May 28th, 2010
03:07 PM ET
8 years ago

Paul: No citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants

Rand Paul said he opposes citizenship for U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.

Rand Paul said he opposes citizenship for U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.

Washington (CNN) – Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul is once again making waves, this time for saying he opposes citizenship for U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.

In an interview posted Wednesday on, a Russian television station that broadcasts in English, Paul said he favors modifying current law.

"We are the only country I know of that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen," Paul said. "And I think that should stop also."

Paul, a Tea Party movement favorite, captured the Kentucky GOP primary last week, defeating establishment candidate Trey Grayson.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees citizenship to individuals born in the United States, but Paul's position is not an unpopular one in Congress.

Legislation referred to as the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, a bill that has 91 co-sponsors, would modify the Immigration and Nationality Act to prevent U.S. citizenship for individuals born to undocumented immigrants.

Paul campaign chairman David Adams confirmed to CNN that Paul stands by his comments.

Paul also suggested that immigration policies favored by Democrats are politically motivated.

"I'm not opposed to letting people come in work and labor in our country, but I think what we should do is, we shouldn't provide an easy route to citizenship. A lot of this is about demographics," Paul said. "If you look at new immigrants from Mexico, they register three to one Democrat. The Democrat Party is for easy citizenship for allowing them to vote."

On his campaign website, Paul explains his position on immigration in terms of incentives and subsidies.

"I realize that subsidizing something creates more of it, and do not think the taxpayer should be forced to pay for welfare, medical care and other expenses for illegal immigrants. Once the subsidies for illegal immigration are removed, the problem will likely become far less common," Paul says.

Filed under: 2010 • Kentucky • Popular Posts • Rand Paul
soundoff (310 Responses)
  1. Brian

    This guy is an idiot. He is ruining his political career before it even starts.

    May 28, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Kentucky

    Rand Paul supports Montaintop removal in coal mining, and the tea party and republican party support Paul. I love Kentucky's Mountains and streams just as much as the people on the gulf coast love their beaches and wetlands. How can Republicans, except Rand Paul, blast Oil Companies for destroying beaches and wetlands on the Gulf Coast, and then support the destruction of Kentucky's Mountains by Coal Companies. I believe most Americans, except Rand Paul, love our beaches and Mountains. The highest point in Kentucky is the beautiful Black Mountain, and Rand Paul believes that coal companies should be able to push the top 1000 feet of Black Mountain into the streams below, and pollute them with toxins that will ruin those streams for decades. Paul says " no one will miss a few hills".

    May 28, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    BTW, what could be more "Big Government" than trying to abuse the power of Congress to try to change the Constitution by circumventing the requirement of getting a Constitutional Amendment? You can complain about "Big Government" as evidenced by proliferation of "entitlements" etc. all you want, but that's entirely different than what these 91 co-sponsors of the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 are doing, which is as fascist as it gets because they are trying to avoid the 4 available procedures for amendment explicitly available in the Constitution...thereby trying to circumvent both our individual rights AND THE STATES' RIGHTS they always pretend to be concerned about.

    So you understand, here are the 4 procedures available:

    Proposal by convention of states, then ratified by state conventions (never used)
    Proposal by convention of states, then ratified by state legislatures (never used)
    Proposal by Congress, then ratified by state conventions (used once)
    Proposal by Congress, then ratified by state legislatures (used all other times)

    There is also theoretically available popular amendment, but that just highlights their fascist nonsense even further.

    May 28, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Voice of Reason

    And just what color IS the sky in your world, Mr. Paul??

    (I'm guessing white...)

    May 28, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Wolfen

    What a shock to find that a Tea Partier would disrespect the Constitution, just because they don't like it. Not.

    Dr. Rand. Please note that it is NOT the law that would need to be changed to disenfranchise the disgusting term "anchor babies." It is the Constitution that gives them their citizenship.

    Your Corporatocracy scares the heck out of me. Soulless pursuit of profit without morals. That is NOT the American Way!

    May 28, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Jimbo (The Real One)

    As long as he is in favor of modifying amendments why don't we start with the one that allows nut cases "the right to bear arms...?"

    May 28, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. TimofWburg

    This guy is Great. We're witnessing political self destruction before our very eyes.
    He won't go very far, or last very long...

    May 28, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. AT

    This man is crazier than his father. I remember the Civil Rights Movement when polititcians played on the fears and ignorance of people. This Tea Party is a travesty and a replica of the bigots of the 60's. Paul is the epitome of this movement. He is an educated bigot and the ignorant people will listen to him. I pray that the people of Kentucky will not vote this crazy fool in office.

    May 28, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Marilyn

    I agree with Paul 100%. A newborn baby should not automatically be a citizen unless at least one of his/her parents is a citizen. Period. This is a requirement in most other countries. As a taxpaying citizen I am fed up with paying the bills for illegals and their litters of kids.

    May 28, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Robert

    He's lying when he says the Democratic Party makes it easy for undocumented immigrants to become citizens.

    It was Reagan who offered amnesty in 88, and it was Bush who tried to 3 years ago. Obama will end up offering amnesty, but the terms of it will be far tougher than the Reagan's.

