Andy Barr, Politico, July 29, 2010
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Wednesday night that he is considering introducing a constitutional amendment that would change existing law to no longer grant citizenship to the children of immigrants born in the United States.
Currently, the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to any child born in the United States.
But with 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., Graham said it may be time to restrict the ability of immigrants to have children who become citizens just because they are born in the country.
“I may introduce a constitutional amendment that changes the rules if you have a child here,” Graham said during an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake. . . . We should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child’s automatically not a citizen.”
“People come here to have babies,” he said. “They come here to drop a child. It’s called ‘drop and leave.’ To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child’s automatically an American citizen. That shouldn’t be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons.”
“I’m a practical guy, but when you go forward, I don’t want 20 million more 20 years from now,” he said. “I want to be fair. I want to be humane. We need immigration policy, but it should be on our terms, not someone else’s. I don’t know how to fix it all. But I do know what makes people mad, that 12 million people came here, and there seems to be no system to deal with stopping 20 million 20 years from now.”