Notable biotech entrepreneur and author, Vivek Ramaswamy, has put forth a provocative argument for ending birthright citizenship in the United States. At the heart of Ramaswamy’s argument is the belief that birthright citizenship, a constitutional provision which grants automatic citizenship to all individuals born within the United States, devalues the concept of citizenship itself and encourages a kind of demographic manipulation that destabilizes the social fabric of the nation.
The concept of birthright citizenship, also known as jus soli, is enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S Constitution. But this practice has come under scrutiny, with critics like Ramaswamy presenting different reasons for why they believe it is time to re-evaluate the policy.
Ramaswamy is of the opinion that citizenship, the highest honor a country can bestow upon an individual, should have some level of merit attached to it. According to him, by freely granting citizenship to those who simply happen to be born within the geographic bounds of the United States without any consideration to allegiance or service, the country degrades what it means to be a U.S citizen.
Moreover, Ramaswamy forwards a demographic argument, suggesting that birthright citizenship plays into the hands of political groups keen on manipulating population figures for electoral gains. For instance, birth tourism, a situation where people travel to the U.S to give birth and thereby secure U.S. citizenship for their child, has been a controversial issue that critics link directly to birthright citizenship.
While the debate regarding birthright citizenship is extensive and complex, what Ramaswamy, among other critics, brings to the table is the need for re-examination of the practice from a perspective of value, merit, and national security. They propose the necessity of a system where citizenship is not merely a birthplace lottery but a meaningful connection to the country and its principles.