On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, we should remember the cornerstone of civil rights in the U.S. – the 14th Amendment.
The 14th Amendment was written and enacted to give full rights to former slaves. It is the affirmation that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are, in fact, U.S. citizens. It is integral to the civil rights of African Americans and women, and is a crucial facet of American identity. Currently, we are in a political climate where the 14th Amendment is under attack.
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) are behind this attack. Earlier this month, State Legislators for Legal Immigration and Kris Kobach of Immigration Reform Law Institute met at the Press Club in Washington D.C. to announce plans to introduce state legislation to dismantle the 14th Amendment.
In an announcement published on SLLI’s website late last year entitled State Legislators Form Nationwide Task Force to Halt Anchor Baby-Exploited Illegal Alien Invasion, it states:
“The mission of this task force is to deliver a legislative solution that all 50 states can use to shut off a primary economic faucet that encourages pregnant illegal alien women to sneak across the border to have their babies, and in the process, reclaim hundreds of millions of hard-earned American tax dollars that are being fraudulently handed over to countless foreign invaders.”
State Legislators for Legal Immigration and Immigration Reform Law Institute are tied to the Federation for American Immigration Reform and are both part of the Tanton Network. The Tanton Network is criticized nationally by civil rights organizations and reporters for its ties to white nationalism and its efforts to dehumanize immigrants.
It is time to hold anti-immigrant groups accountable for attacking our civil rights.
We can’t allow the anti-immigrant movement to reverse gains that leaders like Martin Luther King fought hard to preserve and advance.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Dr. King said in his letter from Birmingham Jail on April 16, 1963.
In memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and those who fought beside him to ensure racial justice and civil rights for all, we should stand with those who are challenging the anti-immigrant attack on our civil rights.
The 14th Amendment must be upheld.