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. Just Another Mike

    I believe the 14th amendment would like to have a word with the "Constitution loving" Paul:

    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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Kind of hard to read that passage in any way that would deny a person born here from being a citizen. Why does Rand Paul hate the constitution?

    Or is this like some people's take on religious documents: they expound on the parts they agree with and ignore the parts that they disagree with.

    May 28, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Grimm

    Usually don't agree with Mr. Paul but I think he's on to something with this comment. The 14th Amendment was adopted after the Civil War as one of the Reconstruction Amendments of 1868. The purpose for this legislature was to counter the ruling of the Dred Scott case that stated slaves and none of their descendants were entitled to U.S. citizenship. If Immigration Reform is to be addressed in full then the 14th Amendment must be a part of that conversation.

    May 28, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Frank in valparaiso indiana

    Does this idiot know you hav e to be a citizen or in the legal pipeline to get welfare? What an ignorant candidate. Guess the low IQ voters have their representative.

    May 28, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Joe

    And I don't know which Amendements guarantee us a Natural Born President, and look who we have in the White House. So I guess any Senator or any public figure in high places can disregard the constitution and change it where he /she seems fit.

    May 28, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Sgt. USMC

    My eyebrows are raised.

    I think what paul fails to realize is that it's not a political issue as much as it's an issue regarding basic human rights. Laws of men do not surpass laws set by God. Paul's phobia is just that, fear of the unknown or it just may be pure stupidity.

    If anyone is playing politics it is paul, he's feeding the fire known as the tea party. The Constitution says he has the right to say what he feels, the same Constitution he doesn't support. Typical of the republikkklan.

    Good luck in your quest to turn this country upside down people, we spoke loud and clear long ago. The revolution has happened and the tea party is 50 years too late.

    May 28, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Dva

    If he finds so much wrong with this country, perhaps he should live in the countries with whom he agrees. Mr. Paul, in a round-about way, I believe you have benefited from the work of illegals, if not you personally, then for sure those in the tea-party and perhaps your family. I cannot be sure, but it seems just enjoying vegetable, fruits and many other products that illegal aliens have produced or picked and prepared are shared by most citizens of this country.

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. th

    That is the only thing that I have ever agreed with that a Republican has said/done. I do not believe that an illegal's child born in the USA should automatically become a citizen. The parents shouldn't have been here in the first place. They keep having kids one after another and probably figure now that my kids are citizens we will be okay. I am all for immigration but do it legally.

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Christopher W. Chase

    Perhaps the reporter could also include facts that actually correct Dr. Paul's error?

    The U.S. is far from the only county that uses "Jus Soli" as a principle for citizenship. This is an important angle that must be included for a full treatment of the subject.

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. gg

    whats next only white can be american does this make macain panamanion

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. ColJim1956

    I don't get it, Mr. Paul. This is not a matter of changing law, it is a matter of amending the Constitution. The 14th Amendment, along with the 13th and 15th Amendments, were approved precisely because Southerners were looking for ways to exclude blacks even after the question of slavery was resolved.

    As a military veteran who supported and defended the Constitution, I have no issue with those who want to amend it. I do have an issue with those who say "that amendment doesn't count because the Tea Party is scared of Mexicans."

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Jason

    Ah, so the truth behind Republican opposition to immigration is revealed. They tend to vote Democrat. Ah, got it now. Thanks for clearing it up.

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. John

    Is there any offensive position Dr. Paul will stop short of taking?

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Not Republican

    I really appreciate Rand Paul!

    The tea-party movement has been portrayed as a group that is angry at taxes and 'big' gov't. That is part of their makeup. But what really has drawn them together? They're a bunch of racists who have grabbed at any excuse to protest a 'black' president. They blame Obama for everything that Bush/Cheney did – the worst economy in 100 yrs (so said Alan Greenspan BEFORE Obama took office), TWO wars that continue to bankrupt the USA both monitarily and morally, and the TARP bailout was set in motion BEFORE Obama took office.

    So, thank you Rand for saying what's really on the minds of most tea-party sympathetizers – white is right (wing).

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    This guy is a card-carrying Utopian Libertarian whose ideology has no application in the real world. So his opinion on anything is inconsequential and unworthy of coverage.

    May 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. steve

    This guy is a closet racist....mark my November it would have all come to light.....and hopefully he will not win his race...and the senate will be a better place.....perhaps his father should complete his training so he doesnot keep putting his foot in his mouth.

    May 28, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Dr Paul the Younger is, of course, right.

    May 28, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Now you want to change the Consitution? I thought that what was the tea baggers was for.

    May 28, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Glennis

    As off kilter and goofy as I think Paul is, I wholeheartedly agree with him on this point. There is no reason under the sun why we should grant citizenship to children born in this country to parents who are non-citizens. I find it strange that we're the only nation on the planet that is foolish enough to let it continue. Eliminating that little enticement would go a long way in cutting down on the number of illegals flocking into the country.

    May 28, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Shucks

    The tea party and the republican party would rewrite the constitution if allowed. It would be religious and racist based, and would allow discrimination at will. This man is a freaking lunatic. Only in Kentucky would you ever elect someone like this. I feel sorry for the non-white, non-religious, people of Kentucky.

    May 28, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. TT

    I concur 1000% this needs to STOP!

    May 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. John

    Rand paul has my vote on this one,lets get rid of all the anchor babies.Mexicans have a kid every nine months,and get more food stamps.lets round em up,take em to the border,and shoot all who try to return!!!!!!

    May 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. once upon a horse

    very interesting....I assume this law was written to protect the ones who came over from Europe and had children so their kids could become US citizens. NOW since those days are gone Rand and others on the far right want to repeal the law. Somewhere along the line I think most Americans, except for Native Americans , had an ancestor that could have been considered to be illegal. Yet we tend to look the other way about that. Sure the children are the innocent ones so let's take it out on them. This is from the party that also claims they want to protect the unborn.

    May 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. justintime

    This guy sounds like an idiot full of contradiction. Its just unfortunate that he wants to represent n entire. He should take on tasks that he can handle. For example; thinking out his thoughts through then speaking. 'Some people are just afraid of the unkown aka the future'

    May 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. John independent from NY

    Excellent idea.! Rand Paul for President! Can we neuter those on welfare so we don't have to pay for their indescretions also.

    May 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. John

    I think it's a good idea.
    So why is this "raising eyebrows"?

    May 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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