Former Florida House Speaker and Senate candidate Marco Rubio, the son of parents who emigrated from Cuba to the U.S., has not stated whether he would support or oppose hearings on amending the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship, despite numerous attempts by The Florida Independent, South Florida CBS affiliate Channel 4 and Tampa Bay Online to get an answer.
This week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would like to see hearings on abuses of the 14th Amendment, and Republican Sens. McCain, Kyl, Sessions, Coburn and Graham have all supported hearings about whether the 14th Amendment should allow for children of illegal immigrants born in the United States to be allowed automatically to have citizenship. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., supports a constitutional amendment to disallow birthright citizenship.
All of these statements come from the leadership of the very caucus that Rubio would join as a U.S. senator. Legally, the Supreme Court has ruled twice that the 14th Amendment guarantees birthright citizenship, so any change would have to come from a constitutional amendment, not by statute.
Marco Rubio’s parents fled Cuba for Miami after Fidel Castro took power. He frequently discusses how his story only could have happened in the United States. He relayed to a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference what his Cuban grandfather told him
that because of where he was born and who he was born to, there was only so much he was able to accomplish. But he wanted me to know that I would not have those limits, that there was no dreams, no ambitions, no aspirations unavailable to me. And he was right. … I have never once felt that there was something I couldn’t do because of who my parents were or weren’t.
His position on immigration is:
Legal immigration has been a great source of strength and prosperity for America, but I believe illegal immigration threatens the foundation of this system. If I had been in the Senate at the time, I would have opposed the McCain-Kennedy bill. I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing the border, fixing the visa and entry process and opposing amnesty in any reform.
The other candidates in the Florida Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D), and Jeff Greene (D), have all stated through spokespeople that they oppose any change to the 14th Amendment.
We will post Rubio’s response if and when his campaign responds.