One of the Senate's most liberal members dismissed a Republican proposal to review the 14th Amendment, which gives the children of illegal immigrants the right to citizenship. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist, said the amendment "deserves discussion" but that Republicans are demagoging the issue ahead of the midterm elections. 


"If you think it's a coincidence this is coming up three months before the election, you are mistaken," he said on ABC's "Top Line" webcast. 

Sanders said that Republicans would prefer to talk about divisive social issues instead of ways to fix the economy. 

"This is a political issue. You're going to hear about guns, you're going to hear about gays. You're going to hear about immigration," he said. 

In an interview with The Hill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) became arguably the highest-ranking Republican to support a review of the amendment, signaling the idea has growing support within the GOP. Republicans have brought up the proposal as one way to repair the country's immigration issues.

Other Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), have argued the amendment should be changed to bar the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens, arguing that it provides an incentive to people to enter the country illegally. 

Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform largely oppose the controversial proposal. Sanders focused on its timing. 

"I think it is an issue that deserves discussion," he said. "I think the way it is being presented now is 100 percent political."