President Donald Trump said in an interview that he plans to sign an executive order ending “birthright citizenship” for the children of non-American citizens who are born on U.S. soil, a move that would likely be challenged immediately in the courts over its constitutionality.
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump told “Axios on HBO” in an interview set to air Sunday, just two days before the midterm election. “You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States, with all of those benefits,” Trump said. (Per WorldAtlas, about 30 nations grant birthright citizenship.)
The president said, “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.” He said he has spoken with his legal advisers and that the move to issue the directive was “in the process.”
“It will happen, with an executive order,” Trump said.
Such an executive order would likely face legal challenges immediately. According to the 14th Amendment, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
The amendment was adopted in 1868, after the Civil War, and the above language was meant to grant citizenship to newly freed slaves, according to FactCheck.org.
The concept of birthright citizenship was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1898 in United States v. Wong Kim Ark when the court affirmed the citizenship of a man born on U.S. soil to parents who were Chinese nationals.
Source: USA Today
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