President Trump wants to end 'ridiculous' birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants
In a conversation with Axios on HBO, the US commander in chief revealed that he will be signing an executive order to alter the government's interpretation of the 14th Amendment
President Donald Trump is planning to put an end to the citizenship rights of children born to illegal immigrants and non-citizens in the United States.
In a conversation with Axios on HBO, the US commander in chief revealed that he will be signing an executive order that would end birthright citizenship for such illegal migrants. Speaking of these "anchor babies", Trump 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, with all of those benefits. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. And it has to end."
That said, the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution 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." But, according to President Trump, he can sign an executive order and change the existing law without amending the Constitution, Daily Mail reports.
In a preview of the HBO documentary, the US leader is heard saying: "It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't. You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order," He adds, "It's in the process. It'll happen... with an executive order."
The president first voiced his position on the issue in August 2015 in front of a Fox News Channel audience.
"What happens is, they're in Mexico, they're going to have a baby, they move over here for a couple of days, they have the baby," he said then, adding: "I don't think they have American citizenship, and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers, some would disagree, but many of them agree with me: You're going to find they do not have American citizenship."
Having said that, Lynden Melmed, a former US Citizenship and Immigration Services chief, claims that "very few" experts think the president has the power to change birthright citizenship.
However, the 14th Amendment was never intended to give illegal immigrants' children citizenship and has been wrongly applied for decades, quite a few scholars claim. Hence, the president could change the application simply with an executive order to ensure birthright citizenship is granted only to children born of legal permanent residents.
An executive order from the president could "specify to federal agencies that the children of non-citizens are not citizens", Michael Anton, a former national security official for Trump, wrote in the Washington Post.
Out of 195 countries, only 30 have birthright citizenship, otherwise known as 'jus soli' (right of the soil), others grant citizenship based solely on the principle of 'jus sanguinis' (right of the blood), wherein children do not inherit their citizenship from their birthplace but from their parents. In 2004, India had to abolish jus soli after thousands of illegal immigrants poured into the country from neighboring Bangladesh.
Approximately 7.5 percent of all births in the US (about 300,000 per year) are to illegal immigrants, according to an estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center. The revelation comes amid a national alarm after a second migrant caravan heading for the US crossed into Mexico on Monday, just two weeks before the highly decisive mid-term elections.