In my May 12 post: Taking Away Birthright Citizenship: First Chinese, Now Latinos?, I raised some questions about the motivations behind the movement by restrictionist legislators and organizations to revisit and possibly revoke the guarantee of automatic US citizenship to virtually every child born in the United States contained in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and upheld in the landmark Supreme Court decision in Wong Kim Ark v. US (1898).

I did so in the context of the hearings on this issue by a subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary which began on April 29, and, particularly, in the opening statement by the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va).

My May 12 comments focused primarily on the issue of whether there was any valid reason to question whether the 14th Amendment confers automatic birthright citizenship (which I will refer to as "ABC" below) on virtually every child born in the US regardless of the parents' status (also known as jus soli). My comments also questioned whether there was any reason to doubt the prevailing consensus of opinion that the leading 1898 Supree Court Case of US v. Wong Kim Ark upholds the above broad interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

My conclusion was that the language and clear purpose of both the 14th Amendment and the Wong decision was to eliminate any vestige of the racial discrimination which was declared to be part of our citizenship laws in the Supreme Court's notorious Dred Scott decision in 1857. Therefore, any movement to revisit or reinterpret the 14th Amendment and the Wong decision has to be looked at from the standpoint of asking whether the motive is to weaken existing legal protections against racial discrimination with regard to eligibility for American citizenship.

A legal scholar, Katherine Culliton Gonzalez, persuasively argues in a recent article in the Harvard Human Rights Journal that one of the major consequences of taking away ABC would be to discriminate against US- born children of Mexican and other Latin American parentage, as well as to violate their fundamental human rights under international law.

See: Born in the Americas: Birthright Citizenship and Human Rights, 25 Harvard Human Rights Journal 127

I will examine her reasons for this conclusion in some detail.

To be continued.