President Trump proposes ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants

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President Trump proposes ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants
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President Trump proposes ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants
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Earlier this week, President Trump renewed his call to end birthright citizenship for the children of those in the country illegally. According to the government’s current interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, any child born in the United States is automatically granted American citizenship. Throughout the campaign trail, and repeatedly since, the president has suggested ending the practice via executive order.

“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,” Trump said during a 2018 interview. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

On Wednesday, President Trump revived his proposed immigration changes. “Birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land — you walk over the border, have a baby, congratulations, the baby’s now a U.S. citizen. We’re looking at it very, very seriously,” President Trump told reporters from the White House lawn. “It’s, frankly, ridiculous.”

President Trump has repeatedly claimed the policy encourages illegal immigration, commonly referring to the children as “anchor babies.” The landmark 1898 Supreme Court decision in US v. Wong Kim Ark interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment as establishing citizenship for those born in the country. However, not everyone is convinced that the decision applies to children of those in the country illegally.

The dispute centers around the exact language of the amendment. It 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.” Advocates of the president’s proposal argue that birthright citizenship does not apply to those in the country illegally, as they are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

In the case of US v. Wong Kim Ark, the parents involved were legally allowed in the US when their child was born. If the president does decide to issue an executive order denying citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, he’s certain to be met with immediate legal challenges in the courts. Perhaps the Supreme Court will wind up having the final say in the matter.

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