By Thomas Burr
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 07/10/2009 05:31:09 PM MDT
Washington » Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has signed onto legislation that would only allow those born in the United States to legal residents to be considered American citizens.
Chaffetz is one of 78 co-sponsors of the Birthright Citizenship Act, which seeks to reverse the right of anyone born within U.S. borders or in U.S. territories to be considered a citizen.
The U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, ratified July 9, 1868, says that all people born inside the country "are citizens," with full rights.
He said he would support a constitutional amendment, along with the legislation. Such an amendment would require two-thirds approval in Congress and ratification by 38 states.
Chaffetz says he promised during his election campaign to back a change to allow only those born to at least one U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident to be considered a citizen.
The current practice is "being abused and I don't want to offer incentives for people to come here illegally," Chaffetz said Friday. "Becoming a United States citizen is valuable and should be earned."
Chaffetz signed onto the bill April 30, though he admits the measure isn't going anywhere.
"It has little to no chance this year," he said.