Birthright citizenship key reason for U.S. success in immigrant assimilation, says pollster

Pollster Emily Ekins said on Friday that birthright citizenship was a key reason why the U.S. has been so successful at assimilating immigrant populations. 

"I think it's core to American identity to embrace this idea of birthright citizenship," Ekins, director of polling at the Cato Institute, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"Many people believe that this is why America has been so tremendous at assimilating so many immigrants from different places," she said. 

Ekin's comments come after a new American Barometer survey found that 57 percent of respondents said a child born in the U.S. to a parent with a temporary visa should be considered a U.S. citizen.

Meanwhile 28 percent of respondents did not think children born in the U.S. to parents with a temporary visa should be considered U.S. citizens. 

The same poll also revealed 48 percent of voters said a child should be considered a U.S. citizen if a woman gives birth to a child while she is in the U.S. illegally. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said the child should not be considered a citizen in the same situation.

"I think that we're seeing in this poll is the distinction that people make between people that are here in the country illegally, and the people who are here legally," Ekins said.

The issue of birthright citizenship made headlines last month after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBroward County official Brenda Snipes submits resignation after criticism Retired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks MORE announced he would he would sign an executive order banning the practice. 

— Julia Manchester