There are plans by President Donald Trump to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil.
This, the United States of America (US) President confirmed in an exclusive interview for Axios on HBO.
If the new executive order goes through, it will be the most dramatic move yet in Trump’s hardline immigration campaign, this time targeting “anchor babies” and “chain migration”, sparking off another standoff with the courts.
Trump told Axios on HBO that he has run the idea of ending birthright citizenship by his counsel and plans to proceed with the highly controversial move, which certainly will face legal challenges.
Axios on HBO had reportedly been working for weeks on a story on Trump’s plans for birthright citizenship, based on conversations with several sources, including one close to the White House Counsel’s office.
Few immigration and constitutional scholars believe it is within the president’s power to change birthright citizenship, former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief counsel Lynden Melmed tells Axios.
However, some conservatives have argued that the 14th Amendment was only intended to provide citizenship to children born in the U.S. to lawful permanent residents — not to unauthorized immigrants or those on temporary visas.
John Eastman, a constitutional scholar and director of Chapman University’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, told Axios on HBO that the Constitution has been misapplied over the past 40 or so years. He says the line “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” originally referred to people with full, political allegiance to the U.S. — green card holders and citizens.
Until the 1960s, the 14th Amendment was never applied to undocumented or temporary immigrants, Eastman said.
Between 1980 and 2006, the number of births to unauthorized immigrants — which opponents of birthright citizenship call “anchor babies” — skyrocketed to a peak of 370,000, according to a 2016 study by Pew research. It then declined slightly during and following the Great Recession.