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Two “levels” of birth certificates?

The New York Times reported on January 5, 2011, of a growing movement that seeks that states will issue two different types of birth certificates.

If this movement gains sufficient steam to obtain amendments to state laws, then the states will grant a “Class A” birth certificate to children who have parents with legal residency papers or who are citizens.

A “Class B” certificate will be issued to children whose parents are both undocumented.

This would seem to be at odds to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which grants citizenship to anyone born on American soil.

Gabriel J. Chin, a law professor at the University of Arizona is quoted in the NY Times as saying “This is political theater, not a serious effort to create a legal test….it strikes me as unwise, un-American and unconstitutional.

The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, was a repudiation of the Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling in the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision. The Dred Scott ruling held that people of african decent could never be citizens.

The US Supreme Court affirmed the 14th Amendment in 1898 in the case of US v. Wong Kim Ark, interpreting the citizenship provision to apply to a child born to Chinese immigrants.

Tea Party member (Arizona representative Duncan Hunter) said in the NY Times quote: “And we’re not being mean…we’re just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s what’s in our souls.”

See NY Times, Wednesday, January 5, 2011, page A1, by Marc Lacey. “On Immigration, Birthright Fight in U.S. is Looming.”

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