Huckabee Would NOT End Birthright Citizenship (Updated)

Huckabee Would End Birthright Citizenship Mike Huckabee wants to overturn the 14th Amendment, the Washington Times reports.

Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.

Mr. Huckabee, who won last week’s Republican Iowa caucuses, promised Minuteman Project founder James Gilchrist that he would force a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge birthright citizenship, and would push Congress to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to remove any doubt.

That Huckabee has the vigilante Gilchrist serving as an advisor, let alone a spokesman, is rather troubling.

In principle, though, I’m not opposed to this from a public policy standpoint. There’s no good reason to grant automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. “Birthright citizenship” was instituted to grant full legal rights to the freed slaves, not reward law breaking. As a practical matter, though, such an amendment would have no chance of achieving the two-thirds support in both Houses of Congress and majorities in three-quarters of the state legislatures required.

As Mark Levin observes,

if anyone is counting, this makes four constitutional amendments Huckabee claims to be supporting:

1. the Fair Tax requires a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Sixteenth Amendment;
2. a Human Life amendment;
3. an amendment to define marriage;
and now,
4. an amendment to end birthright citizenship.

That would certainly be a record pace.

Story via Memeorandum. Photo via AP/Boston Globe

UPDATE: Huckabee is flatly denying this report. PoliPundit has the text of the statement:

I do not support an amendment to the constitution that would prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens. I have no intention of supporting a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship.

One wonders what Gilchrist’s motivation was in making the announcement to the Times. Was he intentionally sabotaging Huckabee with anti-immigration voters? Trying to back him into a corner? Or did Huckabee give him a different impression in private?

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2008, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Tlaloc says:

    At that point you may as well go for an Article 5 national convention.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution

    A lot easier than trying to pass each amendment by itself. And god help us if we actually have such a convention. Everyone, and I mean *everyone*, will call it open season on the constitution.

  2. howard says:

    Somebody is going to have to stop the birthright. They just use them for anchor babies and this should not be allowed by our constitution.

  3. Paul says:

    Perhaps they will write it sloppily and we will get to forcibly emigrate some of the people who were born here even to legal citizens. Hmm, who would I pick first . . .

    the Fair Tax requires a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Sixteenth Amendment;

    This is often repeated but it is not technically correct. The 16th amendment does not prohibit a sales tax, the issue is that proponents of the sales tax don’t want to let Congress start a sales tax without taking away the income tax. So the 16th amendment doesn’t have to be repealed. But perhaps a national sales tax would require its own new amendment for the same reasons that the income tax required the 16th, because it is a tax not apportioned to each state in accordance with its population. (But then there was no amendment for the federal telecom tax, or the luxury excise tax, so I am not sure if those taxes are arguably unconstitutional and/or if a national sales tax couldn’t actually be created just by Congress on top of the income tax.)

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    lot easier than trying to pass each amendment by itself. And god help us if we actually have such a convention. Everyone, and I mean *everyone*, will call it open season on the constitution.

    It’s been open season on the constitution for the last 50-60 years.

  5. Tlaloc says:

    wait. Wait. WAIT!

    Is Huckabee doing hip-hop hand signs in that picture?

  6. Mark Jaquith says:

    Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.

    Ron Paul wants to end anchor babies. But I guess he’s not a major candidate.