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.
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 was “in the process.”
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.
But Jon Feere, a legal policy analyst for the anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies, says some legal scholars argue that the wording “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” has “no plain meaning” and the “current, broad application of the Citizenship Clause may not be warranted.”
Curtailing immigration has been a defining element of Trump’s political platform since he announced his candidacy for president in 2015 with a pledge to stop Mexican “rapists” from entering the U.S.
That same year, Trump pledged to stop “anchor babies,” a derisive term for birthright citizenship, which implies women from other nations come to the U.S. to give birth in a calculated move to gain U.S. citizenship.
In November 2015, Trump told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, “You don’t have to do a constitutional amendment. You need an act of Congress. I’m telling you – you need an act of Congress. Everybody thought you needed a constitutional amendment. You don’t need that.”
Now it appears Trump has concluded that even an act of Congress is unnecessary and can be sidestepped with an executive order.
All we have to do is go back to Congress and have a rather routine — it’s been fully vetted now, Bill. I was right on the anchor babies.
One of Trump’s first acts as president was to immigration from a number of predominantly Muslim nations, a move that was first blocked by the courts but after some modification was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court.
This year, the administration sparked outraged opposition when it began an overt policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border. That policy was also blocked by court decisions.
And in recent days Trump has railed against a “caravan” of Central American migrants traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border in search of asylum from the poverty and violence in the their home countries. The president has said the group constitutes “an invasion” and that it includes “gang members” and “very bad people.”
Source US Today News