Right-wing representative Steve King (R-IA) is kicking off 2013 with the same type of gesture that helped sink the Republican Party in 2012: an unnecessary, unconstitutional slap in the face to Latinos.
On Thursday, King introduced a bill that would end the practice of birthright citizenship, which makes any child born in the United States a citizen regardless of their parents’ nationality. According to King, this principle — which is clearly protected by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, giving King’s bill no chance of becoming law — is a “magnet for illegal immigration.”
“We need a common-sense solution to fix the flawed interpretation of the Constitution’s citizenship clause, and ‘The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013’ does just that,” King said in a statement. “The current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to hundreds of thousands of ‘anchor babies’ must end because it creates a magnet for illegal immigration into our country. Now is the time to ensure that the laws in this country do not encourage law breaking.”
King’s bill has 13 co-sponsors, including controversial Texas representative Louie Gohmert. While King wants to stop “anchor babies” from theoretically making it easier for their undocumented parents to stay in the country, Gohmert believes that the infants have a much more nefarious goal; the congressman has long warned that “terror babies” pose a grave threat to American national security.
The “Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013” is far from King’s first unprovoked attack against immigrants; in the past he has compared Latino immigrants to dogs, beans, and corn, among other startling statements that helped drive Latino voters away from the Republican Party in record-breaking numbers in the 2012 election.
King also introduced two other bills to kick off the new Congress: H.J. Res 16, to repeal the 16th Amendment, and H.R. 132, to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Overall, King’s first week of the new year provides a handy preview of the 113th Congress: expect more bills that won’t help the party politically, and won’t ever become laws.
Photo credit: Associated Press