At the second Republican presidential debate, Indian-American aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy said that he favours stripping birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.
Seven Republican candidates clashed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California on Wednesday night where Ramaswamy was asked “what legal premise” he would use to expel undocumented immigrants and their US-born children from the country.
“I favour ending birthright citizenship for the kids of illegal immigrants in this country,” the biotech entrepreneur told Univision host Ilia Calderon.
Born to immigrant parents from India, the 38-year-old said that the children of undocumented immigrants born in the country are not entitled to US citizenship as their parents “broke the law” to be in the country.
Asserting that he has “read” the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Ramaswamy said stating from it that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the laws and jurisdiction thereof are citizens”.
Ramaswamy’s views corresponded with fellow Republican candidate and former President Donald Trump who vowed to end birthright citizenship for children of unauthorised immigrants if he wins the 2024 election.
“My policy will choke off a major incentive for continued illegal immigration, deter more migrants from coming and encourage many of the aliens Joe Biden has unlawfully let into our country to go back to their home countries. They must go back,” Trump had said in a video message in May this year.
He had also brought up the issue while he was in office.
In 2018, Trump said he planned to issue an executive order that would end the automatic grant of citizenship to those born in this country to non-citizens.
Besides the US, Canada and Mexico also offer birthright citizenship.
During the debate, Ramaswamy also termed transgender as a “mental health disorder” while responding to a question about parental notification about their children’s gender identities.
Hosted by the Fox Business Network and Univision, the debate was skipped by Trump and saw participation from Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.