Rep. Steve King
Rep. Steve King

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Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a member of the House Immigration Subcommittee, has introduced legislation that would eliminate the granting of automatic citizenship to babies born in the United States. In the past, the bill has been offered by former Congressman, and now current Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal.

The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, H.R.140, would require that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident for the newborn to receive automatic citizenship.

“The current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to hundreds of thousands of ‘Anchor Babies’ every year arises from the misapplication of the Constitution’s citizenship clause and creates an incentive for illegal aliens to cross our border," Rep. King said. "The ‘Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011’ ends this practice by making it clear that a child born in the United States to illegal alien parents does not meet the standard for birthright citizenship already established by the Constitution. Passage of this bill will ensure that immigration law breakers are not rewarded, will close the door to future waves of extended family chain migration, and will help to bring an end to the global ‘birth tourism’ industry.”

Several other Congressmen issued statements in reaction to Rep. King's bill, including Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) who took over sponsorship of the bill after Deal's retirement last Congress.

“It is unfair to grant birthright citizenship to children of illegal immigrants because it undermines the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, rewards those that have recklessly broken our nation’s immigration laws, and costs American taxpayers billions annually," Rep. Miller said. "By simply closing this loophole, we will save taxpayers billions and reduce the appeal of entering the United States illegally. This bill simply makes sense.”

“Throughout my time in Congress, combating illegal immigration has always been a high priority of mine," Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who is also expected to offer a bill that would eliminate chain migration, said. "Addressing the birthright citizenship issue needs to be at the forefront of this effort, and I am pleased to advance this initiative with my colleagues. I will continue working on this - and several other measures - to stem the overwhelming tide of illegal immigration in this country.”

“Representative King is absolutely right with the introduction of this birthright citizenship legislation, and I am very proud to join him as an original co-sponsor on this bill," Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) said. "This Congress must take bold steps to solve our illegal immigration crisis. An important part of immigration reform must be removing the incentives that are in place encouraging illegal immigration. Representative King’s bill is a good step in that direction.”

Birthright Citizenship

Updated: Fri, Jan 7th 2011 @ 12:12am EST