Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur from Ohio, made the comments on NBC during a town Hall event in Iowa on Friday when asked how he plans to deal with anchor babies, which raised questions regarding the Fourteenth Amendment, NBC News reports.
The presidential hopeful, who has been polling second behind former President Donald Trump in recent polls, suggested that his hypothetical administration would not be separating families but would rather deport the entire "family unit."
"The family unit will be deported as a family unit. We will never separate families," Ramaswamy said in response to being asked if he would deport children.
"But we will de-bureaucratize the process for which law-abiding citizens and their families have a path to legal immigration into the country if they meet the criteria," he added.
Regarding the Fourteenth Amendment, or "birthright citizenship," which states that "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," Ramaswamy said that "contested questions" under this amendment legally allows for the child of an illegal immigrant to be deported.
"There are legally contested questions under the 14th Amendment of whether the child of an illegal immigrant is indeed a child who enjoys birthright citizenship," Ramaswamy said. "They are contested."
"Under the legal theory that the child of an illegal immigrant is not someone who enjoys birthright citizenship, then it would be perfectly legally permissible to remove the entire family unit," he explained.
Ramaswamy is not the only Republican presidential candiate to share an understanding of the 14th Amendment that differs from what is pushed by the mainstream media. If re-elected, former president Donald Trump has also vowed to revoke the right of undocumented immigrants' children to citizenship. In addition, according to NBC News, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's campaign implied in June that birthright citizenship isn't always a given for the children of undocumented immigrants, calling it "inconsistent with the original understanding of the 14th Amendment."
Solving the Biden administration's open border crisis has been a top issue among GOP presidential campaigns. In 2022, there were more than 2 million illegal immigrant encounters at the US/Mexico border.
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