A new debate is opening up in the battle over immigration here in the United States. A group of Republicans senators is calling for a closer look at how the U.S. determines citizenship. The 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, gives children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. a right to citizenship. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is now proposing to change the Constitution so those children won't automatically become citizens. Senator Graham says, "There's thousands of people coming across the border to have their children in American hospitals illegally. It makes no sense to me to award citizenship when someone breaks the law to get here." Others who support examining the 14th Amendment say the citizenship clause in the amendment was adopted so southern states, following the Civil War, couldn't deny citizenship to freed slaves. The Senate's top republican, Mitch McConnell, says he supports congressional hearings on the issue.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), quoting a columnist, says Republicans are "either taking leave of their senses or their principles."
Republicans would have a tough time changing the amendment. To do it, they would need two-thirds of Congress to vote for it and three-quarters of U . S . states to ratify the change.
This topic is creating a hot debate. Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is weighing in, along wth analysts on Fox News. What do you think? Should the 14th Amendment be re-examined and possibly changed? Leave your comments below and vote in today's online poll.