Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) wants to deport the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrant, according to a statement he made at a Saturday tea party gathering, the Los Angeles Times reported.
After being asked if he would support deporting those children, Hunter said, "it takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen - it's what's in our souls."
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?
HUNTER: I would have to, yes. It's a complex issue and ... you could look and say, 'You're a mean guy. That's a mean thing to do. That's not a humanitarian thing to do.' " Hunter added, "We simply cannot afford what we're doing right now. We just can't afford it. California's going under.
Hunter confirmed his comments to the North County Times, adding that he also supports House Resolution 1868, introduced last year but stalled in a House committee. The measure calls for the elimination of automatic citizenship of children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.
Of course, if Hunter means to deport all children of illegal immigrants, that might include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who worked for several years under the Bush administration.
In a 2006 interview, Gonzales said on CNN that his grandparents lack documentation of citizenship and may be illegal immigrants.
Currently, the Constitution grants citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil.
More than 90 congressional representatives -- including Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray, who also represent San Diego County districts -- support federal legislation to eliminate automatic citizenship for children born in the US.
Critics, however, say that it's wrong to change the 14th Amendment and throw out a century of legal precedent.
Well-known political commentator George Will wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post advocating reform of immigration laws that protect children.
A simple reform would drain some scalding steam from immigration arguments that may soon again be at a roiling boil. It would bring the interpretation of the 14th Amendment into conformity with what the authors of its text intended, and with common sense, thereby removing an incentive for illegal immigration.