The End of the 14th Amendment?

President Trump, in an interview with Axios on Oct. 30, 2018, vowed to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship for children born in the United States with parents who are not citizens.

This new executive order came to light just days before the congressional midterm elections, in which the Republicans were in danger of losing the House, leading many to question whether he actually intends to follow through or if this was just a dramatic tactic to encourage voting.

His own party, however, doesn’t seem to be on board with his latest idea. House Speaker, Paul D. Ryan, immediately pushed back saying Trump can’t do away with birthright citizenship by executive order.

Birthright citizenship is guaranteed in the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. Changing any amendment is a lengthy process and would require a two-thirds vote from both houses of Congress or a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of state legislatures.

Trump first pitched the idea of abolishing birthright citizenship during his presidential campaign. During his time in office, Trump has made immigration one of his key issues and he recently told his advisers that he wants to get immigration back into the news.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” said Trump in his interview with Axios. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

Trump’s statements aren’t entirely accurate though. Several other countries, like Canada, have birthright citizenship guarantees.

Trump’s legal counsel has advised him that he can in fact end birthright citizenship with an executive order, however, the legality of this is still being questioned. Even if this is true, Trump is sure to be met with a major legal battle on his hands and plenty of pushback from the Supreme Court, the Democrats, and perhaps even his own party.

Trump has stated his plan to end birthright citizenship is “in the works” but he hasn’t given a timeframe.