Karl Rove thinks Republicans should just take a breath when it comes to all this talk about amending the Constitution to keep illegal immigrants from taking advantage of the 14th Amendment.
“I mean, is the problem of anchor babies the central problem we face in securing our border? I don’t think so,” Rove told Fox Radio’s John Gibson yesterday. “Let’s stay focused on the things that we’ve got a chance to force Democrats in September and October to vote for that would actually have a positive impact on the border.”
Rove blames the chatter about changing the 14th Amendment on a few — well, actually one — Republican stuck in a bad position because he was seen by some in his party as an ally of the Obama administration.
“It’s not ‘they,’ it’s him,” Rove said when Gibson asked why Republicans threatened to derail their focus on economic talk with the 14th Amendment. “I mean, Lindsay Graham brings this up, I think to give himself some credentials [with the conservative base]…And then it gets jumped on by some others.”
That’s not to say Rove doesn’t approve of the idea of ending the practice of so-called “anchor babies” — he just thinks we don’t need to amend the Constitution to end the practice.
Rove says he’s “troubled” by the practice of foreigners traveling to the U.S. to have babies that are citizens (not to mention all the pregnant illegal immigrants who he says hop across the Mexican border to give birth to new citizens who make their way into American society) — but he says altering the 14th Amendment just isn’t realistic.
“Let’s deal with it in the way [GOP Rep.] Lamar Smith [TX] has suggested,” Rove said, “which is through legislation that defines citizenship to children born in the U.S. with at least one parent who’s a legalized citizen, a legalized permanent resident or serving in the military.”
“Lamar’s a careful constitutional scholar who believes this problem can be solved statutorily,” Rove added.
Regardless of how to deal with the problem, Rove admitted that a focus on anchor babies could hurt GOP chances in the fall. Gibson asked Rove flatly, “Could you get Hispanics to turn out for your candidates talking about this?”
“If it were the dominant question, probably not,” Rove said.
Watch (immigration stuff starts around 1:25):