President Donald Trump has said in an interview that he plans to end birthright citizenship - meaning that those born in the United States to illegal immigrants will not automatically become citizens.
While the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees those born in the States automatic citizenship, it has never been tested in the courts to see if this right extends to those born to illegal immigrants.
"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," Trump said in an exclusive interview with Axios.
When the interviewers pushed back, he doubled down on the claim: "You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order."
According to the Axios article, "the Supreme Court has already ruled that children born to immigrants who are legal permanent residents have citizenship. But those who claim the 14th Amendment should not apply to everyone point to the fact that there has been no ruling on a case specifically involving undocumented immigrants or those with temporary legal status."
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal hit out at the proposal.
It’s called demagoguery—fanning flames of hatred & false fear, & offering unlawful, ineffectual solutions like an executive order ending birthright citizenship. Unconstitutional & unworthy of a president. https://t.co/kNLcCZ2Io1— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) October 30, 2018
"It’s called demagoguery—fanning flames of hatred and false fear, and offering unlawful, ineffectual solutions like an executive order ending birthright citizenship. Unconstitutional and unworthy of a president," he tweeted.
A Constitutional amendment is unlikely as it requires two-thirds of both the Senate and House of Representatives, however, an executive order can be signed without Congress voting on it.