"Who can be a citizen of the United States and enjoy the equal protection of the law should never be subject to the political and discriminatory whims of the day."

It's true. Last week some state legislators announced their intent to introduce bills that would deny American citizens 14th Amendment equal protection by asking states to deny birth certificates to US citizen babies born to immigrant parents.

Because these bills attempt to change freedoms the United States Constitution guarantees, it's unlikely these laws would survive legal scrutiny. In order to amend the Constitution, Congress needs 2/3 of both Chambers to vote in favor of the amendment.

Effectively, these bills would do nothing if passed, or at least they would quickly be overturned in the courts. Why introduce them, then? Efforts like this send a message - an unwelcoming message - to immigrants and refugees in our country.

Newsflash: immigrants and refugees are not evil or scary. Perhaps you have a neighbor, a colleague, a fellow church/synagogue/mosque member who is an immigrant or refugee.. From Aroostook and Washington Counties down to southern Maine, immigrants and refugees are part of our communities. Let's not make our neighbors feel unwelcome. Sending an unwelcoming message to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free is just, well, not in line with American values.