During an interview on NBC News, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy took a hardline stance on illegal immigration — vowing to deport the entire “family unit” of illegal aliens, even the U.S.-born children.
If elected president, the rising conservative star vowed that he would push for the deportation of illegal alien families, including children — arguing that they aren’t actually protected under the 14th Amendment.
“The family unit will be deported,” Ramaswamy said Friday when asked during an appearance on NBC News about whether deportations in his administration would include American-born children.
Ramaswamy reiterated these comments in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday in response to criticism of his comments from New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D).
“I favor ending birthright citizenship for those whose parents entered the country *illegally* because we shouldn’t reward those who violate the law with the intent of exploiting the citizenship rules. The Framers of the 14th Amendment never intended this,” he wrote.
The citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
This clause reversed a portion of the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which ruled that slaves were not U.S. citizens and thus could not expect any government protection. The Supreme Court later ruled in 1898 that the 14th Amendment provides U.S. citizenship to children born in the U.S. of non-citizen parents.
Ramaswamy challenged this interpretation of the 14th Amendment in his post, citing the often-ignored portion of the amendment that states “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” — which he argues does not apply to illegal aliens. He claims that because illegal aliens are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction, their children should not receive U.S. citizenship under the 14th Amendment.
“The Framers of the 14th Amendment never intended this & it’s arguably not even what it says (don’t forget the ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ clause which is often ignored). That’s not nightmarish, that’s common sense. My bet is even Eric Adams probably agrees with me but just can’t quite say it out loud,” he wrote.
I’m glad that @NYCMayor had the scintilla of courage to admit that the illegal migrant crisis “will destroy New York City,” but it’s a shame that he can’t embrace real solutions to the problem. I favor ending birthright citizenship for those whose parents entered the country… pic.twitter.com/x1w4dLfQWM
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) September 10, 2023
Ramaswamy’s strong position on illegal immigration comes as he continues to rise in the polls, just as former President Donald Trump did when he ran on illegal immigration as a central issue in 2016. In numerous polls, Ramaswamy has landed in second place behind Trump — though he is currently in third place on average at just 7.6%, behind Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), according to FiveThirtyEight.
You can’t be American if your first act of entering the country is a lawbreaking one. That’s not racist. That’s not xenophobic. We are a nation built on the rule of law. Secure the border and eliminate lottery-based immigration in favor of meritocratic admission. Do not apologize… pic.twitter.com/3OAzdotgBv
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) August 8, 2023