South Florida Republicans come out against Trump on birthright citizenship issue
'Birthright citizenship is protected by the Constitution,' Curbelo says
MIAMI – Several South Florida Republicans have come out strongly against President Donald Trump's plan to do away with birthright citizen through an executive order.
U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Mario Diaz-Balart issued statements Tuesday disagreeing with the president's plan. Both congressmen represent districts with large immigrant communities and are the midst of competitive races for re-election.
"Birthright citizenship is protected by the Constitution, so no Donald Trump you can’t end it by executive order," Curbelo said. "What we really need is broad immigration reform that makes our country more secure and reaffirms our wonderful tradition as a nation of immigrants."
Republican Maria Elvira Salazar, who is running to replace to Rep. Ileana Ros-Ileana in Florida's 27th Congressional District, also disagreed with the president on the issue. Salazar is in a tight race against former University of Miami President Donna Shalala.
"Donald Trump, our Constitution is sacred," Salazar said. "Focus efforts on immigration reform that secures our borders and is true to our legacy of being a nation of immigrants," Salazar said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is running to unseat Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, walked away after a Miami Herald reporter asked him a question about the birthright citizen issue.
In a statement issued to the newspaper later, the governor's staff said Scott needed more information about the policy before giving his opinion.
Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor and a staunch supporter of the president, said he agreed with Trump about ending birthright citizenship, but he questioned whether an executive order was the way to do it.
"As a matter of policy I don't think the Constitution intended that people could come illegally in order to get citizenship," DeSantis told the Tampa Bay Times.
Most legal scholars said the move would violate the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Some conservatives say birthright citizenship encourages migrants to travel to the U.S. to have children, who then become citizens. These children are sometimes derisively referred to as anchor babies.
Many South Florida Democrats took to Twitter to condemn the president's plan:
I can't tell where @realDonaldTrump ends and @RonDeSantisFL begins. This is not who we are. Floridians deserve a Governor who will stand up for everyone in our state, not bow down to Donald Trump's every unconstitutional whim. https://t.co/CngwqMDb5r— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 30, 2018
The President is blatantly attempting to rewrite our Constitution as he continues to stoke hatred and fear. The United States has always been and will continue to be a beacon of hope to the world, and no executive order can change that. #BirthrightCitizenship— Donna E. Shalala (@DonnaShalala) October 30, 2018
In a continued attempt to sow division in our country, the president now wants to deny citizenship to babies born here, based solely on their parents’ immigration status. It’s not only unconstitutional; it's also a complete affront to the ideals the U.S. has always stood for.— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) October 30, 2018
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