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TX-Sen: Cruz backs ending birthright citizenship, questions whether president can do it with an EO

Sen. Ted Cruz held a rally in Amarillo as part of his bus tour leading up to Tuesday's midterm elections. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz reiterated this week his long-held criticism that birthright citizenship encourages pregnant women to come to America to give birth to "anchor babies."

"Birthright citizenship encourages people to break the law," Cruz told the Dallas Morning News after a rally Tuesday in Uvalde. "So, I have long supported ending birthright citizenship."

Cruz explained that "virtually every country on earth" does not allow the children of illegal immigrants to become citizens "automatically."

"Indeed, there's a practice known as birth tourism where women who are in their eighth or ninth month of pregnancy come to America on a tourist visa specifically to give birth in the United States and confer citizenship on that child and that isn't a policy that makes any sense," he explained.

Cruz, who is running against Beto O'Rourke for his Senate seat, leads in the polls heading into Tuesday's midterm elections.

Is it true that virtually every country on earth does not allow birthright citizenship?

The U.S. is one of 30 countries that allow some form of birthright citizenship.

For instance, if a foreign national gives birth to a child in Canada, that child is a Canadian citizen. But it doesn't necessarily mean they can remain in the country.

"There is a chance that your child and you will not be allowed to stay in Canada," according to Canadian immigration lawyer Matthew Jeffery. "This is due to the widespread act defined as birth tourism where people who are not Canadian have children in Canada to give them citizenship and a chance at a better life."

According to World Atlas, "Almost all European, African, Asian, and Oceanic countries grant their citizenship through the principle of jus sanguinis, meaning 'right of blood,' whereby children inherit citizenship through their parents but not their birthplace."

Is Cruz against immigrants coming to the U.S.?

No, Cruz is not opposed to people migrating to the U.S., as long as they do it legally.

"We should have a legal system that encourages people to come to our country but to come here legally following the rules and encourages people to come who are going to drive economic growth and jobs for Americans," Cruz said.

What has the president said about it?

President Donald Trump also said wants to do away with birthright citizenship.

"So-called Birthright Citizenship, which costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens, will be ended one way or the other. It is not covered by the 14th Amendment because of the words “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Many legal scholars agree.....," Trump tweeted Wednesday.

In an interview with Axios earlier this week, Trump said he might end birthright citizenship by issuing an executive order, which has become a big talking point with news commentators this week.

"You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order," Trump said.

So, now the airwaves are filled with commentators arguing whether or not Trump has the authority to scrap the law, citing the 14th Amendment.

But it may not be that simple, as Leon Wolf, pointed out in his commentary for TheBlaze:

I would argue that it’s at least possible that the 14th Amendment requires birthright citizenship, but it is by no means certain, and existing Supreme Court precedent would at least suggest that, at least in the case of people who are only temporarily in the United States and without permanent residence, the Constitution does not require that those people be automatically given birthright citizenship.

What did Cruz say about Trump's plan?

So, when asked where Cruz would stand on an executive order, he said that he "would need to examine the legal arguments behind an executive order, and I haven't seen those yet.

"There are some legal scholars who argue that it takes a constitutional amendment, others have argued that it can be done through statutory means," Cruz continued. "My understanding is the president today is talking about doing so through an executive order. I suspect whatever method is used will be challenged in court so ultimately, the courts will sort out the proper mechanism."

"But I think as a policy matter, ending birthright citizenship makes a lot of common sense," Cruz said.

Where does O'Rourke stand on the issue?

O'Rourke has no problem with granting birthright citizenship to children of noncitizens.

He also accused Trump of trying to "stoke paranoia and fear" to the Central American migrant caravan that's making its way through Mexico toward the U.S. border.

"Interesting that he tries to stoke paranoia and fear about a few thousand migrants who are still hundreds of miles, weeks away from the U.S.-Mexico border if they even make it this far," O'Rourke told MSNBC's Hardball in an interview on Tuesday at the University of Houston. "I think he's trying to play upon the worst impulses of this country."

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