It’s not always easy to communicate complete thoughts or positions in the 140 characters that Twitter allows per tweet.
A tweet this week from U.S. Sen. David Vitter, a Republican running for governor, gave a pretty vague explanation of legislation he’s proposing: “When folks from other countries give birth in the US, their kids become American citizens. This should be illegal.” it read, linking to a web post on his Birthright Citizenship Act.
The tweet led at least one critic to note that — at face value — it could be interpreted as applying to people like Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Jindal’s Indian parents came to Louisiana from India when his mother was about five months pregnant. The governor was born in Baton Rouge and is a U.S. Citizen.
A more complete explanation of Vitter’s legislation via his website clarifies that the legislation, if it were ever to pass, would include exemptions for: (1) U.S. citizens or nationals, (2) lawful permanent residents, or (3) aliens performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Vitter’s bill would not apply to Jindal’s family because his parents secured green cards before coming to the United States, making them lawful permanent residents at the time of his birth.
As Reuters reported in 2011 when the issue came up, Jindal’s father, an engineer, qualified for a green card under a 1965 law for people with “exceptional ability in the sciences or arts,” and Jindal’s mother was then able to get a spouse green card.