"I would," said Huckabee, "because I think that when we see advertisements in China, advertising essentially ‘birth tourism,’ where people are able to purchase packages so they fly to the U.S., have their baby in the U.S. so it has dual citizenship – these aren’t people who are impoverished, looking for a Medicaid payment. These are very wealthy people who are coming here so their child will in essence be put a foot down and say ‘I have American citizenship.’”
The "birthright" issue has bedeviled Huckabee since his first campaign for the presidency. In 2007, he told Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan that he would support changing the policy that grants citizenship "just because a person, through sheer chance of geography, happened to be physically here at the point of birth." Early in 2008, Minutemen Project founder Jim Gilchrist claimed that Huckabee favored a new amendment to the Constitution to codify that.
A day later -- as he was riding high from a victory in the Iowa caucuses -- Huckabee walked back Gilchrist's comment. Two years later, Huckabee told NPR's Tom Ashbrook that he opposed major changes to the 14th Amendment. "I don't even think that's possible," he said.
But in the new interview, Huckabee seemed to rediscover his enthusiasm for reforming the "birthright" process.
"It has been the practice that we’ve had for over 100 years," he told Hewitt. "I think if we’re going to change that, then we need to be able to declare why we’re going to change it. I know that there’s the language about jurisdiction, there have been questions about it. The diplomat's child was born here -- does that make that person a citizen? I don't think that it's an ironclad-type decision, but it would be helpful for there to be legislation defining what the jurisdiction clause means. I don't think a constitutional amendment is likely to happen, but it would be helpful to have a constitutional amendment."
Earlier this month, at the first televised Republican presidential debate, Huckabee said that the 14th Amendment could and should be used to treat the unborn as American citizens. "This notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law," he said.