MIAMI — A number of Republican presidential rivals wish the debate over birthright citizenship would go away.

They say the proposal to end the automatic granting of citizenship to children of people in the U.S. illegally is a distraction from what the nation really needs to do to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the proposal advanced by Donald Trump is merely an "applause line." Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says any discussion that goes beyond the need to secure the border and enforce existing laws should be a "red flag" to voters that another politician is giving them "lip service." Although he supports the goal, Ted Cruz says changing the Constitution would take years.

They were speaking on the Sunday TV news shows.