Ben Carson is the latest GOP 2016 candidate to come out against birthright citizenship, the longstanding practice rooted in the 14th Amendment of granting anyone born on American soil U.S. citizenship.
“I know the 14th Amendment has been brought up recently, about anchor babies—and it doesn’t make any sense to me that people could come in here, have a baby and that baby becomes an American citizen,” Carson said at a rally in Phoenix Tuesday, according to Breitbart. “There are many countries in the world where they simply have recognized that and don’t allow that to occur.”
Since Republican front-runner Donald Trump included ending the practice in his immigration platform released Sunday, the issue has split the GOP field. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) have all suggested they would be open to changing the practice, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) co-sponsored a bill in 2011 to limit birthright citizenship. Meanwhile former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have rejected the idea.
Most legal experts say ending birthright citizenship would require a constitutional amendment. However some supporters of changing the policy, like Rep. Steve King (R-IA), say it would only require a federal statute.