Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked today about growing calls from Republicans to hold hearings about the 14th Amendment and whether children born to illegal immigrants can rightfully be citizens.
Reid (D-NV) quoted extensively from a column written by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson on Friday. Reid read this portion from the podium of his press conference:
The authors of the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed citizenship to all people “born or naturalized in the United States” for a reason. They wished to directly repudiate the Dred Scott decision, which said that citizenship could be granted or denied by political caprice.
They purposely chose an objective standard of citizenship — birth — that was not subject to politics. Reconstruction leaders established a firm, sound principle: To be an American citizen, you don’t have to please a majority, you just have to be born here.
Then Reid said of Republicans pushing the issue, “They’ve either taken leave of their senses or their principles.”