WASHINGTON – Today, Reverend Ryan M. Eller, Executive Director of Define American, released this statement regarding the amendment proposed by Senator Vitter to dismantle the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees that anyone born in the United States is an American citizen.
“Senator Vitter continues to beat the drum for an unconstitutional amendment to gut the Founding Father’s definition of citizenship. What he advocates is pure political posturing and void of reality: immigrant families contribute economically and culturally to the United States every day. The grave social, economic, and legal impacts of such a change to the 14th Amendment have elicited widespread opposition to Vitter’s proposal.
“In offering this amendment, Sen. Vitter is placing himself among the most radical fringes of the immigration conversation. Not only does this extreme nativist view harm perception of immigrants and erode our heritage as a nation of immigrants, but recent reports suggest it will be politically costly for those who support measures like the Vitter amendment.
“Central to this question is the one all U.S. citizens must wrestle with: how did we earn our citizenship? Do we believe all good people seeking the American dream should have access to earning it? Ultimately, it is the question: how do you define American?”