Vivek Ganapati Ramaswamy, who was running for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, sparked a controversial debate by calling for birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children. for parents who entered the country illegally. The proposal was voiced at the second Republican debate on the 2024 election cycle, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif. Ramaswamy’s stand triggered a wide range of reactions from netizens and his fellow primary aspirants, making it a major topic of discussion in the race.
During the debate, Ramaswamy articulated his position, stating, “I favor ending birthright citizenship for the kids of illegal immigrants in this country.” He acknowledged the expected objections, particularly regarding the Constitution and the 14th Amendment, and emphasized his comprehension of the amendment’s text. According to Ramaswamy, the 14th Amendment declares that all individuals born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its laws and jurisdiction are citizens. He highlighted that this does not extend to the children of foreign diplomats in the country.
What was Public Reaction?
Ramaswamy’s proposal generated mixed reactions from the public, with a video clip of his statement garnering significant attention on social media platforms. Here are some of the responses:
- Compassion and Rule of Law: Some users advocated for comprehensive immigration reform, urging a balance between compassion and the rule of law.
- Support for the Proposal: Others supported Ramaswamy’s stance, arguing that it would eliminate an incentive for illegal immigration, ultimately saving taxpayer money.
- Opposition to the Proposal: Critics argued that it is not the children’s fault that their parents entered the country illegally, asserting that they have a birthright to citizenship.
Nikki Haley’s Critique:
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley criticized Ramaswamy during the debate for joining the Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok. She questioned the suitability of a presidential candidate being influenced by social media influencers and called TikTok one of the most dangerous social media apps due to its ties to China.
Ramaswamy defended his TikTok presence, explaining it as a means to engage with younger voters, a demographic crucial in contemporary elections. He proposed restricting younger people’s access to social media during his potential presidency to address its negative impacts.
The second Republican debate of the 2024 election cycle included seven candidates: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Ramaswamy’s proposal to end birthright citizenship is based on the argument that the children of undocumented immigrants should not be granted citizenship because their parents broke the law by entering the country illegally. While the 14th Amendment has traditionally been interpreted to grant citizenship to those born on U.S. soil, some legal scholars suggest that the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” provides room for interpretation and potential restrictions.
In addition to his stance on birthright citizenship, Ramaswamy has advocated for measures such as border militarization, defunding “sanctuary cities,” and an end to foreign aid to Mexico and Central America. He has also called for reforming the H-1B visa program to prioritize skill-based immigration.
Vivek Ramaswamy’s proposal to end birthright citizenship has sparked controversy and debate within the 2024 Republican presidential race. While it has received both support and criticism, it underscores the ongoing discourse on immigration policy and its implications for the United States. Ramaswamy’s positions on various issues, including social media usage and immigration reform, have positioned him as a prominent figure in the crowded field of Republican candidates.