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. Gee

    I absolutely agree with this guy....we need about 300 more like him in the congress and senate!!

    May 28, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. The Clear Thinking Independent

    This is the radical right portion of the Republican party's [the so-called "Tea Party" candidate for Senator from Kentucky.

    Republicans claim to be so AMERICAN. The only pure and righteous defenders of the Constitution. 21th Century kindred spirits with the FOUNDING FATHERS. This is what they want the voters to believe.

    Isn't it the constitution that any child born in America is an American citizen? Isn't this EXPLICITLY and INTENTIONALLY part of the Constitution? So, it would seem to me that the conservative Republicans / Tea Partiers only want to play by the RULES when it serves their selfish viewpoint.

    These members of the GOP are unethical ... they have no integrity. How can we elect people to public office that have NO PRINCIPLES.

    May 28, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Pat

    How does this "raise eyebrows"? Paul, having the economic understanding of his father, suggests that we need an influx of unskilled labor to maintain maintain a productive economy. However, working in this country should not grant you or the children you may have citizenship. We are the land of opportunity, not the land of hand outs.

    May 28, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Did You Know . . .

    32 Countries, including Canada and Mexico allow "anchor babies."

    Maybe CNN can add this little "fact" to the discussion, so people know a bit more about what they are talking about.

    May 28, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Erik

    This is the first stance I actually agree with Paul. No other country does this in the world. This policy is the reason so many illegals risk their life to get over here to have their child born within our borders. It really doesn't help anybody.

    May 28, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Joshua Davis

    The reason immigrants support Democrats is because Republicans come up with xenophobic ideas like this one. Since a democracy is supposed to represent the will of the people, who is going to vote against their own interests?

    May 28, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Duck Fallas

    George Washington was an illegal.

    Does this apply to white babies, too?

    May 28, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. justintime

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

    May 28, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. lancethecoug

    we are the only nation with that law. Actually agree with Paul on most of this issue. Would go after employers who actively recruit illegals for cheap labor as well.

    May 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. JP

    To the democrats immigration reform and voter registration are the same thing. Once an illegal has a child born here they are eligible for all the same benefits a poor citizen child is: welfare, food stamps, Medicaid etc etc. The democrats don't care if we have to pay for this as long as they get the votes. Australia was the last 1st world country to stop giving citizenship to illegals' children born there. Repealing this stupid law would also hurt the recruiting efforts of MS-13 and other Hispanic gangs.

    May 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Marge

    So who thinks that there are enough votes in congress to pass this amendment to the Constitution. And who thinks they could get 3/4 of the states to ratify this amendment. Not enough I bet.

    Why would they go to the extreme to even bother to bring this amendment up. With all the mess bush left to this country, we have a heck of lot more things to try to get done than discriminate against people. But then radical republicans and tea bags well that's all they want to do, to show how Christian they are is show their racist side.

    May 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Rick

    14th amendment:
    "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."

    HIstory of 14th amendment (from Wikipedia):
    "The Fourteenth Amendment provides a broad definition of citizenship, overruling the decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which held that slaves and their descendants were not citizens of the United States and were not entitled to Constitutional rights."

    Anybody still not think Mr. Paul is a racist?

    May 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. John Portino

    I am amazed that this issue has not gotten more traction and attention with the American public and our representatives in Congress. According to statistics provided by CNN in 2006, public education for illegal immigrants cost $12 billion per year, and $17 billion per year for anchor children born to illegal immigrants. That's $30 billion per year of taxpayer money. Figure in other costs of illegal immigration - after factoring in the benefits - and the net tab is north of $100 billion per year. There are some 3-5 million anchor children and babies in the US today. What happens if their parents are deported? Who will pay? The American taxpayer of course. Eliminating citizenship for anchor babies is absolutely key to removing the powerful incentives that draw illegal immigrants into our country. We are indeed the only country remaining in the world that has birthright citizenship. The next to last country was Ireland, who eliminated it over 35 years ago. It's time we wised up and did the same. The fact we continue to confer precious American citizenship on people who have made a big end-run around our laws and values merely shows how foolish we are.

    May 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Jim in St. Johns, FL

    Raise eyebrows?

    Whose eyebrows? Some left wing lackey in the CNN byline dept?

    Doesn't raise mine.

    Get this – no citizenship for illegals and their children and their mom and dad and brothers and sisters.

    Sorry – we shouldn't be in the business of breeding thrid world country votes for Obama in 2012. Obama will just have to be content again with all the illegal contributions he got and will get again from overseas. He doubtless raked in a tiday sum from the Internet debit card users in Mexico too.

    May 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. gorf

    I'm pretty sure every post-industrial democracy in the world gives citizenship to children born in their country, regardless of the parents' status.

    I honestly cannot think of a single exception.

    May 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Bobo

    Bashing the Constitution on Russian TV!?
    And this guy wants us to put him in office!?

    You're kidding, right?

    May 28, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. larry

    This jerk wad is a piece of dreck.

    May 28, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. edr

    Well, he's an immigrant, the only true Americans are the Native American Indians!

    May 28, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Pat-Indianapolis

    GOOD FOR HIM! This is arguably the root of the entire problem to begin with. Illegals come into the country looking not just for work, but so they can have children here and be able to stay here without ever having to be legal citizens.

    If you deny citizenship rights for children of illegal immigrants then they will stop coming here in droves.

    May 28, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Retired Army in San Antonio


    One thing for sure.....the apple didn't fall far from the tree 😉 .

    May 28, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Senator

    Please, Please, Please keep talking: this is the new David Duke, man I thought Bunning was a piece of Work next he's going to have a guy name Jim Crow as his Communications director

    May 28, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Larry

    Paul is correct on this from an illegal immigration perspective. Illegals come to this country in order to give birth, knowing fully they will receive free health care and free education. That has got to stop.

    May 28, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Doug-ABQ

    I agree with THIS Dr. Paul statement.

    May 28, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Annie, Atlanta

    Personally I think the Tea Baggers should just start wearing their sheets and pointy hoods in public and be done with the charade.

    May 28, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. BalloonBoy

    Good for Rand!

    May 28, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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