Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King seeks to overturn the 14th amendment, which guarantees birthright citizenship. (Photo/Getty Images )

Immigrant women’s groups condemn bill to deny birth citizenship

Iowa Republican congressman Steve King – who a few months ago compared immigrants to dogs – has once again re-introduced a bill to overturn the 14th amendment and deny birthright citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants.

“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,” said the Iowa congressman.    “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.”

Jessica González-Rojas,  of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, said in a statement that “Representative King has a long and shameful record of spouting hateful rhetoric that demonizes immigrant mothers and attacks immigrant families.  This newest attack is the same old story,” González-Rojas said.  The National Latina Institute, along with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, from the Steering Committee of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR), which represents over 40 organizations to highlight gender issues in the ongoing national discourse on immigration issues.

“The 14th amendment is one of the great civil rights achievements in American history,” states the NCIWR on its website.  “Our groups stand united in its original purpose to prevent discrimination of all forms.”

Political scientist and NBC Latino contributor Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto says it is extremely difficult to change the constitution.  “This bill is purely symbolic; it’s pure grandstanding and political symbolism at its best,” DeFrancesco Soto says.

After the November elections, Latino and non-Latino Republicans stressed the need for the Republican party to soften its stance on immigration.    But, says DeFrancesco Soto, “many in the Republican party are still pretty entrenched in anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

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