    It is Paul who is playing politics, not Democrats.

    May 28, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. me, Philadelphia, PA

    Can you get more stupid than this guy? I swear, Republicans are literally the dumbest things walking this planet. If you're born in the US, you're a US citizen. Deal with it.

    May 28, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Former Republican

    Paul only likes the parts of the Constitution that he agrees with. It's the Constitution, stupid!

    May 28, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Voice of Reason

    "If you look at new immigrants from Mexico, they register three to one Democrat..."

    Weill DUH. The Democrats arent the racist ones trying to throw them out of the country! Great observation, Einstein!

    May 28, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Perplexed

    here's what the 14th amendment says about birth:

    "Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. "

    illegal alien children are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. they are subject to wherever the parents came from, since the parents are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has already upheld that notion.

    "Supreme Court decisions

    The correct interpretation of the 14th Amendment is that an illegal alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is her baby.

    Over a century ago, the Supreme Court appropriately confirmed this restricted interpretation of citizenship in the so-called "Slaughter-House cases" [83 US 36 (1873) and 112 US 94 (1884)]13. In the 1884 Elk v.Wilkins case12, the phrase "subject to its jurisdiction" was interpreted to exclude "children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States." In Elk, the American Indian claimant was considered not an American citizen because the law required him to be "not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction and owing them direct and immediate allegiance."

    The Court essentially stated that the status of the parents determines the citizenship of the child. To qualify children for birthright citizenship, based on the 14th Amendment, parents must owe "direct and immediate allegiance" to the U.S. and be "completely subject" to its jurisdiction. In other words, they must be United States citizens.

    Congress subsequently passed a special act to grant full citizenship to American Indians, who were not citizens even through they were born within the borders of the United States. The Citizens Act of 1924, codified in 8USCSß1401, provides that: "

    Why it's not enforced I don't know.

    May 28, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Bill

    We have to make sure that this fresh man senate candiadate don't win on November election,he's morron and racist.

    May 28, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. **

    He is correct, we are being drained becasue we allow people to come to america not documented for medical care and then we pay them welfare and for schooling. If we cut all funding to illegal immigrants our economy would turn around.

    May 28, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |

    This is what the Tea Baggers give us, racists against anything other than white. If we had a sudden influx of whites, say from Germany or Switzerland or even Italy, would Mr. Paul feel the same way about those children being born here. I doubt it and if you really look at the issue you'll agree. Or lets suppose that the people of Mexico were white and spoke English, would he still feel that way? The answer is obvious, no he wouldn't. The Tea Baggers are against anyone who doesn't look like them, period. The GOP continues to obey the Tea Baggers every word because they are loud and for some reason the GOP thinks that because they are loud that they speak for the American people which they most certainly do Not.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    May 28, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Mike

    I agree with rand pauls remarks completely. If you cut off illegal immigrants "anchor" into this nation, you will essentially force the population of illegal immigrants to actually go through the normal protocol when applying for citizenship in this country. Instead of using the backdoor into the nation, and depending on fake social security numbers and fake identities, relying on OUR pockets to fund their welfare and unemployment checks even though they are not even part of our country. I don't understand how any american citizen can not understand that the illegal immigrants in our country are costing us billions of dollars, along with our governments unrepresented spending of our tax dollars, are going to put our children's children and our childrens childrens children in debt to the point where they will be working slave labor to make up for our irresponsible spending.
    If you want to be apart of this country, Go through the process that my relatives had to go through.

    May 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. jdude

    Raises eyebrows? Ummmm maybe to elitist, but I wouldn't be surprised if most Americans supported him on this.

    May 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    "If you look at new immigrants from Mexico, they register three to one Democrat..."

    And I'm betting that the KKK votes at least three-to-one Republican. But it's a mistake to make something more out of that.

    This guy is a jerk.

    May 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Blue in Carolina

    Umm... I don't believe that it's a law that needs to be changed. It's in the U.S. Constitution! You know, the one's that the Tea Partiers are trying to protect!

    May 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. lost in Texas FOREVER

    hey then while we're at it let's also outlaw all these guys that go and get these "mail-order brides" and bring them over here, marry them and they become citizens especially if they have kids with them. Those kids ALSO should not be allowed to be US citizens. I bet that would stop a lot of these guys who can't find a woman over here to be subserveant to them and go get women from Asia and Russia who will. How about that, Rand?

    May 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Brian

    I think it would be reasonable to draw the line between legal and illegal immigrants. If they are here legally and have a child then that child having US citizenship per the 14th amendmant is perfectly legitimate. If they are here illegally then I have a problem with rewarding them for the misdeeds.

    May 28, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Mike in NC

    Soooo....what is so wrong with what he said? We ARE the only country in the world to extend citizenship to children of illegal immigrants. The law was set up to assist LEGAL immigrants while going through the naturalization process. As most things in our country go, we've bastardized the law and now any kid given birth on our soil is an American. My butt! Let's put the same laws on our books that Mexico has. Sneak over the border into Mexico and see how long before they ask for YOUR PAPERS then toss you in jail.


    May 28, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Kim

    Wow, what a simple solution from such a simple mind.

    May 28, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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