Skip to main content

South Carolina congressman, Mark Sanford, shocked viewers when he argued that Haitian-Americans should not be entitled to birthright citizenship because Haitians were not former slaves.

During an appearance on MSNBC, he claimed that the 14th Amendment was only intended for the descendants of formerly enslaved Blacks.

“I’m not a fan of birthright citizenship,” he told host Craig Melvin.

“Why are you not a fan of it?” Melvin asked him. “You do recognize that it’s in enshrined in the Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment?”

"There are a number of folks who’ve said that particular interpretation is not really what the founding fathers intended,” Sanford wrongly explains.

“The idea that you just happen to come in from Haiti or anywhere else and because you get your boat to shore, all the sudden you are open to the same rights and privileges that anybody else is, I think that’s at odds with the intent,” he adds. “I think it was ultimately about slavery at that time and rights that should come to former slaves.”

Article 1 of the 14th Amendment 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 [...]

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

He wouldn't be the first Republican ignorant of the law. We are witnessing the current administration's attempt to rewrite the constitution, which is unconstitutional.