Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Hickenlooper, Bennet bring deep ties to 2020 debate stage 2020 Democrat Bennet releases comprehensive government reform plan GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (R-Texas) said on Sunday that the concept of birthright citizenship is illogical given America’s struggles with rising illegal immigration.

“I think birthright citizenship as a policy matter doesn’t make sense,” the GOP presidential candidate told host John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“We have right now upwards of 12 million people living here illegally,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense that our law automatically grants citizenship to their children, because what it does is it incentivizes additional illegal immigration.”

GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Joint Chiefs chairman: 'The last thing in the world we need right now is a war with Iran' Pence: 'We're not convinced' downing of drone was 'authorized at the highest levels' Trump: Bolton would take on the whole world at one time MORE started a national debate over birthright citizenship by calling for an end to the practice last weekend.

Cruz argued on Sunday that he supports better securing America’s borders before tackling the contentious issue head on.

“Any change in birthright citizenship, be it a statue or a constitutional amendment, will take many, many years,” he said.

“So the first priority should be securing the border, and we can do that with a president, unlike President Obama, who will actually enforce the law and get the job done,” Cruz said.

“It’s not that we don’t know how to solve illegal immigration,” he added. “What is missing is the political will to get it done and as president, I will get it done. We will secure the borders.”

Cruz additionally charged that increasing Border Patrol staffing is the best way of halting the tide of illegal immigration into the U.S.

“When you go visit with law enforcement, when you visit with Border Patrol agents, about what works, the number one most effective tool is boots on the ground,” he said. “That’s why I filed legislation to triple the Border Patrol.”

“The legislation I filed would also increase fourfold the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft so that we can use technology to monitor the border, to supplement the boots on the ground.”