The words of a top Democrat proclaiming that “no sane country” would provide birthright citizenship to the children of non-residents was promoted by President Donald Trump on Oct. 31 as he argued that the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue.
Trump noted a 1993 speech by Harry Reid on the Senate Floor a day after he stunned lawmakers by announcing he planned to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship to non-residents.
“Harry Reid was right in 1993 before he and the Democrats went insane and started with the Open Borders (which brings massive Crime) ‘stuff,'” he said.
….Harry Reid was right in 1993, before he and the Democrats went insane and started with the Open Borders (which brings massive Crime) “stuff.” Don’t forget the nasty term Anchor Babies. I will keep our Country safe. This case will be settled by the United States Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
In another tweet, he added: “Harry Reid, when he was sane, agreed with us on Birthright Citizenship!”
Reid was the top Senator for the Democrats for years before retiring in 2017.
“If making it easy to be an illegal alien isn’t enough, how about offering a reward for being an illegal immigrant? No sane country would do that, right?” Reid said in the speech.
“Guess again. If you break our laws by entering this country without permission and give birth to a child, we reward that child with U.S. citizenship and guarantee a full access to all public and social services this society provides. And that’s a lot of services.”
“Is it any wonder that two-thirds of the babies born at taxpayer expense at county-run hospitals in Los Angeles are born to illegal alien mothers?” he added.
Reid was speaking in support of a bill he introduced, the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993, which would have revoked birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.
A press release from Reid’s office issued a day after the speech stated that the bill “clarifies that a person born in the United States to an alien mother who is not a lawful resident is not a U.S. citizen,” reported the left-leaning website Politifact.
Reid apologized for the position in 1999 shortly after the powerful left-leaning union AFL-CIO changed its position to support birthright citizenship for all people in the United States.
‘Made a Mistake’
In a statement on Oct. 31, Reid said he “made a mistake” by proposing a bill that would alter birthright citizenship, claiming that his wife confronted him shortly after and changed his mind.
But he kept similar positions for years after the speech, writing in a 1994 op-ed, for instance, that the United States was like a dinner table “becoming overcrowded” and that changes would have to be made to prevent the table from collapsing.
Between 200,000 and 300,000 babies are born to illegal aliens and non-residents every year, equaling about 7 percent of all births in the United States, according to Pew Research Center estimates using Census Bureau data.
Reid’s speech is one of many examples of how curbing illegal immigration and benefits to illegal immigrants used to be a position championed by both Republicans and Democrats, though the latter have moved further to the left in recent years with a number of prominent Democrats advocating the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.