Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday night argued that the 14th Amendment no longer serves the purpose it was designed to address and that Congress should reexamine granting citizenship to any child born in the United States.
The 14th Amendment was passed following the Civil War out of fear that southern states would try to find a way to deny citizenship to freed slaves.
“I’m looking at the laws that exist and see if it makes sense today,” Graham said. “You’ve got the other problem, where thousands of people are coming across the Arizona/Texas border for the express purpose of having a child in an American hospital so that child will become an American citizen, and they broke the law to get there.”
Graham also pointed to tourists who, he says, come to the United States on 90-day visa during the later stage of pregnancy in order to give birth to a child with U.S. citizenship.
“That, to me, cheapens American citizenship. That’s not the way I would like it to be awarded,” he said.
The line in question in the amendment reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States …”