A controversial new anti-illegal-immigration ad by GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul has sent his libertarian supporters into high dudgeon, but it’s getting rave reviews from border-security hawks, including some Homeland Security officials.
In a surprise move, the strict constitutionalist has taken aim at the 14th Amendment as part of a proposal to control growing illegal immigration. U.S. Rep. Paul, R-Texas, proposes repealing the provision that gives automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S., even if their parents enter the country illegally.
“Ron Paul wants border security now,” his new campaign ad asserts. “Physically secure the border. No amnesty. No welfare to illegal aliens. End birthright citizenship. No more student visas from terrorist nations.”
The 30-second TV spot was released last week and is now running in New Hampshire.
“This advertisement makes it clear that, as president, Dr. Paul would oppose amnesty, secure the border, end birthright citizenship, end welfare to illegal aliens, and restore the rule of law,” said campaign chairman Kent Snyder from Paul’s headquarters in Arlington, Va.
However, many of Paul’s supporters—who have donated more than $20 million to his campaign over the past three months alone—are not pleased with the ad. And some have expressed shock at his sudden tough stance against immigration.
Justin Raimondo, editor of AntiWar.com, a blog Paul regularly contributes to, called the ad “disgraceful.”
“Rarely has a more ignorant proposal been advanced,” he said. “And it is made even worse by the fact that this is Ron Paul we’re talking about.”
He and other angry fans accused Paul of pandering to the conservative base of the GOP, specifically border-security voters who backed presidential candidate Tom Tancredo before he recently dropped out of the race.
“‘No more student visas from terrorist nations’ stands against his rhetoric of ‘lets talk to people, trade with them, etc.,’ as opposed to ‘bomb them and interfere with them,’” writes a blogger called “Ali” on Reason.com’s blog. “But I think he’s trying to appeal to a certain segment of the Republican base. I do not like it though. Otherwise, it is a good ad that has a Tancredo feel to it—despite the fact that I despise Tancredo.”
Others agree with Paul’s proposals, including Homeland Security officials, who say the U.S. policy of birthright citizenship is a major incentive for illegal immigration.
[Editors Note: The ad calling for an end to birthright citizenship can be viewed and heard here.]