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Mike Lee, Tim Bridgewater Oppose Giving Citizenship To Children Of Illegal Immigrants

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 06/03/10 08:13 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:40 PM ET

Mike Lee Immigration

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul isn't the only GOP candidate running for Senate in 2010 that believes the United States should abandon its policy of guaranteeing citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

Mike Lee and Tim Bridgwater, who are facing-off in a primary battle for the Republican nomination for Senate in Utah, both share Paul's view on the immigration issue; however, neither Tea Party-backed contender has come under the same degree of fire as Paul for maintaining the controversial -- even unconstitutional -- position.

The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that "stemming the tide of illegal immigration" and specifically "plugging the so-called anchor-baby loophole" emerged as a top priority for the GOP candidates' legislative agendas in a recent debate.

Both Bridgewater and Lee agree that children born to parents who are in the country illegally should not get instant citizenship, even though the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution -- ratified in 1868 as part of post-Civil War reconstruction -- says as much.

Lee also defines his position on his campaign website. In tackling the issue, the Senate hopeful suggests congress must "clarify the original intent of the citizenship clause through legislation specifying that children born to illegal-alien parents in the United States are not entitled to automatic citizenship."

Similarly, Bridgewater advocates his stance on birthright citizenship on his own site:

Eliminate the "anchor baby" loophole. In general, it should be harder-not easier-than it is to become a citizen of the United States. Children born to non-citizens should not receive automatic citizenship. There are arguments to be made that changing the current practice will require a constitutional amendment, but I think there is a strong case that it could be done by statute, and I would pursue that avenue vigorously as Senator. If it can't be done by statute, I would support a constitutional amendment to achieve the goal.

Despite being rivals, Lee and Bridgewater share similar views on immigration. Both have expressed support for legislative measures seeking to revoke the right of citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. -- a position that would appear to run counter to the 14th Amendment.

"The way I read that amendment is that you're not necessarily subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. just because you're born here," Lee recently said when speaking at a Utah event. "If you're born to parents of illegal aliens who have come here in open violation of our laws, you're not born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

The GOP hopeful however admitted, "The 14th amendment provides that any person born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof shall be a citizen of the US and of the state in which he shall reside."

Lee's communication of his position on immigration comes despite the fact that he has made his "love" and superior "complete, practical understanding" of the Constitution a cornerstone of his campaign platform.

Lee recently articulated his support of the so-called Birthright Citizenship Act by saying, "I support H.R. 1868," while Bridgewater makes clear he'd support such measure right on his campaign website.

Given the fact that Lee and Bridgewater define themselves as such strong adherents to the word of the Constitution, it is perhaps ironic that the GOP Senate hopefuls stand firm in their questionable reading of the 14 amendment.

WATCH: Mike Lee: U.S. Should Stop Giving Citizenship To Children Of Illegal Immigrants:

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