In an interview with Gov. Rick Perry published today, Newsweek's Andrew Romano falsely claimed that "Many Tea Partiers want to repeal the 14th Amendment, which provides for birthright citizenship." Romano then asked the recently-reelected Texas Republican, "Do you agree with them?"
Perry answered that while he believed a constitutional prohibition on birthright citizenship was "probably not" needed, he didn't address the fundamental error in Romano's premise.
While there have been suggestions by some conservatives at looking at amending the Fourteenth Amendment to ensure that children of illegal immigrants do not automatically gain American citizenship, the notion that Tea Party activists favor a full repeal of the post-Civil War amendment is a faulty liberal media meme.
In fact the notion of amending the 14th Amendment came to national prominence this summer from none other than Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), no darling of the Tea Party movement he.
Reported ABC News's Devin Dwyer and Jonathan Karl on August 3:
"Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News last week. "We should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child's automatically not a citizen."
Graham has voiced concern over the burgeoning size of America's illegal immigrant population, estimated at 10.8 million and whose offspring in the U.S. -- so-called "anchor babies" -- would be able to sponsor their parents for legal residency.