Politics

Trump: Birthright Citizenship For Illegal Immigrants Not Covered Under 14th Amendment

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump defended his idea to end birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants by executive order, in a Wednesday tweet.

Trump told Axios Monday evening he will issue a future executive order to end birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants and some other non-citizens, adding “it was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t.”

US President Donald Trump gestures as he steps off Air Force One after landing at Indianapolis International Airport on October 27, 2018 in Indiana. (Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

“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,” Trump continued. 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.”

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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.