According to the 14th Amendment, any person born in the U.S., regardless of their parents’ immigration status, has full citizenship.
However, during an interview with Axios, President Donald Trump claimed the law is outdated and should be ended.
“How ridiculous, we’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
The president revealed that he is considering an executive order as an option to end birthright citizenship.
“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.”
Senator Chuck Grassley did not hold back when discussing the executive order during an interview.
“I am not a lawyer but it seems to me it would take a constitutional amendment to change that as opposed to an executive order,” Grassley said to Iowa’s CBS2.
“It seems to me ‘born in the United States’ is pretty simple. ‘Subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ might be a little more debatable by lawyers,” Grassley said.
Vice President Mike Pence agreed with Trump, saying that the Supreme Court “has never ruled on whether or not the language of the 14th Amendment … applies specifically to people who are in the country illegally.”
.@VP Pence: "What the president has made clear is that we are looking at action that would reconsider birth right citizenship."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 30, 2018
During an interview with a Kentucky radio station, House Speaker Paul Ryan strongly denied the possibility of ending birthright citizenship.
“You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” said Paul. “We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives, we believe in the Constitution.”
A president cannot amend Constitution or laws via executive order. Concept of natural-born citizen in #14thAmendment derives from natural-born subject in Britain. Phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” excludes mainly foreign diplomats, who are not subject to U.S. laws.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) October 30, 2018
Birthright citizenship is protected by the Constitution, so no @realDonaldTrump you can’t end it by executive order. What we really need is broad immigration reform that makes our country more secure and reaffirms our wonderful tradition as a nation of immigrants. https://t.co/7xlbfrt6rW
— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) October 30, 2018
I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform – and at the same time – the elimination of birthright citizenship.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 30, 2018