Donald Trump plans to revoke the citizenship rights of children born to non-citizens and illegal immigrants in the US
Donald Trump plans to revoke the citizenship rights of children born to non-citizens and illegal immigrants in the US.
In an interview for Axios on HBO, the President says he wants to sign an executive order ending birthright citizenship.
Trump, who has long been critical of so-called ‘anchor babies’ says: ‘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.’
The 14th Amendment of the Constitution, written in 1868, 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.’
Trump insists he can change the law without amending the Constitution and can do so with an executive order.
A preview of the documentary, which airs on Sunday, reveals him saying: ‘It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t.
It comes two weeks before mid-term elections and after a second migrant caravan (pictured) crossed into Mexico on Monday
The migrants were met by hundreds of federal officers in riot gear on the river bank. It followed a night of violence that left one Central American dead
‘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.’
Former US Citizenship and Immigration Services chief counsel Lynden Melmed told Axios that very few experts believe the President has the power to change birthright citizenship.
Some scholars have claimed that the 14th Amendment was never intended to give illegal immigrants’ children citizenship and has been misapplied for decades.
Therefore, they say, Trump could change the application with an executive order to give birthright citizenship only to children born of legal permanent residents.
Michael Anton, a former national security official for Trump, wrote in the Washington Post that an executive order could ‘specify to federal agencies that the children of non-citizens are not citizens’.
But others, such as Judge James Ho, who was appointed by Trump to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, insist that changing how the 14th Amendment is applied would be ‘unconstitutional.’
Around 30 countries, including Canada, have birthright citizenship, known as jus soli (right of the soil).
Others grant citizenship based on the principle of jus sanguinis (right of the blood) where children inherit their citizenship from their parents not their birthplace.
India abolished jus soli in 2004 when thousands of illegal immigrants entered the country from Bangladesh.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that approximately 7.5 per cent of all births in the US (about 300,000 per year) are to illegal immigrants.
The Centre says around 4.5million US citizens under the age of 18 were born to illegal immigrants.
It comes two weeks before mid-term elections and amid national hysteria over after a second migrant caravan heading for the US which crossed into Mexico on Monday.
The second migrant caravan, including members believed to be carrying bombs and guns, crossed into Mexico on Monday despite a huge police presence. Cops are seen allowing some of the migrants on the banks of the Suchiate River after the arduous crossing, but they were stopped from moving any further
Central American migrants walk along the highway near of Ciudad Hidalgo after crossing to Mexico from Guatemala willing to reach the U.S.
Hundreds of migrants following in the footsteps of the first caravan heading to the US border crossed a river from Guatemala.
A low-flying police helicopter hovered overhead as the migrants waded in large groups through the Suchiate River’s murky waters, apparently trying to use the downdraft from its rotors to discourage them.
Guatemala’s Noti7 channel reported that one man drowned and aired video of a man dragging a seemingly lifeless body from the river.
Once on the Mexican side the migrants were surrounded and escorted by black-uniformed officers as sirens wailed.
The second group back at the Guatemalan frontier has been more unruly than the first that crossed. Guatemala’s Interior Ministry said Guatemalan police officers were injured when the migrant group broke through border barriers on Guatemala’s side of the bridge.
Mexico authorities said migrants attacked its agents with rocks, glass bottles and fireworks when they broke through a gate on the Mexican end but were pushed back, and some allegedly carried guns and firebombs.
On Monday, Mexican Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida lamented what he called a second ‘violent attempt’ to storm the border, accusing people of placing the elderly, pregnant women and children at the front, putting them at risk of being crushed. ‘Fortunately, that did not happen,’ he said.
- The full interview will air on Axios on HBO this Sunday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.