President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A year later LBJ signed the Immigration and Nationality Act. At that time the issue of Cuban immigration riled Republicans. Cubans sought refuge and got it. Mexicans are not mentioned. Mexico has never been a communist country.
None the less, Senator Graham argues that the 14th Amendment no longer serves the purpose it was designed to address and that Congress should reexamine granting citizenship to any child born in the United States. “I'm looking at the laws that exist and see if it makes sense today,” Graham has said. “Birthright citizenship doesn't make so much sense when you understand the world as it is.”
Senate Minority Whip Kyl also supports hearings on repealing the 14th Amendment. "The Fourteenth Amendment [has been] interpreted to provide that if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen no matter what," Kyl has said. What the 14th Amendment says is “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.” How else would one interpret?
Senator McConnell says Congress should reconsider the 14th Amendment citizenship guarantee and joined the immigration bandwagon. “Regardless of how you feel about the various aspects of immigration reform,” McConnell said, “I don't think anybody thinks that's something they're comfortable with."
Evidently these Senators have forgotten their high school civics. Before an amendment can take effect, it must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by two-thirds of the states. Then the amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of conventions. For the record, no convention for proposing amendments has been called by the states and the convention method of ratification been employed only once.
Even as a long shot, which would require super majorities for the GOP in both houses of congress and a Republican administration, there is so much more to gain by repealing the 14th Amendment. It would set the stage for reversal of a treasure trove of Supreme Court decisions. Ones that the GOP has long targeted include: Plyler v. Doe , protecting all children born in the US, Brown v. Board of Education , ending “separate but equal” , and the prize of prizes, Roe v. Wade, extending the right of privacy to abortion.
In Plyler, a “citizenship” case, the Court’s ruling says the Texas statute it found unconstitutional imposed “a lifetime hardship on a discrete class of children not accountable for their disabling status. These children can neither affect their parents' conduct nor their own undocumented status.” Furthermore, “Use of the phrase ‘within its jurisdiction’ confirms the understanding that the Fourteenth Amendment's protection extends to anyone, citizen or stranger, who is subject to the laws of a State, and reaches into every corner of a State's territory.”