‘They deserve the same opportunity:’ Student weighs in on birthright citizenship debate

‘They deserve the same opportunity:’ Student weighs in on birthright citizenship debate

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -As the country continues to listen to and watch President Donald Trump’s comments on birthright citizenship closely, a VCU student is reflecting on her family which she called “mixed status.”

Yanet Amado is a DACA recipient, her family moved to the U.S. from Mexico, but her younger sister was born in the U.S.

“In reality, just like anybody who was born here, regardless of their immigration status, [she] should be able to live freely," Amado said.

Amado also leads a student organization at VCU that supports the immigrant community. She feels the recent comments about birthright citizenship instill fear in some.

“It is against the constitution,” Amado explained. “[I’m] very saddened we’re living right now in this moment with this kind of mentality.”

The 14th amendment states, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state where they reside.”

President Trump has discussed that could be reversed with an executive order, he has gotten support from a key senator, Lindsey Graham, who in a tweets, called the current birthright citizenship policy “absurd,” and says he is working to introduce legislation similar to what the President is proposing.

“If you feel there’s nothing you can do, in reality there is a lot you can do, you can be the voice the many - like my family and my community - be my voice when I can’t,” Amado said.

Amado works as an immigrant rights advocate, speaking from her own experiences and hopes to help others. She says with the uncertainty of the executive order, she wants to focus on what can be done on the state and local level to support and protect families.

“What I would say is try to educate yourself and try to match the story, hear people’s story. In reality everyone is a human being, and deserves the same opportunity,” said Amado.

The ACLU of Virginia released a statement about President Trump’s comments:

The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear. This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.
ACLU

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy says they oppose the proposal:

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, the Commonwealth’s largest faith-based advocate for economic and social justice, opposes President Trump’s proposal to undermine the 14th Amendment and deny the nation’s proud heritage of immigrants. Our Commonwealth’s economy is fueled by the hard work, talent and entrepreneurship of immigrants and their children. “Welcoming the immigrant” is a core religious principle shared by all major faith traditions. Welcoming the immigrant is the essence of the 14th Amendment.
VA Interfaith Center for Public Policy

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