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Trump wants to end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants

The president told Axios on HBO that he hopes to change the law with an executive order.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Key Takeaways
  • The 14th Amendment currently guarantees citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil.
  • President Donald Trump hopes to modify the law to prevent children born to illegal immigrants from receiving citizenship, which would theoretically combat the so-called immigration practice of non-residents having “anchor babies.”
  • The bold (and likely unrealistic) move comes just before the midterms, and a day after the president sent 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to prepare for the arrival of groups of South American migrants, known as “the caravan”.

President Donald Trump said in an interview published Tuesday that he plans to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship in the U.S., which would mean children born on U.S. soil to illegal immigrants would not receive citizenship as they do now.

“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 told Axios on HBO. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

Trump is wrong to suggest the U.S. is the only country that offers birthright citizenship, considering 33 nations maintain the practice, which is known as jus soli, or “by the soil”. However, he would be right to suggest that the U.S. is an anomaly in the sense that it grants citizenship to more immigrants and has less restrictions on birthright citizenship than other countries.

Trump told Axios on HBO that his administration is “in the process” of changing birthright citizenship laws “with an executive order.”

This is false. At least 30 countries offer birthright citizenship, including almost every country in Central and South America. The US and Canada however are the only two “developed” countries (as defined by IMF) to do so.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 30, 2018


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