August 8th, 2010
02:59 PM ET
8 years ago

Boehner: Changing 14th Amendment 'worth considering'

'A lot of them came here just so their children could become U.S. citizens,' House Minority Leader John Boehner said of undocumented immigrants in a television interview Sunday.

'A lot of them came here just so their children could become U.S. citizens,' House Minority Leader John Boehner said of undocumented immigrants in a television interview Sunday.

Washington (CNN) - Changing the Constitution's guarantee of U.S. citizenship for anyone born in the United States is "worth considering" if it helps reduce illegal immigration, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives said Sunday.

"It's a serious problem that affects our country, and in certain parts of our country clearly our schools, our hospitals are being overrun by illegal immigrants. A lot of them came here just so their children could become U.S. citizens.

They should do it the legal way," House Minority Leader John Boehner told NBC's "Meet the Press."

The Ohio congressman, who could become speaker of the House if Republicans win back control of the chamber in November, is the latest GOP leader to float the idea of changing the 14th Amendment. Several leading GOP senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, have said they would support holding hearings into the matter as part of the heated debate over immigration.

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Filed under: GOP • Immigration • issues • John Boehner • Popular Posts
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. TM

    It's amazing that so many of the same members of Congress who stood silent while Bush and Cheney were treating the Constitution like toilet paper have now found their voices, in order to speak out about continuing the process. I guess all those SWORN OATHS to "support, protect, and defend the Constitution" were just for show. Perhaps we should retroactively revoke the citizenship of EVERYONE who came here without the permission of the original legal inhabitants. Boehner can use all bogus spray on tan he wants, it won't fool anyone into thinking he has even a bit of Native American DNA.

    August 8, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Larry

    Hey Folks ...

    The Republicans do not really care about illegal immigrants

    As a matter of fact, their business buddies LOVE them

    Business happily uses them to get cheap labor, and drive business costs down

    Though the Republicans like to pretend they care about WE THE PEOPLE, it's a big sham to get votes in an election year, then they'll go back to the usual habit of looking the other way, while their buddies rake in the cash

    Republicans are so aware of just how gullible so many Americans are, and they will play you every time

    Have a good day ...

    August 8, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. coach

    Pure politics.

    August 8, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    Here comes House Minority Leader John Boehner, from Ohio's 8th Congressional District, to chime in with some other Republican Congress members, whom are dovoted followers of the Limbaugh/Fox ideology propaganda machine. Whether they are 'devoted' by choice or coercion will be left for future historians to decide. One cannot help but wonder, if John Boehner is a member of that group of Republicans who wanted to take away the right to vote, those American citizens who have lost their homes due to foreclosure prior to the 2008 general election. It should be noted here that millions more have lost their homes since the 2008 election and millions more will be lost prior to the midterm election. Fortunately, however, they were stopped before successfully completing that endeavour. Also, for many other reasons too numerous to mention here, the GOP-Tea Party has no business even considering Ammending the US Constitution, for that puts at risk the lost of freedom for all American Citizens who do not follow the 'party' line. The question is, should they get control of congress, how far will they go in Ammending the Constitution? The conservatives have control of the Supreme Court. Should these 'true conservatives' gain control of the White House in 2012. Guess what folks, THEY can pass any legislation they want to; constitutionally or other wise and to top it off THEY will have TOTAL control of the military. So much for Democracy. For what it's worth, that's the opinion of an ordinary American tax-paying citizen. It will be goodbye to liberty, freedom and democracy.

    August 8, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Scott in NH

    Yes, I think they should follow the law too. I think that Mexicans should fill out G325A's, I-485's, I-765's, have all their documents translated by approved translators and then notarized, hire an attorney for $5000, get fingerprinted, wait for their interview, get new fingerprints (the old ones expired after 6 months), get a medical test, fill out the I-693 form, and then they can go keep some American farm alive for $5 an hour. But if they get leukemia or a brain tumor while they are there we have to ship them back to Mexico. America doesn't have enough cash to keep our own children alive in situations like that, certainly we cannot help them.

    August 8, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. ja

    these folk need to change focus, to fixing the economy, let's be real

    August 8, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    That is one slippery slope that we would fall down if they make changes or repeal the 14th amendment. Okay, what would be their language? Would be only those that are born here to citizens? That rules out those that are here legally because of permanent resident or legitmate visas. How is that fair to them - they came here legally.

    August 8, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. WMB

    beneath contempt to suggest this.
    they're going to have a baby then wait 21 yrs for it to exercise relevant rights?

    August 8, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Bryan

    Once again, fine leadership displayed from the Republicans. Seems like once their ancestors were born in the US, then they can close the gates. So long as they're all set. Why not bring the "Alien and Sedition Act" back while they're at it?

    Why this solution is not well thought-out:
    The 14th Amendment also establishes how an American citizen is borne–he is literally born on the soil, and that's it. Doing away with this Amendment would mean that folks, including he and his children, would have to be re-examined, in order to become Americans.

    August 8, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. brad

    well. in that case maybe we should talk about the right to bear arms while we are at it.

    August 8, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Mikey Boy

    Yes, this is a worthy idea to consider.
    What took them so long to think of this!! I HOPE this is not just posturing, but actual concern and will be followed up by action.

