Politics

Lindsey Graham Seconds Trump Proposal to End Birthright Citizenship

South Carolina Republican has long been active in bipartisan immigration debate

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., supports an end to birthright citizenship, a plan forwarded by President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a previous advocate of bipartisan immigration overhaul and who could be the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the next Congress, is praising President Donald Trump’s effort to roll back birthright citizenship by executive fiat.

The South Carolina Republican, who previously partnered with colleagues such as the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois on wide-ranging immigration overhauls, on Tuesday called the longstanding process of granting citizenship status an “absurd policy.”

Trump said in an interview with Axios that he would be using an executive order to end birthright citizenship, though such an action is legally dubious — if not outright unconstitutional.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Graham, a former Air Force attorney and judge who is in the middle of a cross-country tour campaigning for Republican candidates for Senate and other key races, went further, announcing that he would be filing corresponding legislation in the Senate.

“The United States is one of two developed countries in the world who grant citizenship based on location of birth,” Graham said. “This policy is a magnet for illegal immigration, out of the mainstream of the developed world, and needs to come to an end.”

“I plan to introduce legislation along the same lines as the proposed executive order from President,” the South Carolina Republican said in a statement.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.