National Security

Trump Plans to End Birthright Citizenship with Executive Order

As caravan of illegals heads toward U.S. border, president shares options surrounding 14th Amendment

Image Credit: LOREN ELLIOTT/AFP/Getty Images/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order ending so-called birthright citizenship for babies of noncitizens born on U.S. soil — a move that would almost certainly trigger legal battles, Fox News and other outlets are reporting.

Currently, any baby born in the U.S. — whether to a citizen or to someone in the country illegally — is automatically a U.S. citizen.

The president and many others consider this an abuse of the immigration system.

The current interpretation of the 14th Amendment has been blamed for so-called chain migration.

The 14th Amendment 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 told the show “Axios on HBO” that he has discussed ending birthright citizenship with legal counsel and plans to move forward — which will almost certainly bring on legal fights.

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“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said during the interview, according to Axios, declaring he can do it by executive order.

When told the idea is disputed, Trump replied, “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 added, “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,” Trump continued. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

Despite Trump’s assertion, “the U.S. is not the only nation to have birthright citizenship, but the policy is rare outside of the Americas,” noted Fox News.

“It’s in the process. It’ll happen … with an executive order,” the president emphasized.

Many legal scholars would argue that such a change requires a constitutional amendment, but some also say the existing amendment has room for interpretation.

The critical issue in interpreting the 14th Amendment lies in its exact wording, say some.

“There’s a clause in the middle of the amendment that people ignore or they misinterpret — ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’” Michael Anton, a former national security adviser for Trump, explained recently, as Fox News noted.

Anton explained, “What they are saying is, if you are born on U.S. soil subject to the jurisdiction of the United States — meaning you’re the child of citizens or the child of legal immigrants — then you are entitled to citizenship,” Anton told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson back in July.

“If you are here illegally, if you owe allegiance to a foreign nation, if you’re the citizen of a foreign country, that clause does not apply to you.”

Related: Seven Kids Rescued from Human Smugglers in Caravan

The president spoke on Monday to Fox News host Laura Ingraham of “The Ingraham Angle” about the topic of catch and release as it applies to the approaching migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border.

“When they are captured, we don’t let them out,” Trump said. “We’re not letting them out … We’re not catching, we’re not releasing … We’re not letting them into this country.”

See more in the video below.

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