A new poll released last week by the Pew Research Center shows that public attitudes about immigration haven’t shifted much over the last year. Then, as now, a majority of Americans are opposed to legislation that would change the Constitution and repeal automatic birthright citizenship rights for people born in the country.
The poll was conducted from February 2 through 7 and 57 percent of people said they preferred to leave the Constitution alone — 39 percent of people favored a change. Last August, 56 percent wanted the Constitution to remain unchanged and 41 percent supported birthright citizenship appeals.
The thing is, you wouldn’t know it from the way folks in Congress and state legislators around the country have been discussing the issue. In January Sens. Paul Vitter and Rand Paul introduced legislation to repeal birthright citizenship. Arizona advanced its pair of birthright citizenship rollback bills, SB 1308 and SB 1309, out of committee last Tuesday. They’re headed now for the Senate floor. Proponents of the state-level and federal bills have been open about wanting to trigger a Supreme Court review to re-evaluate the 14th Amendment.
"If we get the correct court decision…we will not be dispensing citizenship like a door prize," Arizona state Rep. John Kavangah said the day he filed his bills in January. "Especially not for those whose parents snuck into this country illegally through the back door."
The poll also found that a majority of Americans polled are in favor of Arizona’s harsh anti-immigration law SB 1070, and support both increased border security and legalization measures for people who undocumented and currently living in the country.