As Rand Paul aligns himself with anti-immigrant forces, father Ron Paul comes out in favor of DADT repeal

Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party hero Rand Paul says he opposes granting citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States.

In an interview with Russia Today, flagged by Jillian Rayfield at TalkingPointsMemo, Paul appeared to join the anti-immigrant sentiment running through his party in recent years, telling the news network that the practice of granting citizenship to all persons born on US soil -- as mandated by the 14th Amendment -- "should stop."

"We're the only country that I know that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen," Paul said.

On that point, it would appear Paul is misinformed. Dozens of countries around the world adhere to the principle of Jus soli, "right of soil," meaning citizenship based on a person's place of birth. Among the countries where persons are automatically granted citizenship by virtue of being born there are Australia, Canada, France and the UK.

The principal alternative to Jus soli is Jus sanguinis, or "right of blood," where a person's ethnicity or ancestral ties to a country determine whether they are a citizen. Countries that adhere to this principle include China, Germany, Japan and Russia.

But switching the US from being a "right of soil" country to a "right of blood" country would be complicated. For one thing, as constitutional experts told TPM's Ben Frumin last month, it would require a constitutional amendment that overrides the 14th Amendment.

Thus, a law proposed by Republican lawmakers last year that would end the right to citizenship by birth would be unconstitutional, constitutional lawyers say. Despite this, some 90 members of Congress have co-signed the bill, which is known as the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009.

News that Paul has sided with anti-immigration hardliners in the GOP further stretches the credibility of those who claim that the GOP candidate for a Senate seat from Kentucky is a libertarian like his father, Rep. Ron Paul, Republican of Texas. Though immigration is a controversial issue among US libertarians, libertarianism has traditionally opposed any regulation of immigration and supported an open-borders policy.

In a recent interview, Paul disappointed many supporters of his father when he said, "I'm not a libertarian."

Ron Paul supports repeal of military gay ban

Rand Paul may not be a libertarian, but his father Ron Paul just increased his own libertarian credentials by voting on Thursday in favor of repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars gays from serving openly.

"Paul's vote was the lone surprise among the five Republicans who bucked their party to vote for the amendment sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Penn.)," reports David Weigel at the Washington Post.

Weigel quoted Paul as saying:

"I have received several calls and visits from constituents who, in spite of the heavy investment in their training, have been forced out of the military simply because they were discovered to be homosexual," Paul said Friday. "To me, this seems like an awful waste. Personal behavior that is disruptive should be subject to military discipline regardless of whether the individual is heterosexual or homosexual. But to discharge an otherwise well-trained, professional, and highly skilled member of the military for these reasons is unfortunate and makes no financial sense."

The following video was broadcast on Russia Today Wednesday, May 26, 2010.