Recently, a group of Republican lawmakers and officials have publicly floated the notion of repealing the 14th Amendment as a way of combatting illegal immigration. Of course, it will never happen. A repeal would require a tectonic, ideological shift in Congress, and no matter what happens during this fall’s elections, it is impossible to envision any scenario in which a repeal would be supported by 2/3rds of Congress.
In simple terms, the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone naturally born in the United States. The lawmakers who support its repeal believe that this fundamental right is being abused and exploited by illegal immigrants who sneak into the United States in order to give birth to so-called “anchor babies.”
Louisiana junior Senator David Vitter, who supports applying the 14th Amendment to “pre-born fetuses,” previously introduced a bill that would have required “at least one parent to be a legal resident in order for their child to be granted U.S. citizenship.”
It remains to be seen what Mr. Vitter thinks about the latest push by some Republicans to repeal the 14th Amendment, but I think it’s a question worth asking.
Because Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the most popular Republican in the State, was a direct beneficiary of the 14th Amendment. His parents, who were citizens of India, immigrated to the United States when his mother was six months pregnant, and when he was born in Baton Rouge, Bobby Jindal immediately became recognized as a natural-born citizen of the United States (which means, by the way, that he can run for President of the United States).
Proponents of the repeal have suggested that any child born to parents here on temporary, work, or student visas should be subject to deportation. Governor Jindal’s parents, at the time of his birth, carried student visas.
The question to Senator Vitter shouldn’t be if he believes Governor Jindal can run for President, if he so chooses; the question is: Does Senator Vitter believe Governor Jindal should be able to run for President?
Based on Vitter’s previous bill, I assume the answer is no.