Paul and Vitter Introduce Birthright Citizenship Resolution

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 27 2011 12:27 PM

Paul and Vitter Introduce Birthright Citizenship Resolution

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ken., are jointly introducing a "resolution that would amend the Constitution" -- not an amendment -- to deny citizenship to anyone born in the United States "unless at least one parent is a legal citizen, legal immigrant, active member of the Armed Forces or a naturalized legal citizen."

The rest of the statement, with the language of the resolution forthcoming:

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"For too long, our nation has seen an influx of illegal aliens entering our country at an escalating rate, and chain migration is a major contributor to this rapid increase – which is only compounded when the children of illegal aliens born in the U.S. are granted automatic citizenship," said Sen. Vitter. "Closing this loophole will not prevent them from becoming citizens, but will ensure that they have to go through the same process as anyone else who wants to become an American citizen."    

"Citizenship is a privilege, and only those who respect our immigration laws should be allowed to enjoy its benefits," said Sen. Paul. "This legislation makes it necessary that everyone follow the rules, and goes through same process to become a U.S. citizen."            

Vitter and Paul do not believe that the 14th Amendment confers birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens, either by its language or intent. This resolution makes clear that under the 14th Amendment a person born in the United States to illegal aliens does not automatically gain citizenship.    

This birthright citizenship legislation and four other illegal immigration bills are part of a package of nearly 40 bills Vitter introduced on the first day of the 112th Congress that senators were allowed to officially submit legislation.

The joint introduction with Paul is a clear sign of how much media the freshman can attract by taking a position. (Vitter was elected to a second term last year.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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