I’m usually pretty supportive of Rand Paul, but there are some issues where he’s wrong, and immigration is one of them:
Paul recently suggested to a Russian TV station that the U.S. should abandon its policy of granting citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants — even if they’re born on U.S. soil.
Paul also said he’s discussed instituting an “underground electrical fence” on the border to keep out unwanted elements, though he emphasized that he’s “not opposed to letting people come in and work and labor in our country.”
The real problem, Paul said, is that the U.S. “shouldn’t provide an easy route to citizenship” because of “demographics.”
According to Paul, the proportion of Mexican immigrants that register as Democrats is 3-to-1, so of course “the Democrat Party is for easy citizenship.”
He added: “We’re the only country that I know that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop also.”
Video (immigration discussion begins around 8:30 in):
There’s just one problem with Paul’s position, and it starts with Section One of the 14th Amendment:
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
Then, in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), the Supreme Court stated:
[T]he Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes. The Amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born, within the territory of the United States, of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States. Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States.
The evident intention, and the necessary effect, of the submission of this case to the decision of the court upon the facts agreed by the parties were to present for determination the single question stated at the beginning of this opinion, namely, whether a child born in the United States, of parent of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States.
Moreover, there’s this from one of the framer’s of the 14th Amendment:
The author of the 14th Amendment, Senator Jacob Merritt Howard of Michigan proposed the addition of the jurisdiction phrase and stated that it tracked what he believed was already the law of the land. As such, he stated, “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the family of ambassadors, or foreign ministers accredited to the the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.”
In other words, the children born in the United States are citizens regardless of the citizenship status of their parents and Rand Paul is wrong about this one.