President Donald Trump claimed that he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order, during an interview with Axios released on Tuesday.
Trump said, “It was always told to me that you need a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t. Number one, you don’t need that. Number two, you can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now, they’re saying I can do it with just an executive order.”
The President went on to say,” Now how ridiculous, we are the only country in the world, where a person comes and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all those benefits. It’s ridiculous, its ridiculous and it has to end.”
When asked if he talked about the issue with his legal counsel, Trump responded “yeah,” adding that “it’s in the process.” He will eliminate birthright citizenship with an executive order.
The President is obviously escalating his hardline rhetoric on immigration. His statement also suggests that he is willing to infringe the U.S. Constitution, which was amended 150 years ago.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution 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.”
GOP lawmakers reject Trump’s plan to unilaterally eliminate birthright citizenship
Several Republican lawmakers including House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected Trump’s plan to eliminate birthright citizenship with an executive order.
In an interview with WVLK radio station, Ryan said, “Well, you obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives, we believe in the Constitution.”
Ryan emphasized that the President’s plan would violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He said, “I’m a believer in the Constitution. I believe in interpreting the Constitution as written, and that means you can do something like this via executive order.”
On the other hand, Sen. Chuck Grassley shared Ryan’s view on the matter. During an interview with Iowa CBS station, the senator said, “It seems to me it would take a constitutional amendment to change that as opposed to an executive order.”
In a separate statement, Grassley said, “Birthright citizenship for the children of permanent resident immigrants under the Fourteenth Amendment is settled law…There is a debate among legal scholars about whether that right extends to the children of illegal immigrants. I will closely review President Trump’s executive order. As a general matter, this is an issue that Congress should take the lead to carefully consider and debate.”