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Hartry, Allison S. “Birthright Justice: The Attack on Birthright Citizenship and Immigrant Women of Color.” New York University Review of Law & Social Change 36 (2012): 1–38.


In this article, Alison Hartry traces conservative arguments against birthright citizenship, or citizenship for all people born on U.S. soil, throughout history to the present. She covers legal, constitutional, and political arguments, and places them in a context of international trends in birthright citizenship. Using media statements as examples, she exposes the racist and sexist roots of these arguments. Finally, she connects these racist and sexist motivations to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to detain and deport pregnant women, arguing that ICE is doing so because of the same racist and sexist assumptions about pregnant women of color and who is truly “American” as those held by conservatives who argue against birthright citizenship. This article provides a good, quick historical overview of the legal status of birthright citizenship in the U.S. and discusses an issue that is under discussed: the intersection of deportation and reproductive justice. While the arguments can be difficult to follow and the sources at times frail (i.e. anonymous comments on news blogs used to represent conservative opinions, etc.), it provides a useful starting place for anyone interested in the intersection of immigration and reproductive justice.


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Government regulation   History   Immigrants