Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand PaulRand PaulGOP rep: Trump could be 'one-term president' if healthcare bill passes Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief urges Congress to approve budget boost | Senate fight over NATO addition Defying Trump, Freedom Caucus insists it'll oppose GOP ObamaCare replacement MORE said Thursday he would support amending the Constitution to deny automatic citizenship to children born in the United States.
Paul, the libertarian Republican nominee for the Senate who's also the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), said courts should review the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States," to determine whether or not it should apply to the children of illegal immigrants.
If those court challenges fail, Paul said in an interview with the conservative blog Right Wing News, then he would support an amendment that would have the effect of denying citizenship to children of illegal immigrants who are born in the U.S.
"But the 14th amendment actually says that you will be a citizen as long as you are under the jurisdiction of the United States," Paul said. "Many argue that these children that are born to illegal aliens are really still under the jurisdiction of the Mexican government."
"I think we need to fight that out in the courts," he added. "If we lose, then I think we should amend the Constitution because I don't think the 14th amendment was meant to apply to illegal aliens. It was meant to apply to the children of slaves."
Paul has previously suggested that children of illegal immigrants should not be considered citizens of the United States, but appears not to have directly addressed whether the Constitution should be amended to clear up the matter.
Some nonprofits and lawmakers have also fretted over the growing practice of "birth tourism," where pregnant women from foreign nations pay to travel to the United States to deliver, with the intent of obtaining U.S. citizenship for their child.