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News > U.S.

Trump Looks at Ending Birthright Citizenship for Migrants

  • Central American children at a temporary shelter in Deming, New Mexico, U.S., May 16, 2019.

    Central American children at a temporary shelter in Deming, New Mexico, U.S., May 16, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 August 2019

His proposal goes against the 14th Amendment which grants citizenship to all persons born in the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he is "seriously" looking at ending the right to citizenship for U.S.-born children of noncitizens and people who immigrated to the United States illegally.


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"We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby - congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen... It's frankly ridiculous," Trump said.

One of the first reactions to these statements came from Democratic senator Kamala Harris, who tweeted that the U.S. President "should 'seriously' consider reading the Constitution."

Previously, at the 2016 presidential campaign, the Republican candidate promised to end the birthright citizenship. On October 2018, during the campaign of legislative elections campaign, he mentioned that idea again and assured that he would sign an executive order to achieve his goals.

At that time, the Democratic opposition reminded him that constitutional reform would be necessary to achieve his proposal.

Thanks to the 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War to ensure that black Americans had full citizenship rights, the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States."

Since then that has been the legal basis routinely been deployed to grant citizenship to most people born in the U. S., whether or not their parents are U.S. citizens or legal residents.​​​​​​​

In addition, the Supreme Court supported the birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants in 1898; however, last October, the White House stressed that the highest judicial instance had never ruled on the issue in cases where the applicant's parents were undocumented.

If Trump persists in pursuing his fight against the migrant's children through an executive order, he would unleash a prolonged and controversial judicial dispute, which most probably could reach the Supreme Court.​​​​​​​

In 2006, lawyer James Chiun-Yue Ho, who is now U.S. Circuit Judge, wrote that birthright citizenship "is protected no less for children of undocumented persons than for descendants of Mayflower passengers," WCYB reported.

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