Jeb Bush is breaking with Donald Trump and several other Republican presidential candidates, saying he supports the long-standing right to citizenship for all children born in the United States – regardless of their parents’ legal status.
“This is a constitutionally protected right, and I don’t support revoking it,” the former Florida governor told reporters in South Carolina on Tuesday.
In a proposal Trump’s campaign released over the weekend, the businessman called for ending “birthright citizenship,” which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Bush’s comments underscore how Trump’s hardline stance on immigration is rippling across the GOP presidential field.
Bush said there are ways to “solve abuses, of people coming into the country so their children can become citizens.”
That, he said, could be addressed in “a targeted way.” But revoking birthright citizenship, he said, “I just reject out of hand.”
Bush is the latest Republican contender to oppose Trump on birthright citizenship. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said in Iowa on Tuesday that he, too, opposes Trump and doesn’t support repealing the 14th Amendment.
But other candidates have sided with Trump.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Monday in Iowa that he supports ending it.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tweeted that the right should be curtailed, while South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it might be a rare area of agreement between Trump and himself. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, introduced an amendment in 2011 that would have restricted birthright citizenship.