Sens. Paul, Vitter introduce citizenship resolution

Two Republican senators are introducing a resolution that would end the constitutional right to citizenship that comes with being born on U.S. soil.

Rand Paul (Ky.) and David Vitter (La.) are introducing a resolution this week that would amend the Constitution so that a person born in the United States could only become an American citizen if one or more of his or her parents is a legal citizen, legal immigrant or member of the armed forces, according to a joint press release Thursday.

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Vitter said the legislation would help reduce illegal immigration.

“For too long, our nation has seen an influx of illegal aliens entering our country at an escalating rate, and chain migration is a major contributor to this rapid increase – which is only compounded when the children of illegal aliens born in the U.S. are granted automatic citizenship,” Vitter said. “Closing this loophole will not prevent them from becoming citizens, but will ensure that they have to go through the same process as anyone else who wants to become an American citizen.”

Paul said the legislation enforces the current immigration rules.

"Citizenship is a privilege, and only those who respect our immigration laws should be allowed to enjoy its benefits," Paul said. "This legislation makes it necessary that everyone follow the rules, and goes through same process to become a U.S. citizen."

The resolution is part of a larger bundle of immigration bills that Vitter introduced at the beginning of the 112th Congress.

Similar legislation to end what critics decry as "birthright citizenship" did not pass in the 111th Congress.

In President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday the president called on Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together to reform U.S. immigration laws. His comments, though, seemed more in line with supporters of the DREAM Act, which provides a path to legalization to illegal immigrants who grew up and were educated in the United States.

"And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation," Obama said in the speech.