Valley lawmakers comment on 'birthright citizenship'

Some are upset, outraged, while others think it's the right thing to do. We TMre talking about a bill proposed in Congress known as H.R. 1868, or the Birthright Citizenship Act.

For some, the path to American Citizenship is long and hard with years a waiting.

But for others, they can enter the country illegally or fly in on a tourist visa to have a baby.

Regardless, if someone is in this country illegally and they have a baby that child is automatically granted us citizenship.

But several lawmakers in Washington want to change that.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and other Republicans are challenging the 14th Amendment to the Constitution so babies born to foreigners in the United States are not automatically granted citizenship.

"I can show you where there are schemes along the border to pay $2,500 to $5,000 dollars," Senator Graham said. "They will sneak you across the border. They will take you to an American hospital and deliver your baby, and that child with automatically become a citizen."

Action 4 News spoke to two of the Rio Grande Valley's three congressmen about the issue.

U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Corpus Christi) told Action 4 News he doesn't support the Republican initiative.

Ortiz said he believes a measure like this would never pass.

"It has to be approved two-thirds of the votes of the House and the Senate and I can't see it happening," Ortiz said.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) agrees with Ortiz.

"If you look at the attempts to change the Constitution there's been 11,000 times since 1789 , only 27 of them have passed 10 of them were the original Bill of Rights," Cuellar said. So it's going to be very hard to change that."

For now, the debate will continue in Washington DC with opposition.

"When you mess with the constitution you open up a can of worms and I think it served us well for over two hundred almost three hundred years they say if it ain't broke don't try to fix it," Ortiz said.

Click here to read a full copy of HR 1868