Saturday, July 11, 2009

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz Co-Sponsoring The Birthright Citizenship Act Of 2009; Rob Bishop And Jim Matheson MIA On This Issue

Utah's Third District Congressman Jason Chaffetz has signed onto legislation that would only allow those born in the United States to legal residents to be considered American citizens. Chaffetz is one of 78 co-sponsors of H.R. 1868, entitled "The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009". It would eliminate birthright citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Current U.S. law automatically recognizes any person born on American soil as a natural born citizen. Under the bill, only children with at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented immigrant serving in the military would be considered citizens. Media stories published by the Salt Lake Tribune and KTVX Channel 4.

This action is in fulfillment of a campaign promise to back a change to allow only those born to at least one U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident to be considered a citizen. This would cut down on "anchor babies". But conspicuous by their absence from the list of co-sponsors are the two other members of Utah's U.S. House delegation, Republican Rob Bishop and Democrat Jim Matheson.

H.R. 1868 is one of four other prospective bills which, in the opinion of Numbers USA, would effectively reform immigration. Chaffetz is listed as supporting two of them; one to end chain migration, and another to end the visa lottery. Neither Bishop nor Matheson support any of the other bills.

Here's how Americans for Better Immigration grade Utah's entire Congressional delegation (these are career grades):

-- Jason Chaffetz: A+ steady
-- Rob Bishop: B steady, too sympathetic towards "guest workers"
-- Jim Matheson: C+ but improving
-- Bob Bennett: C- steady, Utah's worst lawmaker on immigration
-- Orrin Hatch: C but improving

There is one possible complication; this bill might be held in a court challenge to conflict with the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states in Section I "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". This looks like a blanket statement, and the Amendment might have to be changed to make the law work. Chaffetz said he would also support a constitutional amendment. But such an amendment would require two-thirds approval in Congress and ratification by 38 states. Chaffetz admits the measure isn't likely to go anywhere right away.

But Jason Chaffetz is at least in tune with majority public sentiment in the state. In an unscientific poll run by KTVX (on their main page), 69 percent of respondents think that children born of illegal immigrant parents inside the U.S. should be denied automatic citizenship.

Click HERE to find out how to contact your members of Congress. If they're co-sponsoring the bill, thank them. If not, encourage them to get on board.

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