In an interview scheduled to be released Sunday, President Trump announces that he will sign an executive order aimed at ending birthright citizenship in the United States, a process in which any person born on U.S. soil, regardless of their parents’ citizenship status, is a U.S. citizen. However, this executive order would directly conflict with the 14th Amendment, leading legal observers to question an executive order’s legitimacy.
In the Axios interview, President Trump falsely states that the U.S. is “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.” He then said that birthright citizenship “has to end.” Canada and multiple South and Central American countries have birthright citizenship as well.
Birthright citizenship is guaranteed as part of the 14th Amendment, which states that “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.” Trump argued that an act of Congress and an executive order can change the amendment. He said in the interview that “it was always told to [him] that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t.” But it is a matter of fact that an executive order from a president does not have the power to change, alter, or defy the Constitution.
This announcement comes after weeks of Trump tweeting and promoting hateful conspiracies against a migrant caravan traveling towards the U.S., seeking asylum. Trump recently tweeted that the migrant caravan is an “invasion of our Country,” before announcing his attempt to illegally end birthright citizenship.
Media Resources: The Hill 10/30/18; Axios 10/30/18; Donald J. Trump Twitter 10/29/18