Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush mixed illegal immigration with legal immigration during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz didn’t let it slide.
According to The New York Times Bush was asked Thursday about the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to people born in the United States.
The amendment has long been considered to grant citizenship to all babies born on U.S. soil, even illegal immigrants having “anchor babies” born in the United States. But some conservatives like radio host and author Mark Levin and Republican front-runner Donald Trump have challenged that view.
“The courts have ruled that it’s part of the 14th Amendment of our Constitution, and my belief is that it ought to stay that way, that this is part of our noble heritage,” Bush said.
Then he brought up Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican and fellow rival for the GOP presidential nomination.
“Now, if people are here legally, they have a visa, and they have a child who’s born here, I think that they ought to be American citizens,” he said.
“People like Marco Rubio, by the way, that’s how he came. You know, so to suggest that we make it impossible for a talented person like that not to be a candidate for president — or Ted Cruz. I mean, I think we’re getting a little overboard here, and we’re listening to the emotion rather than to the reality of this.”
On Friday in Iowa, Cruz corrected the former Florida governor, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“I appreciate Governor Bush’s concern. It seems he’s having a problem and getting confused between legal immigration and illegal immigration,” Cruz told reporters at the Iowa State Fair.
“I am a United States citizen because my mother was a United States citizen, born in Wilmington, Delaware. And it has been the law since the beginning of the country that the children of American citizens born here or abroad are American citizens by birth.”
Rubio is a Miami-born Republican senator whose parents were Cuban immigrants, in the United States lawfully.
The children of legal immigrants and the children of American citizens aren’t part of the “anchor baby” debate. Roping two sitting U.S. senators into an argument about illegal immigration doesn’t help your case — and Jeb Bush should know it.
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