LAS VEGAS - The debate regarding immigration reform is heating up again. This time, the fight is over birthright citizenship of babies born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents. The battle is being waged on two fronts.
The first front is in Congress. Lawmakers proposed a resolution challenging the 14th Amendment. They claim it was never intended to grant citizenship to children of people in our country illegally.
Lawmakers in Arizona have also introduced legislation that challenges the birthrights of children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants. The measure sparked protests in the Grand Canyon State this week.
"It's a legitimate constitutional issue," said Citizen Outreach founder and conservative activist Chuck Muth. "There are two sides to the issue. It could come down either way in a court of law. So, I think it's something that's worthwhile to pursue."
"I'm right solid in the middle. I think both sides make valid claims, but it is a serious problem," Muth said.
Las Vegas immigration attorney Vicenta Montoya says the efforts are unrealistic. "This affects you and I, not just somebody who is undocumented," she said. "These people have the mistaken belief that this is going to stop illegal immigration."
Changing the Constitution is extremely difficult. It would require much more than simple votes on resolutions or bills. The goal of many of those behind the efforts is to introduce legislation they know would be challenged and could eventually reach the United States Supreme Court.
"Those representatives are wrong, and they are wasting their time in Congress to put forward these resolutions. We have so many matters that are of importance, and they do this," Montoya said.
"It's a very, very tough issue with a lot of ramifications," Muth said. "If Congress wants to address the issue, and they want to move forward with it, I think it's a legitimate issue. It's going to be very divisive, heated."
The birthright bills in both Congress and Arizona are still in their early stages.