For his first major action in the new 113th Congress, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced a bill on Friday that would restrict birthright citizenship in the United States.
The U.S. has long maintained that anyone born within the country is a citizen, regardless of the status of their parents. However, King believes that birthright citizenship for all children, a principle that was enshrined in the 14th Amendment, should be a thing of the past.
“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 remarked 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.”
Some conservatives have claimed that pregnant foreign women come to the United States to give birth so that their child will be a U.S. citizen. These children, derisively called “anchor babies,” supposedly make it easier for their parents or other relatives to enter the country by acting as a sponsor.
Under the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013, only children with at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented immigrant serving in the military would be considered citizens.
King has previously introduced legislation to end birthright citizenship, but the bill was never seriously considered.
On Friday, King also introduced a bill to repeal the 16th Amendment and another bill to repeal Obamacare.