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(The Hill) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a leading Republican presidential candidate, vowed to end birthright citizenship as a part of his immigration released on Monday.
“We will take action to end the idea that the children of illegal aliens are entitled to birthright citizenship if they are born in the United States,” the plan, which is titled “No Excuses,” reads.
“Dangling the prize of citizenship to the future offspring of illegal immigrants is a major driver of illegal migration. It is also inconsistent with the original understanding of 14th Amendment, and we will force the courts and Congress to finally address this failed policy.”
Like DeSantis, former President Trump vowed last month to end birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to parents who entered the country illegally. The former president also pledged to end the practice with an executive order during his administration in 2018.
However, most immigration experts argue that a president does not have the authority to end birthright citizenship because it is enshrined in the Constitution. The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to those “born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
However, DeSantis’s campaign argued in its plan that current practice is “inconsistent with the original understanding of 14th Amendment.” The accepted interpretation of the amendment has stood since an 1898 Supreme Court case involving a U.S. citizen with Chinese parents.
According to DeSantis’s newly released plan, he would also end catch-end-release, reimpose the Remain in Mexico policy, increase border patrol pay and penalties for human trafficking, and sanction and restrict visas of citizens from countries who do not accept deportees.
“I have listened to people in DC for years and years and years, going back decades. Republicans and Democrats always chirping about this, and yet never actually bringing the issue to a conclusion,” DeSantis told a crowd in Eagleton, Texas, announcing the plan on Monday.
“So what we’re saying is no excuses on this,” he continued. “Get the job done. Make it happen. We want results. We don’t want hollow rhetoric. We don’t want empty promises. When we go in on day one, we’re going to marshal every bit of authority that we have.”
DeSantis said his administration would work with Congress when it needs to and take executive action when he can.
“It will be a day one priority and you’re going to see a big change very, very quickly,” he said.
The announcement marks the Florida governor’s first major policy platform rollout since he jumped into the Republican presidential primary last month.
The Trump campaign was quick to respond to DeSantis’s immigration roll out on Monday, accusing the governor of “copying” the former president.
Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller tweeted side-by-side photos of Trump at the border wall and DeSantis building a wall with blocks with his children in a 2018 campaign ad, writing “Ron DeSantis is the Fisher Price version of President Trump.” The campaign also tweeted a compilation of clips of DeSantis praising Trump’s record on immigration before the two were political rivals.
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