U.S. congressional lawmakers have criticized the Republican Party's efforts to amend the country's Constitution and adversely affect birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.

The House of Representatives' Judiciary Subcommittee are scheduled to host a hearing on ending birthright citizenship, which requires an amendment to the current 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. America's Voice, an organization in support of immigration reform, said ending birthright citizenship "would radically reinterpret the Constitution to end a fundamental American right and bring the Department of Homeland Security into delivery rooms nationwide."

During a press conference on Wednesday morning, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said the idea of "fiddling" with the 14th Amendment is another step "into the extreme" by the GOP leadership. Gutierrez said he has learned "nothing will satisfy the GOP," and the latest Republican Party efforts are "feeding the mean-spirited base" of the GOP.

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said the birthright citizenship legislation are "outrageous examples shameless Republicans are willing to go" against the immigrant population and are efforts to "instill fear" toward immigrants so they won't integrate with the community.

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"This must come to an end," said Waters, noting amending the 14th Amendment should not be in consideration.

Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, have proposed the 14th Amendment birthright citizenship changes.

In a statement released Jan. 13, King said, "A Century ago it didn't matter very much that a practice began that has now grown into a birthright citizenship, an anchor baby agenda."

"When they started granting automatic citizenship on all babies born in the United States they missed the clause in the 14th Amendment that says, 'And subject to the jurisdiction thereof.' So once the practice began, it grew out of proportion and today between 340,000 and 750,000 babies are born in America each year that get automatic citizenship even though both parents are illegal. That has got to stop," continued King.

He added, "I know of no other country in the world that does that. My Birthright Citizenship Act of 2015 fixes it, clarifies the 14th Amendment and it recognizes the clause, 'And subject to the jurisdiction thereof.' This Congress needs to Act."

In a statement released Wednesday morning. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, said the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing is a "painful reminder that we cannot and must not tolerate second-class citizenship, inequality, intolerance, and injustice. It is a humiliating reminder of the jingoistic insensitivity of the few toward multiculturalism and the changing face of America in the 21st Century."

"While Birthright Citizenship is a bedrock Constitutional principle, Republicans seem determined to put [the Department of Homeland Security] in every delivery room to create an underclass perpetually stuck in the shadows. The empty theatrics we are seeing today are simply out of place and out of step with everything this country stands for. We can do better," added Menendez. 

According to the House Judiciary Committee, witnesses scheduled to attend the hearing include Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence Founding Director John Eastman, Center for Immigration Studies Legal Policy Analyst Jon Feere and Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen.


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