Issue Position: The 14th Amendment and Birthright Citizenship

Issue Position

The 14th Amendment was ratified in the aftermath of the Civil War to ensure that all persons who had been born into slavery on U.S. soil would become citizens of this great country and to reiterate that the Federal government could make no law abridging the rights of any citizen as guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution without due process of law.

Today, however, many illegal immigrants come to this country, have children, and claim birthright U.S. citizenship for their children under the authority of the 14th Amendment. This is wrong, and it must be stopped.

As such, I'm committed to supporting legislation that would clarify who is considered a natural born citizen. Former U.S. Representative Nathan Deal introduced H.R. 1868 in the U.S. House of Representatives last year. Under this bill, the only way that someone could be considered a natural born citizen is if a parent meets at least one of the following three criteria: 1) is a citizen or national of the United States, 2) is a lawful permanent resident, or 3) is an alien that is on active military duty with the U.S. military. Passing this law would solve the birthright citizenship issue without the need to amend the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is a remarkable document and we should be very careful before jumping to the conclusion that passing an Amendment is the only way to fix our current problems. Since 1791, when the Bill of Rights was ratified, the Constitution has only been amended 17 times. This is not a failing of our Republic, but a testament to the strength of the Constitution, which has governed for hundreds of years, almost exactly as the Founding Fathers drafted it. I respect the wisdom of the United States Constitution and vow to uphold it at all costs.