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Citizenship and the 14th Amendment

The birthright citizenship controversy and the burning question of whether children of illegal immigrants should continue to be granted citizenship just because they’re born on American soil.

Maria Ramirez, Joseline Saragoza, 9, and Marcela Saragoza. all of Phoenix, cry as they celebrate at the Arizona capitol Wednesday, July 28, 2010 in Phoenix, shortly after portions of Arizona's new immigration law were blocked by a federal judge. (AP)

Maria Ramirez, Joseline Saragoza, 9, and Marcela Saragoza. all of Phoenix, cry as they celebrate at the Arizona capitol Wednesday, July 28, 2010 in Phoenix, shortly after portions of Arizona's new immigration law were blocked by a federal judge. (AP)

It’s a constitutional right: If you are born on American soil, you are an American citizen. Now, some leading Republicans say it’s time to rethink this 14th amendment “birthright citizenship.”  

They say illegal immigrants and “birth tourists” are coming to the United States to “drop” their babies– and a nation with enough troubles is paying the price. Is it just a political salvo in a mid-term election year? Or should the Constitution be changed? 

 –Betsy Stark

Guests:

Julia Preston, national immigration correspondent for the New York Times.

Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations for Numbers USA.

Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel for the Constitutional Accountability Center.

David Winston, Republican pollster and strategist. President and founder of the Winston Group.

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