‘The 14th amendment is clear. What’s also clear is that our immigration system is broken…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, a vulnerable Democrat caught in a tight race for re-election, said he would be open to considering legislation ending birthright citizenship during a debate on Tuesday.
“I’m the only person on this stage who voted three times for a border wall. I voted against sanctuary cities. I’ve stood for secure borders with John McCain when, in 2013, we passed legislation that would have provided an additional 20,000 border agents to the border,” he said when asked about President Trump’s recent announcement about ending birthright citizenship.
Donnelly mentioned South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s intention to introduce legislation regarding birthright citizenship, saying, “We have to take a look at that legislation.”
“I’d want to see that legislation, make sure it was constitutional and review it first,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly’s Republican opponent Mike Braun said he is also open to considering Graham’s legislation.
President Trump said birthright citizenship will end “one way or another,” and announced his intention to end it by executive order if Congress fails to take action. In an interview with The Hill after the debate, Donnelly said the Constitution supports birthright citizenship, but he’s open to potential reforms.
“The 14th amendment is clear. What’s also clear is that our immigration system is broken,” Donnelly told The Hill. “As I have done in the past, I will work with both parties to find a solution that secures our borders and fixes our broken immigration laws.”
Many Republicans have said Trump doesn’t have the constitutional authority to end birthright citizenship, and said Congress must do so through legislation or a constitutional amendment. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said ending birthright citizenship by executive order would be “unconstitutional.”
“You obviously cannot do that,” Ryan told radio station WVLK. “We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives we believe in the Constitution. … I’m a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I think in this case the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process.”