President Donald Trump announced during an interview with Axios on HBO Monday, October 29, that he plans to sign an executive order proposing to ban birthright citizenship. Trump is referring to the 14th Amendment, which declares that any person who is “born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The primary purpose of the amendment was to guarantee that after the civil war, descendants of slaves would have full rights of citizenship in every state.
In other words, birthright citizenship is the right to citizenship for anyone born in a country, regardless of if their parents are American or not— an immigration policy that has been mended into the U.S. Constitution. During the interview, Trump referred to the policy as being “ridiculous” and saying that the processes “has to end.” During the interview, Trump also stated that the United States was the only country that grants citizenship to everyone born here. This is false. More than 30 countries do, including our neighbors Canada and Mexico.
However, the immigration issue is nothing new for Trump. In Trump’s 2015 campaign trail, he made his interest known on ending the birthright policy throughout. In a 2015 interview with Fox News, Trump said, “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. We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell.”
Just days before the 2018 midterms, Vox reported, the president “is stoking divisions on immigration in an effort to fire up the Republican Party’s base, on Wednesday reiterated his executive order idea on Twitter.” According to USA Today, “The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.”
Conveniently enough, this announcement comes a day after Trump announced that he would be sending 5,200 Troops to the U.S.-Mexico Border aiming to show force at the caravan of thousands of Central American migrants who are seeking asylum. The group of an estimated 4,000 migrants is coming through Mexico, mostly from Honduras and Guatemala. Trump tweeted on Monday, “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”