Bill Denying Birthright Citizenship in Arizona Will Come to a Vote Next Week

An Arizona bill that would put a stop to automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants could come to a vote next week, according to an Arizona lawmaker intent on pushing the legislation forward, even if it the measure is defeated.

Republican Sen. Ron Gould said Tuesday he called off a previously expected vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee because he believed the bill would have lost.

Gould, of Lake Havasu City, now says he plans to seek a vote Monday so voters will know which lawmakers support and oppose the measure.

The state's legislation would define a U.S. citizen as someone who has been naturalized, or someone born in this country who has at least one parent who has no allegiance to a foreign country.

Supporters of the idea say guaranteed citizenship results in taxpayers covering the costs of services provided to illegal immigrants and their children.

Opponents say the move would be declared unconstitutional.

Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of Arizona’s well-known, controversial immigration measure, SB 1070 -- which, among other things, allows police to enforce immigration laws -- is a sponsor of the citizenship legislation.

Last fall, Pearce said that the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which addresses citizenship, was not meant to apply to the children of people who live in the United States illegally.

“This is a battle of epic proportions,” Pearce, Republican, said at a press conference in Arizona. "We’ve allowed the hijacking of the 14th Amendment.”

The Associated Press contributed to this content.

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