Birthright Citizenship Is Not New Issue for GOP

Washington Post: “Donald Trump has reignited the immigration debate in the United States.  But while this is one of the more radical elements of Trump’s broader immigration reform proposals, the issue of birthright citizenship is not new.”

“Between 1993 and 2015, 247 representatives in the House sponsored or co-sponsored legislative efforts to deny birthright citizenship. These efforts have been highly partisan. Out of these 247 representatives, 96 percent were Republican.”

“Let’s look at this using one of the most widely used measures of left-right political ideology, the DW-Nominate score. The higher the score, the more ideologically conservative the representative. The median score for GOP representatives who have supported changes to birthright citizenship is 24 percent higher—that is, more conservative—than the median score for all other Republican representatives in the House. Figure 1 illustrates the ideological differences between legislators who have and have not sponsored or co-sponsored legislative efforts to deny birthright citizenship, for both Republicans and Democrats.”

wong_birthright_figure

“But here’s what we do know. Policymakers who have sponsored or co-sponsored legislative efforts to deny birthright citizenship represent districts that, demographically, resemble a bygone America—this version of America may very well be what GOP presidential candidates are appealing to.”

 

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