Brendan Kirby, LifeZette, July 31, 2018
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) isn’t known as an immigration hawk, but on Tuesday he took on an issue many other Republican politicians have ducked — so-called birthright citizenship.
The term refers to the widely understood belief that the 14th Amendment automatically confers citizenship on nearly any baby born on U.S. soil — regardless of whether the parents have a connection to the United States.
Graham said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the policy acts as a strong incentive for illegal immigration. He noted that the United States is one of a small handful of countries that recognize birthright citizenship.
It is not a new position for Graham. He was among the Republican presidential contenders in 2015 who proposed eliminating birthright citizenship. And he talked about the issue years before that as well.
But Graham told host Laura Ingraham that offering leniency to illegal immigrants will only invite more illegal immigration if not backed up by measures to stop the next wave. He said that includes requiring businesses to use the E-Verify system to ensure that new hires are legally authorized to work in the United States.
The Supreme Court never has directly considered whether birthright citizenship applies to the babies of illegal immigrants or tourists, and some legal scholars argue that the 14th Amendment is more limited.