Lindsey Graham’s constitutional amendment

LINDSEY GRAHAM’S CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT…. Remember, as far as much of the media is concerned, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is a reasonable, pragmatic Republican, with whom Democrats should have no trouble finding common ground.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Wednesday night that he is considering introducing a constitutional amendment that would change existing law to no longer grant citizenship to the children of immigrants born in the United States.

Currently, the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to any child born within the United States.

But with 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, Graham said it may be time to restrict the ability of immigrants to have children who become citizens just because they are born within the country.

In fairness, Graham didn’t come right out and demand an amendment, but he told Fox News he’s close. “I may introduce a constitutional amendment that changes the rules if you have a child here,” Graham told Greta Van Susteren. “Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake, that we should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child’s automatically not a citizen.”

Asked if he’ll seriously pursue this, Graham said, “I got to.” He added that the 14th Amendment “attracts people here for all the wrong reasons,” with pregnant women from other countries coming to the U.S. “to drop a child.”

Maybe Graham is trying to repair his reputation with the hysterical right; maybe he actually believes this stuff. Either way, trying to address immigration policy through a constitutional amendment is pretty crazy.

Jamelle Bouie’s take was spot on:

It’s genuinely difficult to overstate the radicalism necessary to seek a transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was designed to ensure that slavery could never again happen in the United States and is now integral to keeping the United States free of a permanent underclass of immigrant workers. At its core, birthright citizenship gives immigrants a reason to stay and provide lasting contributions to the United States.

In assaulting birthright citizenship, Graham is attacking an incredibly important part of the American social contract. If the media has any sense, this should kill the narrative that Lindsey Graham is a maverick or a reasonable Republican.

It won’t, of course, but it should.