A 38-year-old businessman and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Vivek Ramaswamy, announced on Friday that he would deport children of undocumented immigrants with their families even though they are already citizens of the U.S.
Vivek Ramaswamy says he’d deport children of undocumented immigrants
After a town hall event in Iowa on Friday, NBC News questioned Ramaswamy if the deportations would include children born in the United States. Ramaswamy responded, “The family unit will be deported.”
But regardless of their parents’ immigration status, these kids are American citizens. According to the 14th Amendment, “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.”
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When asked for the second time if these kids would be deported with their families, Ramaswamy replied, “That is correct.”
Like several other conservatives, Ramaswamy believes the 14th Amendment does not confer birthright citizenship.
Ramaswamy stated, “Under the legal theory that the child of an illegal immigrant is not someone who enjoys birthright citizenship, then it would be perfectly legally permissible to remove the entire family unit,” While admitting that his approach rests on shaky ground.
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Ramaswamy remarked, “There are legally contested questions under the 14th Amendment as to whether the child of an illegal immigrant is indeed a child who enjoys birthright citizenship or not.”
GOP candidates other than Ramaswamy have also questioned the nation’s citizenship laws. Late in May, former president Donald Trump declared that he would try to eliminate birthright citizenship by an executive order on his first day back in office.
In a poll conducted after Trump’s statement, most Americans indicated that the U.S. should maintain birthright citizenship despite the GOP contenders’ claims. Only a quarter of those polled believed it should end, with 15% indicating they weren’t sure.
The Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has vowed to abolish the right to citizenship. The DeSantis campaign said in his immigration plan that current citizenship laws in the United States are “inconsistent with the original understanding of the 14th Amendment.”
The immigration plan, labeled “No Excuses,” states, “We will take action to end the idea that children of illegal aliens are entitled to birthright citizenship if they are born in the United States.”
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