Trump proposes ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, contradicting US Constitution’s 19th century amendment.
Former US President Donald Trump (Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
In a campaign video posted on Twitter, Donald Trump, the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in a competitive field of candidates, declared his intention to end automatic citizenship for children born in the United States to immigrants residing in the country illegally.
This proposal directly contradicts the traditional interpretation of a 19th century amendment to the US Constitution.
Trump stated that if reelected in 2024, he would issue an executive order instructing federal agencies to cease granting birthright citizenship. However, such a move would undoubtedly face legal challenges.
The concept of birthright citizenship is rooted in the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, which was ratified in 1868 after the American Civil War.
This amendment abolished slavery and granted citizenship to all individuals “born or naturalized in the United States,” regardless of their parents’ immigration status. It overturned a previous Supreme Court ruling that denied citizenship to slaves and free African Americans.
However, Donald Trump’s proposed executive order, slated for his potential second term in office, would seek to change this interpretation.
According to his campaign’s press release, the order would mandate that at least one parent must be either a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident for their children to receive automatic US citizenship.
This proposal would challenge the longstanding interpretation of the 14th Amendment and could lead to legal disputes if implemented.
During his presidency in 2018, Donald Trump expressed his intention to issue an executive order that would limit birthright citizenship, but he ultimately did not follow through with this plan. Many legal scholars at the time doubted the extent of Trump’s executive authority to revoke this constitutional right.
In addition, on Tuesday, Trump criticized President Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent in the 2020 election who is now seeking re-election in 2024.
Trump highlighted the record numbers of migrants apprehended while attempting to cross the border illegally in recent years, arguing that birthright citizenship acts as a “magnet” for such migration. He pointed out that many other countries impose restrictions on birthright citizenship for non-citizens.
Throughout his presidency, Trump aimed to appeal to Republican voters who support a tough stance on immigration. He pursued stringent immigration policies and took steps toward fulfilling his campaign promise of constructing a wall along the US-Mexico border.