Washington: US President Donald Trump is planning to end the right to citizenship for the children of non-citizens and unauthorised immigrants born on US soil. If implemented, this will be the biggest move by a US president on immigration, which comes ahead of the midterm elections scheduled next week.
Currently, anyone born in the US, including children of non-citizens, and including illegal immigrants, automatically qualifies for to become an American citizen. But now, Trump wants to end the so-called “anchor babies” and “chain immigration”.
Revoking birthright citizenship would spark a court fight over whether the president has the unilateral to change an amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guarantees that right for all children born in the US. Asked about the legality of such an executive order, Trump said, “they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
He added that “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.” An excerpt of the interview was posted on Axios’ website on Tuesday.
The president said White House lawyers are reviewing his proposal. It’s unclear how quickly he would act on an executive order. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
US Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was quoted by Reuters as saying that Trump “was driving a false narrative on immigration” in many ways to stoke fear ahead of the November 6 vote.
(With inputs from agencies)