Politics

Ted Cruz: Birthright Citizenship Policy 'Doesn't Make Sense'

| by Ethan Brown

Republican presidential contender and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is continuing to push for the removal of the Fourteenth Amendment, which grants citizenship to any person born in the United States.

“I think birthright citizenship as a policy matter doesn’t make sense,” Cruz said to John Dickerson of CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Aug. 23. “We have right now upwards of 12 million people living here illegally. It doesn’t make any sense that our law automatically grants citizenship to their children because what it does is it incentivizes additional illegal immigration.”

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An idea originally conceived by another GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump, the removal of birthright citizenship status from the U.S. Constitution has now become a focal point for the Trump and Cruz campaigns. Despite their beliefs, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled numerous times that those born on American grounds are citizens of the United States. Moreover, the text of the Fourteenth Amendment reads as follows:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”

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During his Sunday morning appearance, Cruz argued that members of Congress can argue over the definition of some of the text.

Congress could “pass a law defining what the words in the Fourteenth Amendment ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ means,” Cruz said.

However, he was open to the idea of removing the amendment altogether, saying “we should change the law.”

“My view, there’s a good faith argument on both sides,” he said. “We should pursue whichever one is effective but as a policy matter, we should change the law.”

As President, Cruz’s first mission would be to secure the southern border with Mexico because “any change in birthright citizenship, be it a statute or a constitutional amendment, will take many, many years.”

Cruz also praised Trump’s stance on illegal immigrants, saying that he was “very glad to see that Donald Trump agrees with that proposal” to triple the presence of U.S. border patrol agents.

As Opposing Views noted last week, Cruz’s current position on birthright citizenship is quite different from his stance just four years ago. At that time, he said it was a “mistake” for Republicans to focus on changing the Fourteenth Amendment.

Sources: Opposing Views, CBS News

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons