Legal group to discuss immigration, 14th Amendment

The citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment will be the focus of a panel discussion at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 by the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Lower Hudson Valley chapter.

NYCLU Advocacy Director Udi Ofer will be the keynote speaker at community discussion, “Confronting Challenges to the 14th Amendment.” A panel discussion featuring local residents who were born to immigrant parents will follow.

According to the NYCLU, “the citizenship clause of the 14 Amendment is under threat in Congress and several state legislatures. The clause protects core American values of fairness and equality. The Congress and state legislatures cannot pass bills to deliberately circumvent the Constitution and this type of legislation should be rejected outright.”

The 14th Amendment can only be changed by a constitutional amendment, not by state or local statutes. Linda Berns, director of the NYCLU’s Lower Hudson Valley chapter, said citizenship should never be linked to political or discriminatory sentiment.

“In America, our rights are based on fairness and equal treatment under the law, not who your parents are or what they did or whether today’s politicians approve of them,” she said in a statement.

The meeting and panel discussion will be held at the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, 7 Saxon Wood Road in White Plains. It is free and open to the public.