PHOENIX - A Mohave County state senator plans to introduce a bill he hopes will trigger a lawsuit that will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Arizona Sen. Ron Gould said two bills targeting the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution will be introduced in the Arizona House and Senate.
The first section of the 14th Amendment states: "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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal process of the laws."
The amendment was added to the Constitution in July 1868 shortly after the Civil War, according to the Library of Congress' website.
The idea was to grant citizenship to the newly freed slaves and their children, Gould said. It was not designed to give citizenship to people who came to the U.S. illegally. Children born to parents visiting the U.S. on a work visa are not automatically granted U.S. citizenship, he said, so it makes no sense that children of illegal immigrants be accorded the privilege.
The Arizona Legislative bills would define citizenship in the state of Arizona and create a birth certificate where at least one parent would have to be identified as a U.S. citizen, Gould said. He plans to introduce it in the Arizona Senate this week. Twelve other states are planning to introduce similar bills into their legislatures, he said.
Gould's hope is the bill will trigger a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union or other groups and that the matter will be brought back before the U.S. Supreme Court and the court will reinterpret the amendment to exclude children born to illegal immigrants.