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Ariz. lawmaker takes aim at automatic citizenship

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By The Staff

PHOENIX (AP) — Emboldened by passage of the nation's toughest law against illegal immigration, the Arizona politician who sponsored the measure now wants to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in this country to undocumented parents.

Legal scholars laugh out loud at Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce's proposal and warn that it would be blatantly unconstitutional, since the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.

But Pearce brushes aside such concerns. And given the charged political atmosphere in Arizona, and public anger over what many regard as a failure by the federal government to secure the border, some politicians think the idea has a chance of passage.

"I think the time is right," said state Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican from suburban Phoenix who is chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. "Federal inaction is unacceptable, so the states have to start the process."


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