Birthright citizenship in the United States is pretty straightforward, according to the constitution. If you are born on U.S. soil, you are a U.S. citizen. Of course, there are other ways to become a citizen, such as naturalization or marriage. Birthright citizenship was added to the United States Constitution in 1868 by the 14th Amendment. Under the 14th Amendment and Supreme Court cases interpreting it, all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. are citizens of the United States.
According to The Daily Signal, last fall, President Donald Trump expressed interest in ending universal birthright citizenship by way of executive order. The idea is controversial, both politically and legally. Most legal experts agree such an order would be unconstitutional.
Nowadays, each year approximately 200,000 children are born in the United States to foreign students, tourists, and temporary guest workers — as reported by the U.S. Center for Immigration Studies. Similarly, according to Pew Research, the same amount of people are born to illegal immigrants — the U.S. government currently grants citizenship to all of them.
President Trump and his supporters argue that ending universal birthright citizenship would help deter illegal immigration and provide substantial relief to American taxpayers.
“The President wouldn’t need an act of Congress to change how executive agencies interpret and apply the 14th Amendment’s jurisdictional clause.” said Walter Myers, adjunct lecturer at Biola University and program chairperson for the Lincoln Club of Orange County.
The New York Times reported last year that President has been preparing an executive order that would nullify the long-accepted constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship in the United States.
“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 for 85 years, with all of those benefits,” said President Trump. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
President Trump initially believed he needed a constitutional amendment or action by Congress to make this change, but multiple news oulets have reported that the White House Counsel’s Office has advised him otherwise.
“Now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” President Trump has said.
According to the latest numbers from the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, more than 4 million children born in the U.S. live here with at least one undocumented parent. About 55% of those children live with one undocumented parent or two undocumented parents. The remaining 45% live with one undocumented parent and another who is here legally.
Among adults nationwide, 62% believe the law should stand as written.