Trump wants to end birthright citizenship for some US-born babies

Donald Trump

Mr. Trump told "Axios on HBO" that he plans to sign an executive order to "remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on USA -soil".

"Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship", the South Carolina Republican wrote.

Trump said in an interview with Axios that he would be using an executive order to end birthright citizenship, though such an action is legally dubious - if not outright unconstitutional.

"You can not end the birthright citizenship with an executive order", said Congressman Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"No. 1, it was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment".

Trump said he's planning the move after discussing it with White House counsel. The host pointed out that this is in dispute.

Some say Mr Trump could direct federal agencies that the U.S. constitution does not apply to non-citizens, while others say it would be an overreach of presidential power and would be held up in the courts.

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If President Trump had simply said, "No country in Europe does this", he would have been more accurate, as even the less "advanced" economies who grant birthright citizenship are in North or South America.

Further, the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) of 1952, the basic body of USA immigration law, also says that a "person born in the United States who is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a U.S. citizen at birth".

Many constitutional scholars say an executive order banning birthright citizenship would be unconstitutional. A 2010 study by the right-wing Center for Immigration Studies showed that 30 countries offered birthright citizenship, including Canada, which like the United States grants citizenship to children born to people in the country without authorization.

President Trump should approach this issue as he did with the debate over the DACA rule, and put the onus on Congress. On Monday, the Pentagon announced the deployment of 5,200 additionally troops to meet the caravan at the border. Another, Anton said, is for Trump to sign an executive order telling federal agencies that the children of noncitizens are not citizens.

Few immigration and constitutional experts believe Mr Trump has the power to change birthright citizenship, Axios reports. As for when it might happen, Trump said, "It's in the process".

One way to end birthright citizenship, Anton argues, is for Congress to pass legislation to clarify that the children of noncitizens are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, making them noncitizens under the 14th Amendment.

The problem with this interpretation is that it's relatively new, and runs contrary to the way the 14th amendment has been enforced since ratified in the 19th century. Amendments to the Constitution require two-thirds of Congress voting to support them as well as ratification of three-quarters of states.

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