In another effort to deter immigration, President Trump seeks to eliminate birthright citizenship, a move which would challenge a 150-year-old standard set by the U.S. Constitution. In an interview with “Axios on HBO”, Trump said he would “remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S.-soil.”
The 14thAmendment, established after the Civil War, states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens.” The Supreme Court has upheld this rule for legal permanent residents, but has not previously ruled on a citizenship case regarding an illegal immigrant or a short-term visitor to the United States. A supermajority in the House and Senate would be required to amend the Constitution, and it would need to be ratified by at least three-fourths of the states. Alternatively, two-thirds of the legislatures of the states could call a constitutional convention. If that were to happen, the amendment would need approval by at least three-fourths of the states.
However, Trump believes he will be able to end birthright citizenship with an executive order. Mr. Trump told Axios he has spoken with White House counsel about the executive order, and commented, “It’s in the process… It’ll happen.”
Following the news of Trump’s plans, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that he would introduce legislation coinciding with any executive order the president might issue to end birthright citizenship in the U.S. However, it is not clear whether Graham means he would begin the process for a constitutional amendment. Graham, a major ally of Mr. Trump, had previously considered introducing a constitutional amendment to change existing law to eliminate birthright citizenship back in 2010.
In contrast, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he disagreed with Mr. Trump about the constitutionality of such an executive order. During an interview with “Larry Glover Live” on WVLK, Ryan commented, “You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.”
In his interview with Jim VandeHei, chief executive of Axios, Trump said he has been talking to legal scholars internally, and commented, “I don’t even need to go to Congress to change this.”
Mr. Trump’s recent comments on immigration, made in advance of next week’s midterm election, highlight a principal rallying point for his GOP base. On Monday, the administration stated 5,200 troops would be deployed to the southern U.S. border to block a caravan of Central American migrants, which is anticipated to reach the border next month.
Source: CBS News