Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office is disputing claims that Louisiana’s top elected official wouldn’t qualify for U.S. citizenship if a Republican-led charge to strip the citizenship clause from the 14th Amendment had been successful before Jindal’s birth in Baton Rouge in 1971, according to a report at the website of CBS News.

Some GOP senators have called for hearings on the issue, arguing that conferring automatic citizenship on persons born in the United States encourages illegal immigration. The 14th Amendment was adopted during Reconstruction to grant citizenship to former slaves.

Some Democrats have accused Republicans of using the issue as a cynical ploy to agitate their conservative base heading into the midterm elections, and critics of the plan have held up Jindal, former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as Republicans who wouldn’t qualify for citizenship under the proposed policy.

According to a 2007 New York Times profile of Jindal, Louisiana’s governor “was born on June 10, 1971, in Baton Rouge to Hindu parents who had come to the United States six months before so his mother could pursue a graduate degree in nuclear physics at Louisiana State University.” Opponents of the 14th Amendment plan say because Jindal’s mother was in the country on a student visa, he would not have been eligible for automatic citizenship.

Jindal’s office was quick to respond. In an e-mail to CBS, spokesman Kyle Plotkin said “the governor’s mother was here as a permanent resident not on a student visa, which makes the question not just ridiculous but irrelevant.”

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