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Trump: I'm Going to End Birthright Citizenship

He tells Axios he'll use an executive order to end the longstanding practice
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2018 6:02 AM CDT
President Donald Trump points to the media as he speaks during a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 26.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(Newser) – President Trump tells Axios that he plans to make a fundamental change to US citizenship rules: Babies born on American soil will no longer automatically be considered citizens. The president says he's been advised by constitutional experts that he can make the change to what's known as birthright citizenship through an 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," said Trump in an interview that airs in full on HBO this weekend. "It's ridiculous. And it has to end." (Actually, about 30 countries, including Canada, offer birthright citizenship.) The issue revolves around how the 14th Amendment is interpreted, and Axios notes that any such move by the president would be quickly challenged in court.

"It's in the process," said Trump. "It'll happen ... with an executive order." The amendment states that "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." The language has led to what critics call "birth tourism," in which pregnant women enter the US for the express purpose of giving birth to attain citizenship for their child. In an interview with Fox News Monday night, Trump didn't mention the executive order, but he said Central American migrants currently nearing the US border were "wasting their time." Trump promised to erect "tent cities" on the border where any asylum seekers will be held while their legal case plays out. "We're not catching, we're not releasing," he said. "We're not letting them into this country." (Read more birthright citizenship stories.)

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