Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Aug. 19 that children born to illegal immigrants should not automatically receive birthright status as an American citizen.
Cruz becomes the second GOP presidential contender to support such an idea. Earlier this week, frontrunner Donald Trump unveiled his immigration policy proposals, which included the removal of “birthright citizenship” status as part of the plan.
Cruz told radio host Michael Medved that he “absolutely” favors ending the citizenship rights for children born in America by illegal immigrants. The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution grants citizenship status to every person born in the country, Newsmax noted.
“We should end granting automatic birthright citizenship to the children of those who are here illegally,” Cruz said during his appearance.
“That has been my position from my very first days of my running for the Senate,” he added. “I welcome Donald Trump articulating this view. It’s a view I have long held.”
However, Cruz understood that making any kind of changes to the nation’s foundation of laws is a difficult task. “I think it is possible, but any constitutional amendment by its nature is difficult to achieve,” he said.
Other GOP presidential contenders spoke out about the issue, with some agreeing with Cruz and Trump.
“That makes sense to me,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said about Cruz’s plan to remove birthright citizenship status from the Constitution, “in the sense that – why would you want to reward folks that are coming here illegally?”
Not everyone running for president on the Republican side felt it was necessary to change the nation’s founding laws. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was one of those candidates.
“This has been a long tradition in America,” Kasich said. “Let’s keep it as is and let’s move beyond that.”
Cruz, who was born in Canada, previously disagreed with any chances to the 14th Amendment just a few years ago.
“I think it’s a mistake for conservatives to be focusing on trying to fight what the Constitution says on birthright citizenship,” he said to the Houston Chronicle in 2011. “I think we are far better off focusing on securing the border. Because birthright citizenship wouldn’t be an issue if we didn’t have people coming in here illegally.”