Trump’s New “Birthright” Plan 👶

Ron Sachs / Pool / Getty Images

Ron Sachs / Pool / Getty Images

A new executive order

In an interview, President Trump claimed that he is “in the process” of securing an executive order to end birthright citizenship in the US. This highly controversial move would try to go around the fact that any amendment to the Constitution must occur through Congress.

What is birthright citizenship?

Birthright citizenship in the US refers to the legal right to citizenship for anyone born in the US, regardless of parentage. More than 30 other nations besides the US grant this kind of citizenship. The US codified birthright citizenship in 1868 with the 14th Amendment.


The Nation: Birthright Citizenship is in the Constitution

Washington Examiner: Birthright Citizenship Helped Make America Great

The left asserts that the Constitution (and typical American principlesexplicitly protects birthright citizenship. These outlets argue Trump’s comments are a distraction designed to inflame anti-immigrant sentiment in the final days preceding midterm elections. They suggest any unilateral move by the president would be shot down by the courts.


Fox News: What Does the 14th Amendment Actually Say? A Look at the Citizenship Clause Trump Plans to Challenge

The Blaze: Commentary: Trump Probably Can’t End Birthright Citizenship, But He Can Control the Media

The right argues that the 14th Amendment was intended to apply only to children of permanent residents. (Though the Supreme Court settled this question in 1898, in the affirmative.) This side views birthright citizenship as a “magnet” for illegal immigrants who come to the US with the intention of having children who automatically become citizens.

Can Trump really get rid of birthright citizenship?

Short answer: probably not, but stay tuned. Executive orders, while undoubtedly a significant executive power, can only do so much — they’ve been compared to press releases. That said, if Trump pursues the executive order, it will likely spark a lengthy court battle over the scope and meaning of the 14th Amendment.

Trump rolling out executive orders left and right



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