US President Trump wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for those born in the US

Axios: “US President Trump plans to end birthright citizenship”

Trump says he wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for those born in the US.

Trump's comments come ahead of the US midterm elections that he has sought to focus on his hardline immigration policies [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
Trump’s comments come ahead of the US midterm elections that he has sought to focus on his hardline immigration policies [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Trump wants to use an executive order to get rid of birth right citizenship which is enshrined in the Constitution’s . This in not going to happen. It’s not even a real proposal. This is just another part of Trump’s escalating midterm immigration scare tactic.

Correction 30/10/2018: This article has been corrected to state that birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment began in 1868.

|AIWA! NO!|President Donald Trump is intensifying his hardline immigration rhetoric heading into the midterm elections, declaring that he wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and undocumented immigrants born in the United States.

With seven days to go before high-stakes electionsthat he has sought to focus on fearmongering over immigration, Trump made the comments to “Axios on HBO“.

Revoking birthright citizenship would lead to a court fight over whether the president has the unilateral ability to change an amendment to the Constitution. Most scholars think he can’t.

Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, said Tuesday said the Constitution is very clear.

“If you are born in the United States, you’re a citizen,” he said, adding that it was “outrageous that the president can think he can override constitutional guarantees by issuing an executive order.

Jadwat said the president has an obligation to uphold the Constitution. Trump can try to get Congress to pass a constitutional amendment, “but I don’t think they are anywhere close to getting that.”

“Obviously, even if he did, it would be subject to court challenge,” he added.

Asked by Axios about the legality of such an executive order, Trump said, “they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order”.

He added, “It’s ridiculous and it has to end.”

It’s unclear how quickly he would act on an executive order. The White House has yet to comment.

On Monday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he would introduce legislation to support Trump’s plan to limit US citizenship to certain children born in the US. He did not provide any details or a timeline.

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Pew Research Center found in a survey published two years ago that births to “unauthorised immigrants” were declining and accounted for about one in three births to foreign-born mothers in the US in 2014. About 275,000 babies were born to such parents in 2014, or about 7 percent of the 4 million births in the US that year, according to Pew estimates based on government data. That represented a decline from 330,000 in 2009, at the end of the recession.

The president also told Axios that the US is the “only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits”, but several countries, including Canada, have birthright citizenship laws of varying degrees.

In a 2015 analysis, fact-checking website Politifact, found there were 33 countries, primarily in the Western Hemisphere, that allow those born within their borders to obtain citizenship.

What is the US’s birthright citizenship law?

The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 and guaranteed that “all persons born or naturalised in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside”. It was one of the amendments passed during the Reconstruction era that abolished slavery and gave rights to African Americans. The amendment was a rebuke to the Dred Scott decision of 1857, which said those descended from slaves could not be citizens.

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The 14th Amendment has led to a number of legal challenges. In 1868, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v Wong Kim Ark that a child born to Chinese immigrants who were legal residents was entitled to birthright citizenship. According to legal scholars, the challenges often centre on the words “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”.

Martha S Jones, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and author of Birthright Citizens tweeted on Tuesday that, “We are facing a contest over what categories of persons are excluded from Birthright citizenship.”

She added that that final interpretation of the amendment rest with the Supreme Court.

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