President Donald Trump said in an interview with Axios this week that he will sign an executive order seeking to end the right to citizenship for children born to non-citizens living in the U.S., stirring up a debate that started during his bid for the White House in 2016.
As Texans head to the polls to vote in the 2018 midterms, they may be wondering: Where do U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke stand on the issue?
In 2015, Cruz said he supported ending birthright citizenship and proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution if necessary.
"I think birthright citizenship as a policy matter doesn't make sense," Cruz said in an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" in 2015. "We have right now upwards of 12 million people living here illegally. 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."
As recently as August 2018, Cruz reiterated his position while taking an audience question during a campaign stop in Texas.
"Birthright citizenship as a policy doesn't make a whole lot of sense," Cruz said. "If you look at most of the countries on Earth, if you go there illegally, you have a child, that child is not a citizen. Here in the United States, we're one of very few countries that actually allows someone here illegally for their child to be treated as a U.S. citizen. I think we need to change that."
O'Rourke has never called for ending birthright citizenship. On the contrary, he has said he supports a path to citizenship for children brought to the U.S. illegally. He's repeatedly said he's against a border wall and has called for the end of "the militarization of ICE" — Immigrant and Customs Enforcement — and for officials to "renew our commitment to refugees and asylum seekers."
“Recognizing we are a nation of laws — one that can maintain order at the border without dehumanizing anyone — we have to put a stop to family separation, ensure that every separated family is reunified, pass the DREAM Act, provide immigrants with a fair path to work and citizenship, close private detention centers, end the militarization of ICE, renew our commitment to refugees and asylum seekers and ensure that everyone who comes to this country can contribute to their full potential," O'Rourke said.
Reporter Patrick Svitek contributed to this article.
This article was originally published at TexasTribune.org.
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