As the midterm elections loom, President Trump has made a comment that may shake the roots of what it is to be American. During an interview on the HBO news series “Axios,” Trump was confronted with the issue of birthright citizenship, which is enshrined within the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The amendment reads:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” -Ratified on July 9, 1868, by US Congress
The amendment turned former Black slaves into citizens and ushered in the path to citizenship for millions of immigrants to America. But according to Trump, he is ready to end all of that with a stroke of a pen. Trump stated on the show that he is ready to sign an executive order that removes the Constitutional guarantee of citizenship for babies born to noncitizens and undocumented immigrants on American soil.
“It was always told to me that you needed a Constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t. … 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 … with all of those benefits. … It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end. It’s in the process. It’ll happen … with an executive order,” Trump said.
However, Trump is incorrect in stating that America is the only country with birthright citizenship, Canada and Great Britain are among 33 nations with a similar law. Trump’s threatened action will put him at odds with various organizations — including the ACLU —for a constitutional battle. The ACLU posted to Twitter:
“This is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms. The 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear. You can’t erase the Constitution with an executive order, @realDonaldTrump. — ACLU (@ACLU) October 30, 2018”
It is a subject that will undoubtedly end up before the U.S. Supreme Court to decide and with the recent appointment of Justice Kavanaugh, it will be a conservative court with strong Trump leanings.