Senate Bill 1309, commonly known as the birthright citizenship bill, gets its first hearing before the Arizona State Legislature on Monday.
"The issue is whether a child born to illegal immigrant parents in the U.S. is a citizen," said Senator Ron Gould of Lake Havasu City.
Gould says he sponsored the bill to stop the flow of illegal immigrants who come to the United States and give birth.
Under the 14th Amendment, that child automatically receives citizenship.
"These folks use birth tourism and sneak across to give birth in the U.S. to where that anchor baby allows them to start chain migration," said Gould.
Senator Gould says he hopes to make it law that in order to gain citizenship, one of the child's parents must be a citizen themselves or have permanent status as a legal U.S. resident.
"At a time Arizona should be moving into the 21st century, you have some in the legislature whose motto is bring back the worst ideas of the 1850s," said new Democratic party chairman Andrei Cherny.
Cherny says even if Senate Bill 1309 passes through the legislature, just like 1070 before it, the courts will strike it down.
Cherny calls the birthright bill a political wedge meant to divide Arizonans.
"I think what some in the legislature are trying to do is re-fight the Civil War," said Cherny. "We don't want to go back to a war 150 years ago. We need to move our state forward."
The hearing gets underway at 2 p.m. Monday afternoon in the State Senate building and is open to the public.
If the bill passes, it would go to the Senate floor as early as next week.
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