Trump: End Birthright Citizenship for Some US-Born Babies

October 31, 2018 11:48 AM

President Donald Trump says he wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born in the United States.

The president's comments to "Axios on HBO" come amid a renewed push for hardline immigration policies before the midterm elections. Trump believes focusing on immigration will energize his supporters and help Republicans keep control of Congress.


Revoking birthright citizenship would spark a court fight over the president's unilateral ability to change an amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guarantees that right for children born in the U.S.

"I think my first reaction was just thinking how it's illegal," Ana Pottratz Acosta, a professor at Mitchell-Hamline School of Law in St. Paul and a member the American Immigration Lawyers Association told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. 

"I just don't think from a policy perspective, even if this would be upheld by the courts, which again I don't think this is legal we would be creating a situation where you have thousands, potentially millions of people who have lived here were born here. They've lived here their entire life and then would be an underclass, where they're not accounted full rights and full U.S. citizenship."  

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Asked about the legality of such an executive order, Trump said: "they're saying I can do it just with an executive order."

Trump says White House lawyers are reviewing his proposal. It's unclear how quickly he'd act on an executive order.

The United States isn't the only country to offer birthright citizenship. The countries highlighted in red below have laws similar to the United States that grant citizenship to people born there. The countries highlighted in bright yellow offer citizenship through descent, meaning at least one parent must already be a citizen or, in some cases, a permanent resident.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Joe Mazan

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