VP Mike Pence: Supreme Court Has Never Ruled On Birthright Citizenship


CSPAN: Vice President Mike Pence remarked on President Trump's intention to review birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. "What the president has made clear is that we are looking at action that would reconsider birthright citizenship," said Mr. Pence at a Politico event, adding that the Supreme Court has never ruled on the amendment's language and whether it applies specifically to people in the country illegally. The vice president denied the president announced this possible action as a campaign ploy with seven days before the 2018 midterm elections. Mr. Pence also discussed key Senate races, the economy and the administration's "space force" proposal.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: And President Trump, from our campaign in 2016 to every day since, has been calling on the Congress and taking the action that's available to stem this tide of illegal immigration.

And one of the things the President articulated on the campaign trail two years ago was that we want to look at, in the broadest way possible, about at American law that may be used as a magnet to draw people into our country. Some of those loopholes are like catch-and-release. Some of those loopholes are in other categories. They're things that human traffickers actually use to entice vulnerable families to make the long and dangerous trip north up the peninsula, often at great risk to themselves. And, frankly, birthright citizenship is a part of that.

And what I think the President has made clear is that we are looking at action that would reconsider birthright citizenship. We all know what the 14th Amendment says. We all cherish the language of the 14th Amendment. But the Supreme Court of the United States has never ruled on whether or not the language of the 14th Amendment, subject to the jurisdiction thereof, applies specifically to people who are in the country illegally. And I think the President is looking at executive action. I know the Congress has looked at legislative action to reconsider that.

But our broad objective here is let's -- we need to fix a broken immigration system that's being used by people who literally are exploiting vulnerable people, enticing them to make this long journey north through our border in the hopes of coming into our country illegally. And we need to have a system where people know how to come into the United States legally, and that we have a system that's working for the American people first, and that it's working in an orderly way, like it did for my grandfather when he came through Ellis Island when he was 23 years of age, from Ireland.

The system isn't working today, Jake, and we've got to reform it.

More from Pence on the subject:

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