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Trump Says He's 'Seriously' Considering Ending Birthright Citizenship

He called the constitutional right "frankly ridiculous."

by Gaby Del Valle
Aug 21 2019, 5:31pm

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President Trump said he’s looking into ending birthright citizenship for the children of non-citizens.

Speaking outside the White House Wednesday, Trump told reporters he plans to do away with the constitutional right, which he called “frankly ridiculous,” through an executive order. This isn’t the first time he’s made that claim: In 2018, he told Axios he had plans to issue an executive order preventing automatic citizenship for the children of non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants, but nothing came of it.

READ: Trump wants to keep migrant kids in detention indefinitely

“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 unclear whether an executive order is currently in the works, but it’s likely that any attempts to end birthright citizenship would be challenged in the courts, since the 14th Amendment to the Constitution grants the right to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”

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Trump has repeatedly railed against so-called “anchor babies,” a derogatory term for the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. The president has also claimed that migrants come to the U.S. specifically so they can give birth to natural-born citizens. In the 2018 Axios interview, Trump said he had discussed ending birthright citizenship with his legal team.

“You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” he said at the time.

Cover image: President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Washington. Trump is headed to Kentucky. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)