President Donald Trump declared that he plans to sign an executive order that would end birthright Citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil.
“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,” Trump said in an interview with Axios on HBO. The president continued, “It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Trump’s claim is false. European countries all require a period of residency before bestowing citizenship on those born to foreign parents, but many countries in the Americas such as Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina have U.S.-style birthright citizenship.
Trump also claimed that it would not take a constitutional amendment to rescind birthright citizenship from some people born in the U.S..
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” he said.
Exclusive: Trump to terminate birthright citizenship https://t.co/ckg0vs4T9O
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) October 30, 2018
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution spells out birthplace as an arbiter of citizenship, stating that, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
Vice President Mike Pence echoed this sentiment saying that birthright citizenship is among “loopholes” in U.S. law exploited by unauthorized immigrants.
“We want to look at — in the broadest way possible — at American law that may be used as a magnet to draw people” into the U.S., he said Tuesday at an event hosted by Politico. “Frankly, birthright citizenship is a part of that.”
Sarah Turberville, a constitutional expert at the Project on Government Oversight, said Trump’s proposal would be ripe for a court challenge from those stripped of citizenship. It would also likely prompt bipartisan congressional charges of executive overreach, Turberville said.
“It’s a pretty absurd notion frankly that the president believes he would be able to amend the Constitution and 150-plus years of interpreting the 14th Amendment through an executive order,” Turberville said in an interview Tuesday.
GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime critic of birthright citizenship, said on Twitter, “Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship.” The senator said he’ll introduce legislation along the same lines as Trump’s proposed executive order.