Politics

Poll: Opposition to birth-right citizenship higher than ever

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A new Rasmussen national telephone survey, released Tuesday, shows that 61 percent of voters oppose birth-right citizenship and 28 percent believe children of illegal immigrants should be considered citizens, with 11 percent are undecided. According to the polling outlet, it’s the highest level of support recorded for a change in current citizenship laws.

In early April, Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter introduced legislation to block the children of illegals from automatically becoming citizens. His bill would require that at least one parent be a citizen, legal resident, or member of the military for a child to get that right.

Citing the phenomena of non-citizens coming to the United States just to give birth, Vitter believes that the 14th Amendment has been stretched too far. His legislation would return it to, what he sees as its original intent.

“It is a very real problem, about 200,000 women annually come into this country from other countries legally with a tourist visa, something like that, to give birth in this country so that that child can automatically become a citizen,” Vitter told Bill Hemmer on Fox News. “I don’t think the founders ever intended for that to be a proper pathway to citizenship. Same thing happening with illegal aliens.”

This is not the first attempt of the year. Vitter and Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul in January introduced a resolution to amend the Constitution to change and clarify the intent of the 14th Amendment.

“Citizenship is a privilege, and only those who respect our immigration laws should be allowed to enjoy its benefits,” said Paul.

Vitter explained that he is not concerned about appearing anti-immigrant due to the support — as demonstrated in Tuesday’s Rasmussen poll — he has received from constituents.

“I talk to Louisianians, other Americans all the time. I have yet to talk to anybody in the real world, which means outside of Washington, D.C., who doesn’t think this is crazy, who doesn’t think birth tourism is nuts and should be illegal … I have heard no common sense justification for this,” said Vitter.

The Republican senators have allies in the House as well for this type of legislation.

“Granting automatic citizenship to children of illegal aliens is rewarding illegal behavior, plain and simple,” California Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus told TheDC Tuesday.  “Only children born to lawful American citizens should be granted citizenship.”

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Caroline May