President Trump, seeking to limit immigration to the U.S., is set to challenge a 150-year-old constitutional standard that anyone born in America is an American citizen. 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 U.S.-soil.”
“How ridiculous, we’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” the president said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Mr. Trump told Axios he has talked with White House counsel about the executive order, and it is “in process… It’ll happen.”
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said. “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
Trump’s executive order, if and when it is signed, will almost certainly face legal challenges, according to NBC, due to the fact that birthright citizenship is rooted in the interpretation of a constitutional amendment. The “Citizenship Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment states that “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.”
Though he will likely be met with a great deal of resistance from the left, Trump should get his order passed. Especially if Republicans maintain the majority.
The 14th Amendment was passed by Congress in 1866 after the Civil War and during the period of Reconstruction. The amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868 by three-fourths of the states. By extending citizenship to those born in the U.S., the amendment nullified an 1857 Supreme Court decision (Dred Scott v. Sandford), which had held that those descended from slaves could not be citizens.