The US Anti-Birthright Citizenship Brigade | Mother Jones

Background on some of the lawyers arguing that the 14th Amendment does not provide for birthright citizenship:

Eastman and Graglia, however, may not be the best proponents of their theory. Both have a history of controversial comments and opinions that make them easy prey for Democrats. Eastman, a professor at Chapman University School of Law in California, is the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that fought bitterly against same-sex marriage, and he once equated homosexuality with “barbarism.” Graglia, of the University of Texas at Austin’s law school, is a longtime opponent of affirmative action and busing programs. His comment in 1997 that black and Hispanic students “are not academically competitive with whites” earned him the moniker “the most controversial law professor in America.”

At April’s hearing, instead of inquiring about Graglia’s views on the Citizenship Clause, Democrats on the committee instead grilled him on these past statements and entered old articles about them into the record. For a Republican Party that hopes to appeal to Hispanic voters in particular, Graglia may not be the best ambassador on the citizenship debate, which many already find offensive. In recent years, the first people to introduce the idea that birthright citizenship is more limited than is commonly understood were two professors, Peter Schuck of Yale Law School and Rogers Smith of the University of Pennsylvania, who argued in a 1985 book that Congress could exclude the children of undocumented immigrants from automatic citizenship.

While they hold to that belief today, they don’t seem particularly pleased with the Pandora’s Box they opened. “This is just NOT an issue that should be occupying the country’s attention at this moment, if ever,” Smith said in an email. “We have far, far more important problems to deal with that we are not addressing, including mounting economic inequalities, persisting racial inequalities, environmental degradation, crumbling infrastructure, a crippled labor movement. That’s why I rarely talk about the issue these days. I believe very strongly that our focus should be elsewhere.”

Source: The Anti-Birthright Citizenship Brigade | Mother Jones

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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