Some States See Efforts Targeting Children, Documented Immigrants

September 9, 2010
Beyond calling for a repeal of the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship clause, proponents of harsh crackdowns on undocumented workers and families are now targeting public school children, writes Catherine A. Traywick for The Media Consortium.

Traywick notes, "California, New York, Iowa and Colorado are among the states that have cracked down on immigrant students by hiring ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents to investigate residency statuses or unlawfully barring students from enrolling. Such blatant discrimination files in the face of the 14th Amendment and Supreme Court precedent, both of which guarantee all children the right to a public education regardless of immigration status."

Traywick's piece goes on to note that there are efforts in New Jersey to strip immigrants of social services. According to a lawsuit lodged by several documented immigrants, the state's human services department is violating the equal protection clause of the Constitution "by denying health care subsidies to legal permanent residents."

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."

But as noted earlier this summer by University of Baltimore School of Law Professor Garrett Epps a movement has formed that is "urging Congress and the courts to simply ignore the Citizenship Clause and pass laws purporting to strip citizenship from American children because of their parents' immigration status."