Trump to end birthright citizenship of babies of non-citizens, immigrants
US President Donald Trump is intensifying his immigration rhetoric heading into the midterm elections, declaring he wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born in the US. Trump made the comments on 'Axios on HBO' yesterday in the wake of a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the US-Mexico border.
Revoking birthright citizenship may spark controversy, start court fight
For the immigrants' caravan, Trump said, he is dispatching additional troops and added that he will set up tent cities for asylum seekers. Meanwhile, revoking birthright citizenship would spark a court fight over whether the President has the unilateral ability to change an amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guarantees that right (birthright citizenship) for all children born in the US.
Trump says he can revoke citizenship with an executive order
Asked about the legality of such an executive order, Trump said, "They are saying I can do it just with an executive order." He further said, "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". An excerpt of the interview was posted on Axios' website yesterday.
White House currently reviewing Trump's proposal
The President said White House lawyers are reviewing his proposal. It's unclear how quickly he would act on an executive order. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment. Some experts questioned whether Trump could follow through.
Experts say Trump has obligation to uphold the Constitution
Omar Jadwat, Director, Immigrants' Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, said yesterday the Constitution is very clear. "If you are born in the US, you're a citizen," he said, adding it was "outrageous" that Trump can think he can override constitutional guarantees by issuing an executive order. He further said that Trump has an obligation to uphold the Constitution.
Amendment will be challenged if it passes through, hints Jadwat
Jadwat, who has graduated from NYU Law School, said Trump can try to get Congress to pass a constitutional amendment, adding, "But I don't think they are anywhere close to getting that. Obviously, even if he did, it would be subject to court challenge."
Trump's emphasis on immigration counters Democratic enthusiasm
In the final days before the November 6 midterms, Trump has emphasized immigration, as he seeks to counter Democratic enthusiasm. He believes his campaign pledges, including the building of a US-Mexico border wall, are still rallying cries for his base and that this latest focus will further erode the enthusiasm gap. Trump voiced his theory that birthright citizenship could be stripped during his campaign.
What does the 14th Amendment of US Constitution state?
Coming back to the birthright citizenship, the first line of the 14th Amendment states: "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 14th Amendment on birthright citizenship was passed by Congress in 1866 during the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War.