August 17th, 2010
01:48 PM ET

Opinion: 14th Amendment is key to the American experiment

Cristina Rodriguez
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/08/17/rodriguez.14th.amendment/tzleft.rodriguez.cristina.courtesy.jpg caption="Cristina Rodriguez says that's been crucial for cohesive, casteless U.S. society" width=300 height=169]

The latest constitutional amendment being floated by some Senate Republicans - to deny citizenship to children born in the United States to unauthorized immigrants - is not new.

Calls for modification of the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship guarantee have appeared during other moments of immigration-related hand-wringing. The question is whether the idea is a good one.

And the reform is not unthinkable from a democratic point of view. In fact, the United States and Canada stand apart from other major immigrant-receiving societies in the breadth of birthright rules. The United Kingdom amended its laws in 1981 to provide that only children born to citizens, or permanent residents born in the U.K., are citizens at birth.

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Filed under: Immigration • Opinion
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Kathy Priel

    If they change the 14th amendment who is to say they wont change the first , second ,etc.I may be Canadian but isn't this a huge part of the United States and what it stands for?I believe it is just plain foolish to even contemplate changing the 14th amendment.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm |