LOS ANGELES, CA – Yesterday, at its 2011 annual meeting, the American Bar Association House of Delegates approved, by unanimous voice vote, a resolution, sponsored by the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, to oppose any efforts to alter or amend the longstanding interpretation and application of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The adoption of the resolution means that the oldest and largest organization of lawyers in the United States formally rejects and opposes congressional and state legislative efforts to seek to alter the interpretation of the Citizenship Clause to prevent children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States from enjoying United States citizenship.

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz, a Commissioner of the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, was the lead drafter of the resolution adopted today in Toronto and of the report in support of the resolution.

Saenz stated the following: “To have the unanimous support of the delegates who govern the American Bar Association is a tremendous boost to efforts to defeat those who seek to restrict the citizenship of certain native-born Americans and to undermine the well-established interpretation and application of the Constitution’s Citizenship Clause. Yesterday’s unanimous vote plainly indicates how clearly the nation’s law and foundational values support the citizenship of all children born in the United States, with the limited exception of those born to foreign diplomatic personnel.”