The issue was already bubbling on the fringes of the 2016 GOP field. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) last week said that birthright citizenship needed to be "re-examined," and the idea also came up during a 2011 GOP presidential primary debate.
Earlier this year, legislation that would have rolled back birthright citizenship put the GOP senators running for president on the spot. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rand Paul (R-KY) all dodged the question as to whether they would support the proposed amendment to an anti-human trafficking bill, even as Paul supported a previous version of the proposal.
An irony of the shift toward ending birthright citizenship is that it is putting the spotlight on Republican presidential candidates who are the children of immigrants and may not have qualified for citizenship under heightened standards.