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[OR] GOP platform at odds with 14th Amendment
|Last Edited||RP Aug 01, 2006 05:57pm|
|Media||Newspaper - Oregonian, The (Portland)|
|News Date||Tuesday, August 1, 2006 11:55:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||An Oregon Republican Party platform stripping certain U.S.-born children of their citizenship had constitutional scholars scratching their heads Monday -- and its author admitting that his resolution is more symbolic than realistic. |
But the resolution adopted without debate at the party's biennial convention last weekend also points to mounting opposition to illegal immigration and frustration over the federal deadlock over immigration reform.
The platform would deny citizenship to babies born on U.S. soil to illegal and legal immigrants who are not citizens. That would directly contradict the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States."
Jim Lehman, chairman of the Wasco County Republican Party, said he drafted the resolution to encourage Congress to enforce the 14th Amendment as it was intended to apply to newly freed slaves. The framers, he argued, did not intend for it to be used by illegal immigrants who want to stay in the country.
Constitutional scholars interviewed Monday said there is no question that the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil. If the Republican party's central committee doesn't like it, said Charles Hinkle, a Portland attorney and constitutional expert who also represents The Oregonian, they need to get two-thirds of Congress and three-quarters of state legislatures to sign on.
"It's one of the stupidest resolutions ever passed," Hinkle said.
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