Birthright Battles: Ramaswamy and Pence Weigh In on Immigration

In a recent televised interview, Vivek Ramaswamy, a vocal opponent of birthright citizenship, has once again sparked controversy on the subject of children born in the US to parents who entered the country illegally.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Birthright Battles: Ramaswamy and Pence Weigh In on Immigration
© Getty Images News/Win McNAmee

In a recent televised interview, Vivek Ramaswamy, a vocal opponent of birthright citizenship, has once again sparked controversy on the subject of children born in the US to parents who entered the country illegally. Ramaswamy was pressed by Univision host Ilia Calderón on the legal rationale behind his stance on undocumented immigrants and their American-born children.

In his response, he pointed out that while some of his opponents favored measures like the militarization of the southern border and the defunding of sanctuary cities, he believes a more drastic approach is necessary. Ramaswamy stated, “I favor ending birthright citizenship for the kids of illegal immigrants in this country”.

This assertion is a point of contention among legal scholars and policymakers. Ramaswamy further argued against the perception that his stance was unconstitutional, referencing the 14th Amendment. He remarked, “Now, the left will howl about the Constitution and the 14th Amendment.

The difference between me and them is I've actually read the 14th Amendment”. Ramaswamy highlighted the clause in the Amendment which states, "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the laws and jurisdiction thereof are citizens." He subsequently pointed out the lack of birthright citizenship for children of diplomats, implying a potential double standard.

The "Dreamers" Dilemma

In the same vein, the topic of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the so-called “dreamers” was also brought to the fore. Former vice president Mike Pence was asked about his stance on creating a legal pathway for those brought illegally to the US as children, a group protected under the DACA program.

This initiative, which the Trump administration had once aimed to terminate, has been a touchstone issue in recent years. Pence, however, sidestepped a direct answer. Rather than clarifying whether he would terminate the program or aid in providing a legal citizenship pathway for DACA recipients, he chose to focus on the broader aspects of immigration policy.

Pence emphasized, “The truth is, we need to fix a broken immigration system, and I’ll do that,” further stressing the importance of securing the nation's borders. As the debate over immigration reform continues to gain traction, it remains to be seen how policymakers will address the multi-faceted challenges and considerations tied to this pressing issue.

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