Paul Ryan shoots down Trump's birthright citizenship plans

Charlene Craig
November 1, 2018

In an interview released Tuesday, the president said he was planning to sign an executive order to end the long-disputed practice.

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judge James C. Ho, who was appointed by Trump, has argued that it would be "unconstitutional" to change how the 14th amendment was written and that the line subject to debate applies to the legal obligation of all foreigners and immigrants to follow US law, Axios reported.

When told his view is disputed, Trump asserted: "You can definitely do it with an act of Congress".

The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, grants citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States.

Trump said children born in the U.S.to non-citizens or undocumented immigrants shouldn't be granted citizenship, and he said he wants to change the law unilaterally.

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Mr Trump told "Axios on HBO" that he has run the idea of ending birthright citizenship by his counsel and plans to proceed with the move, which would certainly stir controversy and spark a court fight. "It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous".

Despite Trump's assertion, "the U.S.is not the only nation to have birthright citizenship, but the policy is rare outside of the Americas", noted Fox News.

Congress has all but abandoned their duty to make law in this area, punting the ball to the executive branch where the application of the law varies with whoever happens to be occupying the White House in the moment. Some see an angle in "subject to the jurisdiction" to challenge the longstanding interpretation (this is also the law in many other civilized countries.) With Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Bart O'Kavanaugh on board at the U.S. Supreme Court, who knows?

"I think in this case the 14th Amendment's pretty clear, and that would involve a very very lengthy constitutional process". "I've always supported comprehensive immigration reform - and at the same time - the elimination of birthright citizenship", he added.

The president has previously described birthright citizenship as a "magnet" for illegal immigration and the 14th Amendment as "questionable" in this context.

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He has vented his fury over a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the US-Mexico border and is dispatching an additional 5,200 troops to bolster security.

Should they be successful, Mr Trump's power would be undermined, and any future plans to change the constitution at his order would be easily scuppered.

Even if the Supreme Court made a decision to hear arguments, Kanter says court will likely rule the executive order as unconstitutional. Birthright citizenship allows any baby born on US soil to automatically be a USA citizen. "We will win", Pelosi said during an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert".

"This is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms", the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted Tuesday.

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