    August 8, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Tari Torch Sweeney - Shaker Heights, OH

    I am ASHAMED to say I live in Ohio – with Boehner out there saying such really stupid things. The man's an imbecile. Worse yet, SOMEONE in Ohio actually VOTED for him. Scares me, I can tell you. He's not from the intelligent area of Ohio (northern Ohio), that's apparent.

    August 8, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Larry C Wilson

    If a person does not become a citizen of the United States by being born in one of those united states, then how? By going back to allowing the states to determine citizenship as before the 14th Amendment? Or go by Taney's decision in the Dred Scott Case and use the Original Intent of the Founders.

    August 8, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Terry B., Lexington, Ky

    Changing the 14th Amendment would take another Amendment to do that. Does Mr. Bonehead or any other Grand Oil Party nutjob realize this? It would take YEARS and on top of that there is no garentee that 2/3 of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, and 3/4 of States Legislatures ratifying it.

    The Repulicant's had SIX years in the majority with a Republican President and never even breathed a word about doing this. What is different now than then? Oh my bad, they are no longer in the majority and are looking for really good slogans to campaign on...

    August 8, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. pat

    Yes that is very far fetched. Terrorists are already here, already citizens. They don't need to come have babies for that. Boehner is catering to the tea party nuts to try and drum up votes for Republicans. He's a loser, through and through.

    August 8, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Joanne

    I think we should do a genealogy research on every member of congress, and if there are any whose ancestors came here illegally their citizenship should immediately be revoked and they should be deported. After all they will have come here "just so their children could become US citizens"...And as far as the native Americans are concerned, every European who came here came without permission, hence stupid....There are ways to deal with the illegal immigration problem without punishing the children who were born here

    August 8, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. DENNA

    Are these people on crack?! Where will this country end up if the Constitution is changed every time the GOP want to eliminate someone? Will it stop with just illegal immigrants? Will they want to revisit other nationalities and races in America? Seriously, changing the Constitution to "fix the immigration problem" is like killing flies with a nuclear bomb. Can't cooler heads prevail here?

    August 8, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Joe

    Clearly illegal immigration is a big problem. And just as clearly, the Republicans have found the worst way possible to go about solving the problem. What other parts of the Constitution are they willing to gut for lack of any imagination or problem solving skills?

    August 8, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. golinus

    All the measures suggested by the republicans point to their true feelings towards minorities and people of color. Now they are pushing "ethnic cleansing" of hispanics. Unless you are white AND wealthy, you'll vote against your own interests if you vote republican!

    August 8, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Discernment


    (1.) – The Republican-GOP would never get the number of seats in Congress to change the 14th amendment. They would need at least 67 GOP seats to override any veto from President Obama.

    (2.) – The Republicans know they can't change the Constitution, but they keep hawking this garbage as though it can be done during President Obama's two terms. Obama will be around until the end of his second term in January 2017.

    (3.) – President Obama is pretty much guaranteed a second term because idiot Sarah Palin will win 2012 Republican nomination for President and she will lose again; thereby ensuring President Obama a second term.

    August 8, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. andy

    Why doesn't his party do something about the immigration issue first. The republicans dodge the issue of business hiring illegals to boost their bottom line and evade taxes. He meets with wall street to prevent middle class jobs and wants to preserve their bailout bonuses. Why not do something about immigration first before denying babies born in the United states the right to be United States Citizens. Boehner is a liar and fear monger pitting Whites against minority's. Republicans only want to support parts of the constitution that support people making more than $500,000 per year. The rest of us who have not had a raise in ten years can rot huh Mr. Boehner. Those Tax Cuts for the rich are the most important for the economy and job creation. My question is for who is it creating jobs? The truth is when the Republican passed the bill ten years ago, which they did by reconciliation, it would have shown the budget deficit growing by another 600 billion dollars and that was too much to show ten years ago and that's where we are now!

    August 8, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Bessy

    There is just no end to what this people wil try to do to win a few votes. It is really disgusting. They really do not give a damn about this country or its' laws. They will do anything if it gains them votes. When they are in power big business gets the benefit of everything. That is all they want. Oh, along with their tax breaks.
    Wake up America! The only way to solve the illegal problem is to make them citizens, make them pay Taxes,Unemployment, SS, Medicare, just like everybody else. They must learn to read and write English and everything in Spanish is stripped from all paperwork and no longer taught as a mandatory 2nd language wherever that applies. Taken as an elective in school would be okay. Just imagine the amount of taxes, etc. this country would gain.

    August 8, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. gentwelve

    this guy and every incumbent are the reasonfor the problem, first replace them, then take the country back, per second ammendment if need be, good bye government

    August 8, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. flicka

    The Ohio congressman, who could become speaker of the House if Republicans win back control of the chamber in November

    TRY NEVER!!!!!

    August 8, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Jerry

    Aren't the conservatives completely against changing the constitution? why all of a sudden is it ok to change our constitution? Why hasn't the tea party exploded with "don't tread on me" protests? Why aren't they raving about "don't take my guns" !?

    I'll tell you why!
    The democratic party has gotten things done these last couple of years! Health Reform, Wall Street Reform...etc all of which will benefit most Americans and the Conservative party does not like that! So the best they can do is to distract people with Non issues like this. This tactic is used to convince voters that the democrats are not getting things done when they are. This administration has done more in 2 year then bush did in 8!!
    Immigration reform is important but right now immigration is not at the top of my list.

    August 8, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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