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. Navy Vet

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

    Oh really, what do you call yours? Your unwavering stance on how the Constitution MUST be upheld and followed how it was originally written and intended, but here, because ITS POPULAR, you want to throw it to the side.

    I'd say YOUR stance is politically motivated.

    May 28, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Mike Tamborski

    They do realize that denying citizenship to children born on U.S. soil would take a constitutional amendment, right? Paul accuses Democrats of using immigration issues to their political advantage, but unless he is ready to push for a constitutional amendment, then he is guilty of the same. The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 is nothing more than showboating, as any standard law that would deny people born in the US citizen is clearly unconstitutional.

    May 28, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Charles W. Skinner

    This is where the question becomes "How closely will the Supreme Court read the 14th Amendment?" The ultimate resolution of that question will revolve around two commas included in the first sentence, which reads " 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.

    Ultimately, the Supreme Court will have to decide if the language between the commas is a 'dependent' clause or an 'independent' clause. If it is dependent, then the federal government has the right and authority to deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, on the grounds that they are "not [legally] subject to the jurisdiction" of the US, but subject to the Jurisdiction of their home country.

    If the statement is an independent clause, then the only way to stop the US born children of illegals from becoming citizens is to amend the Constitution (which is not out of the realm of possibility).

    May 28, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. jeff jackson, alabama

    Speaking as a Republican I disagree
    with Paul on a lot of issues. If two illegals
    enter this country and they work here and
    live here then have a child, that child is
    a citizen. That's the way it should be.
    The problem with not enforcing the immigration
    laws is not the fault of our constitution.
    It is the fault of all the spineless corrupt
    politicians in both parties. The Pauls don't
    believe in a federal income tax either.
    The Pauls are libertarians not Republicans.
    The socialists have hijacked the dem. party
    and now libertarians are trying to hijack
    the rep. party.
    Neither the democrats or the republicans are
    enemies of America, though some idiots in
    both parties think so. The socialists and
    libertarians , however, are enemies of our way
    of life. We need to vote both of those out of
    our parties and out of office next election.

    May 28, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Phil

    I cannot help but agree. This is not a left field idea, but a long over due and forward thinking no-brainer!!! The time for these 'anchor babies' has to come to an end. The original intent made sense up to a point. With it now being the 21st century, and all the BS going on with illegal immigration, this must stop period. What other attraction could there be for a illegal pregnant woman (single or a wife) but to head for the U.S. to have the child for (1) free medical/maternity care and (2) serve as reason (in their mind) to be allowed somehow to stay (along with now crossing the border other immediate and extended family members etc) to get other benefits such as welfare, ER care, a free place to stay, etc. The DC gang has to get their act together. This issue needs to be a major component of Immigration Laws.!!!!!

    May 28, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. BeG

    I don't know the guy, but I wish more aspiring policy makers had this idea. Immigration is like a bleeding wound. Latin America is bleeding all over us. Let's get it under control.

    May 28, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. WHAT

    If they are born in the US and not a citizen, then what Country are they going to say they are from when they have never been there.

    May 28, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Was this set up by the shrilla' from wasilla? Russian television station? Was Putin in the audience rearin' his head into US space?
    I hate to say this, but I agree with him. The fact that it was a Russian station he spoke to and he can't be interviewed by American news outlets makes me give him a vote of no. He's a coward!
    Maybe immigrants are for the Democratic party because they don't preach and teach family values and hide behind the bible while breaking every commandment. He's a hypocrite!

    May 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Craig

    It sounds harsh, but he has a point. However, I would rather trade the legal gangbanger Mexican trash for a hard working illegal anyday. Can't we have some form of swap program and send those people to Mexico to see what "hard" life is really like?

    May 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Matt

    We shouldn't allow illegals to come in and have anchor babies.
    Our immigration policy needs an overhaul and needs to be enforced.

    Anyone against enforcing the immigration laws has some type of finiancial interest in allowing illegals in and that is not right.

    May 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. works for me

    what a maroon... what an embezzle...

    May 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. ATL Guy

    Rand Paul / Sarah Palin 2012!!!! What an amazing combination. This will the comedy show of politicing.

    May 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Framos

    This man is looking out for the future of this country. Don't think so? Please see facts below from the US Census Bureau.

