By Jim DeFede

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Saying “birthright citizenship doesn’t make sense,” Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, said he believes President Trump should sign an executive order removing that provision from the U.S. Constitution even though it may not be legal.

“I think most court decisions have gone in the direction of anyone born on the soil is a citizen,” DeSantis said during an interview Thursday morning with CBS Miami. “But it has never been finally determined whether someone who is just transiently in the country, whether as a tourist or here illegally, whether that Fourteenth Amendment would apply to them.”

The Fourteenth Amendment states: “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.”

DeSantis, who earned his law degree from Harvard, said he believes the Fourteenth Amendment was never intended to cover people who were in the country illegally. Most legal scholars however disagree. And previous court decisions say the wording of the Amendment is clear.

“I tend to think that the original interpretation of [the Fourteenth Amendment] would not apply,” DeSantis said. “But I think most of the court decisions kind of move in the direction of, `Hey if you’re born here you are due it.’ But I do think it would be good to have the court finally resolve it. I don’t know if he can do it by executive order but obviously if he did do it that would be tested immediately and we would get a resolution.”

DeSantis said he opposes birthright citizenship.

“I think as a policy matter birthright citizenship doesn’t make sense when it is applied to someone who can be a tourist, be in our country for a month, give birth and then leave and then the person is a citizen,” he said.

Jim DeFede


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