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Urge your Member of Congress to Defend Birthright Citizenship

Background

 

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” U.S. Constitution, amendment XIV, § 1.

 

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and David Vitter (R-LA) have introduced a ‘Senate Joint Resolution 2’ to amend the United States Constitution’s guarantee of citizenship to all children born in the United States.  The legislation  would specifically deny citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants who are born in America and limit automatic citizenship to American-born babies of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and active-duty members of the Armed Forces.

 

Ratified in 1868, in the wake of the Civil War, the Constitution’s 14th Amendment  was designed to ensure that all children born in the United States became citizens. It aimed to prohibit states ever again seeking to create an underclass of Americans. Since its adoption, the federal courts have repeatedly affirmed support for the Constitution’s citizenship clause. Specifically, in 1898 the United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Wong Kim Ark that the Clause guarantees citizenship to people born in America even if their parents were ineligible for citizenship; it is their civil right.

 

Jewish Values

 

We are instructed in the Holiness Code (Leviticus 19:33) to take to heart the lessons of our own history by treating aliens in our midst with justice and compassion. “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

 

The Union for Reform Judaism has long supported the Constitution’s guarantee of citizenship for all those born in the U.S. and in 1997, resolved to oppose any legislation to further restrict eligibility for citizenship such as that proposed by Sens. Paul and Vitter.

 

Take Action

 

In emails, faxes and phone calls, please contact your Members of Congress and urge them to speak out against any attempt to undermine the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121. You can also send an e-mail by entering your Zip Code.

 

For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Amelia Viney at 202.387.2800.

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