    Facts – the Hispanic-origin population would contribute 32 percent of the Nation's population growth from 1990 to 2000, 39 percent from 2000 to 2010, 45 percent from 2010 to 2030, and 60 percent from 2030 to 2050. The non-Hispanic White population would contribute nothing to population growth after 2030 because it would be declining in size.

    We are more concerned and spend more time/ money on the rights and well being of illegal immigrants and immigration policies than we do with the rights and well being of taxpaying, multigenerational Americans who are currently living in hardship.

    Sounds like our priorities are a bit askew.

    Sorry Emma Lazarus, I will speak for myself – I no longer want your tired, your sick, or your poor.

    Close the boarders.

    - Descendant of crew of "The Sparrow" landed 1622

    May 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. David

    I think the more we hear from this guy the more we are going to realize that he is not a breath of fresh air as the tea party would have us believe, but a blast from the past, especially a time when our country struggled for equality with civil rights. If this is the tea party's idea of progress they can keep it cause I dont want it.

    May 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Dan, TX

    I agree, if the Constitution is inconvenient, we should reinterpret it however we want. The founding fathers did not think of everything.

    May 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. JIM El Paso Tx

    This is the first thing out of Rand's mouth that I agree 100% with. ILLEGALS should get no benifits. Whiners note...this is not to be confused with LEGAL immigrants!

    May 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. dax

    I'm not a Tea Bagger (I think these people are a disgrace to the original Tea Party and blemish on our country’s educational system). I’m not a member or will I ever be a card carrying member of some party that tells me how to think. I voted for President Obama and support him as I have support all president, except Bush Jr.
    I am also a Proud Naturalized US Citizen whose parents paid a lot of money and spent a lot of time to getting over here legally. Having said that, I have to agree with this otherwise shortsighted bigot on this point.
    This is no different than someone breaking to your home while you’re on vacation, squatting for a month while you’re out and you now have to spend money to evict them. Or worst, say they have children while in your home illegally, you are now forced to let them stay and invite family.

    May 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. TT

    I agree 100%. The existing law is one of the major incentives for people to cross our borders illegally. It needs to stop!

    May 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Phil

    The only time (ONLY) to permit the citizenship of child born into this country by an immigrant mother to be acceptable, is when that mother has already been across the border LEGALLY – and that means having followed all Immigration Laws and procedures granted to those who are approved by the U.S. Government to do so!!! End of story!!!

    May 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. JJ

    So yet again, the Tea Party is not necessarily about the Constitution (as they state they are) but rather about their own agenda. The 1st Amendment is OK, but the 14th Amendment is not OK – can someone from the Tea Party please explain that to me.

    BTW, the true issue with illegal immigration falls upon those who employ undocumented workers. To truly combat the problem, target the companies who hire illegals. But, I'm sure that won't happen since pro-free-market, or shall I say pro-corporation, Mr. Paul and his Tea Party fellows would never go for that.

    May 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. gary

    How could this not come off as racist? We've had this since the Civil War to protect Black Americans who were born in this country and now we take it away from Mexican Americans. We're not talking about Canadians or even Koreans (over 20% are illegal, by the way).

    May 28, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Paul from Phoenix

    Crap, i agree with him on this part. The 14th Ammendment was necessary when America was still trying to keep blacks from being given full citizenship (3/5th of a person rule), but illegals have essentially used this as a way to achieve residency through back channels. In today's time, this law is no longer necessary, and it should be reversed.

    May 28, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. brain2brain

    I think this guy is a pig! However, I sure agree with this idea!

    Why should we be taxed for these rugrats?

    To become a citizen in most western world countries you must be able to speak their language. You must take the test for citizenship in most countries in their language.

    For instance, try to get citizenship in a free well respected country like the Czech Republic. It won't happen if you can not read and speak their language.

    Kick the illegals out! They came here and broke the law so their children should not be allowed citizenship.

    Also, I don't like the AZ law, but we must start somewhere to get these illegals out of the country. And that goes for Canadians that are here illegally.

    You break the law, you pay. Unless of course you are a Detroit pig that kills little girls.

    May 28, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Stymie

    I see the Dow had its worst May ever. And unemployment is still at 9.9%.

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

    this guy is typical tea party-silly. litttle guy running around in his play clothes.- every time he opens his mouth he puts his foot in it, gotta love this guy- he even makes sarah look half way intelligent.- – no I take that back- that's impossible- Tea for two!


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