Vivek Ramaswamy, 38, acquired citizenship by birthright because he was born in the United States to two noncitizens, and his parents entered the country legally.
Vivek Ramaswamy shares his family’s citizenship story
On the campaign trail, Vivek Ramaswamy can be seen frequently highlighting the immigration and naturalization journey of his family to support two controversial policy ideas: stripping citizenship from and deporting people born in the country of undocumented immigrants and denying 18- to 24-year-olds the right to vote unless they pass a civics test.
He told Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds at the Iowa State Fair in August, “I think there’s no reason why every high school student who graduated in this country should not have to pass the same civics test that an immigrant, like my parents, had to pass to become a citizen of this country,”
Ramaswamy mentioned in a sit-down interview on Tuesday that his father is not a citizen of the United States and never took the test. Ramaswamy stated, “He did not. And that’s a choice that he has made for familial reasons,”
He continued, “But my mother did,” saying she took the test and finished the procedure after his birth. “And I think that every immigrant who comes to this country in order to become a full voting citizen has to do the same.”
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Ramaswamy has been particularly vigorous about the controversial idea of denying undocumented immigrants’ children born in the United States access to birthright citizenship. The 14th Amendment has long guaranteed that because it specifies that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
Ramaswamy added, “I want to be very clear about this. I think that birthright citizenship does not and should not apply to the kids of parents who entered this country illegally,”
He continued, “Here’s the policy we’re going to apply — this is where I’ve been clear — the kids of illegal immigrants and the families who came here undocumented have to be returned to their country of origin,”
When asked if the proposal covers Americans who have only ever lived in the United States, Ramaswamy responded in the affirmative.
When NBC News enquired, “You become president, that 25- or 30-year-old that was born to undocumented immigrants, their parents, and they themselves are deported — to say they are all from Venezuela, they all go back just to Venezuela”? Ramaswamy agreed, admitting that it would be a shocking change.
And when NBC News asked Ramaswamy if it would be “a cold turkey rip” for people who may have lived, worked, and paid taxes in the U.S. their entire lives under privileges provided by the 14th Amendment, he responded, “It has to be.”
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