The state Republican Party adopted a platform Saturday that includes a provision aimed at opposing automatic citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants.
“Immigration is an issue that a lot of our party activists feel strongly about,” state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said. “And it’s certainly a very defensible position. It’s not at all something that’s based on race concerns. It’s a matter of what is citizenship going to be based on.”
State Attorney General Rob McKenna, one of the state’s most prominent Republicans, said he doesn’t support banning automatic citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants.
“We have more than 200 years of history in which children born in the U.S. are deemed U.S. citizens,” said McKenna, before reading the platform language. “What matters is where the children are born.”
“The Constitution says that if you’re born in the United States you’re a U.S. citizen,” said Scott Workman, of Sequim. “I’m not willing to change the Constitution. If we’re going to let them in and they’re going to have babies here, then they’re U.S. citizens.”
The plank covering immigration and homeland security says, “We welcome those who wish to build a new and better life in America and Washington state and to recognize that the only price of such opportunity is their willingness to embrace our language, culture and legal system, beginning at our national borders.”
The provision goes on to say that legal immigration “can best be facilitated by a transparent, traceable and enforceable guest-worker program that does not include amnesty or birthright citizenship and sanctuary cities.”