Should a child born on U.S. soil be a citizen even if her parents are not U.S. citizens? The issue is a hot button in a variety of states, including Arizona. However, the Grand Canyon State may be standing down from its red alert on undocumented workers. Sen. Ron Gould (R-AZ) called off a vote on a controversial measure to deny birthright citizenship to the children of undocumented workers yesterday.
Sen. Gould has not changed his convictions. He strongly believes the 14th Amendment is wrong. However, after counting votes, it was clear he would not be able to get the measure out of committee.
Gould says he may bring the vote up again later, according to ABC News. Rather than repealing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, a difficult prospect, the strategy is to force the courts to reinterpret the Amendment. Where the parents of a newborn have an allegiance to another country, conservatives argue, the child has no allegiance to the U.S. He should be denied citizenship. A second proposed law would provide a certificate of birth but not grant citizenship.
Past efforts to deny citizenship to those born on U.S. soil have failed. Sen. Gould understands his proposed law will force the state into litigation at a time when it is denying health care to its poor. Many lawmakers believe efforts should be made to create jobs and build the economy rather than divide alliances and force lawsuits.
“These bills do nothing to move Arizona forward,” noted Senate Minority Leader David Schapira. “The legislature should be focusing on issues that are important to Arizona citizens, such as getting our economy back on track,” ABC News reports Schapira as saying.