VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 1 | JANUARY 5 – 11, 2011

BY LINDA BENTLEY |JANUARY 5, 2011

Sen. Russell Pearce to introduce 14th Amendment bill

‘It’s against the law … It’s an unconstitutional declaration of citizenship’

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sen. russell pearcePHOENIX – Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, president-elect of the Senate, isn’t through shutting down the “rides in the amusement park,” otherwise known as the rewards provided to illegal aliens for breaking the law.

He is boldly and unapologetically proposing legislation this upcoming session that will clarify the 14th Amendment by denying the reward of citizenship to children born to illegal aliens.
It appears 13 other states may join him. Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah have all indicated they wish to introduce similar legislation.

Pearce says the 14th Amendment was written in response to the Dred Scott decision of 1857.

Scott, an African American slave, who, along with his wife Harriet, was taken to live in a state by his owner where slavery was illegal. He sued for his freedom in 1846, claiming residence in a free state made him free.

Eleven years later, Scott’s case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 7-2 against Scott, finding neither Scott, nor any person of African ancestry, could claim citizenship in the United States.

Chief Justice Roger Taney read the majority opinion, which declared Scott a piece of property rather than a person.

Pearce says the 14th Amendment has since been hijacked and was never intended to be used as it’s being used, pointing out, “We have a path to citizenship and it’s not breaking into the country.”

He also notes when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 it did not recognize American Indians as citizens because they were members of a tribe living on a reservation, a sovereign nation, and Congress was concerned about the jurisdiction language of the 14th Amendment.

While Congress passed the 14th Amendment to give civil rights constitutional protection, which Pearce stated was the right thing to do, he said, “Sen. Howard, who authored the Amendment, made it very clear on the debate of the floor the amendment did not apply to aliens or foreigners.”

Pearce said, as there were no illegal aliens at the time, the intent was to right the wrongs against African slaves and their descendents, for whom we had jurisdiction, adding, “The American Indian was born here in America. There was no doubt where they were born. [It] has nothing to do with your GPS location.”

According to Pearce, nothing changed until the Wong Kim Ark decision of 1898, in which the court basically legislated from the bench, despite two precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court cases over 30 years earlier.

“It’s against the law,” said Pearce. “We have a path to citizenship, a legal path. It's against the law to enter the United States illegally. It's against the law to remain in the United States in violation of federal law,” adding, “It’s an unconstitutional declaration of citizenship.”

Yet, he says our policies induce people to break the law with incentives that reward them for doing so, which Pearce asserts was never the intent.

It is a matter of morality, said Pearce, when there are people who come here the right way; who wait in line. “You can't break into the country and then expect to be rewarded. It's immoral. It's illegal. It was never the intent. All I'm trying to do is return the original intent of the 14th Amendment,” calling it the appropriate thing to do.

Pearce stated, “We're not changing the 14th Amendment. We're going to go back to its original intent. It … doesn't take a constitutional amendment. It says right at the end of the 14th Amendment, Congress will regulate this amendment through legislation. All it takes is clarification.

“Again, if you're born to a legal resident, a legal citizen, then you have the right to that citizenship status that they have. It is just like if you are in the military and you are born overseas, you're still an American citizen. They're a citizen of the country where they came from, if they came here illegally.”

For example, Pearce said, “If you're visiting the United States, you're from France … you're visiting the United States and you're pregnant. All of a sudden you have an early birth. Now all of a sudden you're a citizen of the United States? You're from France. You're on a visa, you are just visiting.”

He said, “They are citizens of the country of the legal residency and the citizenship of their parents.”

Knowing this will bring a court challenge, Pearce holds firm that polls show the majority of Americans support correcting this misapplication of birthright citizenship and says, “It was never the intent, it is a misapplication and it’s unconstitutional … We need to return to the original intent of the 14th Amendment.”



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