History And Present: Wong Kim Ark

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I was reading this article down at New American Media and wanted to make sure and post this just because:

In the 1940s the group Native Sons of the Golden West launched a concerted effort to deny all Japanese U.S. citizenship. They also sought to deny citizenship to their U.S.-born children. Their efforts failed but now some Republicans are resurrecting the idea some 60 years later. In July, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said he plans to propose an amendment to repeal birthright citizenship and he’s being joined by some leading Republicans. Their plan would require changing the 14th Amendment which grants citizenship to U.S.-born children.
We're going back to the 40's?

Proponents believe there’s an immigration problem in the U.S. that needs to be addressed. And the 14th Amendment, they say, has been misrepresented from its original purpose of granting citizenship to freed slaves.

But Asian Americans believe the proposal is unrealistic and counterproductive.

“It’s not a serious proposal,” said Bill Ong Hing, law professor at the University of San Francisco. “But to say to change the constitution is basically impossible. So they have a better chance of passing some other law than they do of amending the constitution.” [...]

For many Japanese Americans, the current debate about birthright citizenship sounds all too familiar. In the early 1940s the JACL, NAACP and the ACLU formed an unprecedented coalition to fight against the efforts of the Native Sons to deny citizenship to the Nisei and their children.

In Regan v. King, the Native Sons were attempting to repeal the 1898 Supreme Court ruling in favor of Wong Kim Ark — a Chinese American who won the right to hold property and vote — a ruling that helped to establish the principle of birthright citizenship.
Wiki love.