Ron DeSantis says he’ll end birthright citizenship as president

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday unveiled a sweeping plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration system and ramp up border enforcement, vowing to end birthright citizenship, “repel the invasion” at the U.S. southern border and use the “levers at our disposal” to ensure cooperation from Mexico.

The plan, which was unveiled during a campaign trip to the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, ushered in the beginning of a new, policy-focused phase of DeSantis’ presidential bid that his campaign has billed as a more direct effort to challenge President Joe Biden.

But the rollout also doubled as an attempt to criticize former President Donald Trump, the heavy frontrunner for the GOP’s 2024 White House nomination whose political brand was built in large part on his hardline — and often inflammatory — rhetoric on immigration and border security.

“The reason why I’m really motivated to bring this issue to a conclusion is because I have listened to people in DC for years and years and years,” DeSantis told supporters on Monday. “Republicans and Democrats always chirping about this and never actually bringing the issue to a conclusion, never actually getting the job done.” DeSantis pledged to end “catch and release” — the policy that allows migrants to be released into the U.S. while they await their asylum hearing — reimpose the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy and finish Trump’s long-promised, though still incomplete, border wall. DeSantis also said that Border Patrol agents should be able to “respond with force” if they catch drug smugglers attempting to sneak into the U.S.

DeSantis’ proposals went even further, calling for the end of birthright citizenship, in which the United States automatically grants citizenship to anyone born within its borders. That right is granted under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States … are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” The Constitution also says that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”


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