By Molly T | August 21, 2019
President Donald Trump said today that he is “very seriously” considering ending birthright citizenship–the law that allows anyone born into this country to automatically become a United States citizen. He told reporters that he would do so via an executive order, according to a report in the Daily Caller.
Currently, the Fourteenth Amendment allows any baby born in the country to receive American citizenship. The Amendment states citizenship is given to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” Many Trump supporters have noted that the law is regularly taken advantage of by immigrants, some of whom come to the country illegally just as they are about to give birth–knowing that their child will receive full citizenship.
During a 2018 interview with Axios, the president call the law “ridiculous” saying it “has to end.” He repeated the sentiment while speaking with reporters today.
He said, “We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land — you walk over the border and have a baby. Congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen. We’re looking at it very, very seriously. I don’t know how you found that out, but that’s very good.We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously. It’s frankly ridiculous.”
His comments on birthright citizenship have received some harsh criticisms from fellow Republicans in the past. Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said in 2018 that Trump “obviously” cannot get rid of birthright citizenship through an executive order.
Still, the intent to do so has long been something Trump has discussed, and was even a promise he made on the campaign trail. Most Americans have no problem with the idea of birthright citizenship as a concept; the issue, it seems, is that many people flagrantly take advantage of the rule. This has given way to the term “anchor babies,” which describes children that illegal immigrants travel to the US to give birth to–knowing that they are less likely to be deported once their child is an American citizen.
It’s unclear if a birthright citizenship executive order is already being worked on, or if it’s still just an idea at this point. Regardless, it seems obvious that no matter what actions the president attempts to take on this matter, he will face pushback from his critics in Congress as well as the media.
This piece originally appeared in the Objectivist and is used by permission.
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