President Donald Trump is planning on an executive order that alters the 14th Amendment and takes away birthright citizenship for babies born on U.S. soil. The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in to question the constitutionality of that move.
“The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project in a statement Tuesday.
“This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.”
Trump revealed his plans for an executive order in an interview with Axios HBO.
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said. “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
Watch the interview below:
Trump revealed that he’s been working on the plan for the executive order for some time and has already discussed it with his council.
In the interview, the president also claimed that the United States is the only country that offers birthright citizenship. In fact, as Axios points out, over 30 countries have the rule in place.
“How ridiculous, 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 for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump claimed. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Birthright is guaranteed in the 14th amendment, which 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.”
The wording of the 14th amendment has long been disputed if it guarantees citizenship to everyone born on U.S. soil. So far, according to NPR, the courts have held up that it does except for children born to foreign diplomats.
But Trump is convinced that he can make the change without the help from Congress or anyone else. “It’s in the process,” Trump said. “It will happen with an executive order.”