In the recent Republican presidential debate, Vivek Ramaswamy, son of two Indian immigrants, revisited a proposal by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump that would end birthright citizenship to children of illegal immigrants who “broke the law.”
His Legal Premise Questioned
Host Ilia Calderón pressed Ramaswamy on “what legal premise” he would use for the family of illegal immigrants, where Ramaswamy firmly stated that birthright citizenship should be terminated for children of illegal immigrants.
Ramaswamy asserted that granting them citizenship is unjust since their parents “broke the law” to enter the country, echoing the voice of Donald Trump during his election campaign in 2015.
It Was Trump’s Idea
In 2015, Trump brought this idea to the forefront, and in 2018, he aimed to issue an executive order to halt automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S. to noncitizens, which never materialized.
Historically, legal scholars have leaned towards interpreting the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the laws and jurisdiction thereof, are citizens,” as granting citizenship to individuals born on U.S. soil.
“And Subject to the Jurisdiction Thereof”
The phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” has sparked debates, with some advocating for government discretion to restrict this right. However, there are some who disagree with the amendment completely.
“It Was Designed for Slavery”
During the debate, Sen. Tim Scott concurred with Ramaswamy, suggesting that “I think it’s simple that clearly it was designed for slavery, and not for illegal immigration.”
As the debate unfolded, immigration policies and border control emerged as central themes, with Scott arguing that Biden should be “on the southern border working to close our southern border.”
Candidates discussed the situation at the southern border, and Former Vice President Mike Pence replicated the Trump administration’s immigration policies, “we have to secure the southern border of the United States of America. I know how to do it, and we will do it again.”
High Crime Linked to Border Issues?
Several candidates proposed the idea that an increase in crime rates is due to the rise of illegal immigrants entering the country, “The second we stopped being a country of laws, we give up everything this country was founded on, so we have to secure the border,” argued Nikki Haley.
Failing to provide any evidence, Haley then linked the crime rate in Philadelphia to the “Sanctuary” state’s immigration laws, “You see what’s happening in Philadelphia right now. It’s got to stop.”
“Send the National Guard”
Candidate Chris Christie vowed to send the National Guard to protect the Southern border, “sign an executive order to send the National Guard to partner with Customs and Border Patrol to make sure that we stop the flow of fentanyl over the border.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Juli Hansen