Trump Will Attempt End To Birthright Citizenship

(Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump will issue a future executive order to end birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants and some other non-citizens, he told Axios on HBO in a Monday TV interview.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said of the impending action, confirming that he had spoken with the White House counsels office about the maneuver.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (C) gives two thumbs up as Donald Trump Jr. (L) and Ivanka Trump (R) stand and cheer for Eric Trump as he delivers his speech during the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump continued, “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.” The president’s expected executive order is certain to spark a high stakes legal battle, which is likely to make it all the way to the Supreme Court.

Birthright citizenship stems from the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which states that “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.”

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Existing judicial precedent, however, only clarifies that children of lawful permanent residents in the U.S. qualify for citizenship with no ruling on the children of illegal immigrants or temporary residents. Any executive order by Trump would only be able to legally target these immigrant populations.

Trump has spoken on anchor babies before in August 2015 during the 2016 presidential campaign saying, “I don’t think they have American citizenship and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers — and I know some will disagree, but many of them agree with me — and you’re going to find they do not have American citizenship.”