”

    Do you have any supporting evidence or documentation of this? Or is this merely your convenient and lazy assumption?

    RE: “..many Democrats believed in the bedrock principles of sovereignty, rule of law, and ordered immigration.”

    TRANSLATION: Many Democrats, and nearly all Republicans, believed in the bedrock principles of strictly limiting immigration into America to people who were white, Christian and invariably from countries in Northern or Western Europe. These highly prejudicial and racist policies drastically limited immigration from Latin American countries and slammed America’s doors in the faces of Jews desperately fleeing the Holocaust.

  36. RE: “My point addresses the -once again- false allegation of “racism” …

    There was nothing “false” about it whatsoever. It was true and everybody knew it.

    When Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s black-clad storm-troopers carried out “sweeps” looking for undocumented aliens, they focused exclusively on Hispanic neighborhoods. They swept up workers on their way to jobs, children on their way to school, mothers jogging with baby carriers. They arrested legal foreign visitors, legal residents and U.S. citizens. A brown complexion or a Hispanic last name were labeled “probable cause”.

    No “sweeps” were ever carried out in white neighborhoods in search of white-skinned undocumented immigrants.

    If the undocumented immigrants were English-speaking whites from Canada, Britain, Ireland or Australia, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

  37. RE: “My point addresses the -once again- false allegation of “racism” being the motive for the need to clarify and possibly reform birthright citizenship.”

    “Clarify”? LMAO!

    Here’s what the 14th Amendment says:

    Amendment XIV

    Section 1.

    -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.

    There’s nothing to “clarify”. The meaning of the Amendment is crystal-clear.

    Any child born on U.S. soil is automatically an American citizen. Period.

    Doesn’t matter where the child’s parents came from.

    Doesn’t matter how they got here.

    Doesn’t even matter if the child’s parents are here in the United States legally or not.

    A child born on American soil, is American.

    Simple as that.

    This were “clarified” when the Amendment was first drafted, and in Supreme Court cases since then.

    It really doesn’t get any simpler or clearer

  38. RE: “King is not a racist.”

    He absolutely is a racist. He spews insane hateful racist rhetoric claiming that Hispanic immigrants are “drug mules” with “calves the size of cantaloupes”.

    RE: “The law has nothing to do with race.”

    It has everything to do with race. If the immigrants were white-skinned Swedes, Irish, Australians or Canadians, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

    RE: “All modern developed nations have ended automatic birth citizenship.”

    Irrelevant. All modern developed nations except America have provided their citizens with government-funded health insurance, too. You’ll be okay with America “getting right with the rest of the world” and doing the same, right?

    RE: “It was intended to give US citizenship to freed slaves.”

    Do you have a direct line to the Hereafter to ask the now-dead drafters of the amendment what their intent was?

    Show us where the words “blacks”, “Africans”, “slaves”, “freed slaves” or “former slaves” appear in the 14th …

  39. RE: “King is not a racist.”

    Of course he is a racist. He has made vile, ugly remarks about Hispanics supposedly being “drug mules”.

    RE: “The law has nothing to do with race.”

    It has everything to do with race. King is proposing this insane law solely because the Republicans are alarmed about increasing numbers of Hispanics registering to vote.

    RE: “All modern developed nations have ended automatic birth citizenship.”

    Irrelevant. There are numerous countries retaining automatic birthright citizenship.

  40. RE: “It was intended to give US citizenship to freed slaves.”

    And you “know” this – how, exactly? A seance with the deceased writers of the 14th Amendment?

    Here is the text of the amendment:

    Here’s what the 14th Amendment says:

    Amendment XIV

    Section 1.

    -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.

    Now – show me where the words “blacks” or “slaves” appear anywhere in there.

  41. Simple as that.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So how long have you been practicing constitutional law?

    “….and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” has never been litigated or defined by statute and should be reviewed by SCOTUS.

    However, the record makes it clear that there are different kinds of jurisdiction and while being subject to the law of the land is one kind of jurisdiction, the jurisdiction referred to in the 14th is full or complete jurisdiction, meaning there were no other loyalties. So essentially, anyone who would qualify for dual citizenship automatically does not qualify for American citizenship.

    ( Tourist birth citizenship is an absurdity that needs to be dealt with and everyone – well, almost everyone- knows it.)

    cont.

  42. When Congress decided to require potential citizens to first be subject to the complete jurisdiction of the U.S they by default excluded all citizens of other nations temporarily residing in the U.S. who had no intention of becoming citizens themselves. This was no oversight…. as it would have been much too simple to just declare the common law rule of jus soli if indeed that was truly the ONLY desired goal.

    Not quite so simple.

  43. When Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s black-clad storm-troopers carried out “sweeps” looking for undocumented aliens, they focused exclusively on Hispanic neighborhoods.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    What kind of proof is that?
    You’re trying to say that all legislators/voters who believe that a child born to an illegal immigrant mother in the U.S. should not automatically become a U.S. citizen – who, by the way are now in the majority- are all guilty of racism by association?

    Please… spare me.

    But since you are able to divine the motives behind every policy choice of everyone else …for what reasons did other countries decide to not give birthright citizenship?
    Racism, racism and more racism? Or could these actually be well-reasoned decisions that this makes good policy and better policy outcomes?

  44. Most of those countries have a culture and a native population excuse me if I mistook you for an native American because your ancestors came from some where. I don’t recall white people being native to this land

  45. But I bet you like genocide.
    “““““““

    Really? Is that where you want to take the

    discussion?

    SMH.

  46. America doesn’t have a culture?

    Well, then if the U.S. is the only country that doesn’t have a distinct culture, wouldn’t that make our culture even more distinct because no other country is like it?

  47. RE: “Before special interests and the desire for a permanent voting bloc took over the party…”

    Do you have any supporting evidence or documentation of this? Or is this merely your convenient and lazy assumption?
    “““““““““`
    Convenient and lazy assumptions were the genesis of this article…were they not?

  48. Guess who sponsored his own bill against birthright citizenship?

    “To curb criminal activity by aliens, to defend against acts of international terrorism, to protect American workers from unfair labor competition, and to relieve pressure on public services by strengthening border security and stabilizing immigration into the United States.”

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/103/s1351

    Gee…I wonder what spurred Harry’s dramatic “evolutuion”?

  49. They immigrate for jobs people like Charlie won’t do. Ever pick a bushel of tomatoes in 95 degree heat? Alabama found out what happens when immigrant labor is restricted, their crops rotted in the fields. We treat these people like scum and benefit tremendously from their work. How about showing appreciation for their work instead of labeling them all as “takers”. I would love to work with Charlie for one day on a farm (he wouldn’t last 8 hours).

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