Immigrant women’s advocates condemn new attack on birthright citizenship

Legislation introduced by Rep. King would target immigrant families

The National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR) condemned new federal legislation introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) that seeks to deny 14th amendment rights to citizenship and targets immigrant families. The bill (HR-140) would deny birthright citizenship to children of some immigrant parents.

“Immigrant women have called for humane reforms to our immigration policies that uplift the human rights, dignity, and contributions of immigrant women. Today’s proposal flies in the face of this,” said Miriam Yeung, executive cirector of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), Steering Committee member of NCIWR.

The 14th amendment reads, “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,” and has been consistently interpreted by courts to protect birthright citizenship, regardless of the immigration status of one’s parents.

In 2011, the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, the leading national coalition on women’s and gender issues in immigration policy and public discourse, organized the 14th Amendment Campaign to challenge the racist and sexist attacks onrights of US-born citizens. The campaign educated members, supporters, policy makers, and the media on how hateful rhetoric fuels policies that undermine the health, rights, and reproductive freedoms of immigrant women. The coalition now represents 70 leading organizations with a presence nationally and in every state.

“Rep. 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,” says Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH).

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