Trump Wants Executive Order Terminating Birthright Citizenship

He complained, incorrectly, that the US was the only country in the world to offer it.

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump claimed he is “in the process” of preparing an executive order that would seek to end birthright citizenship for children of non-US citizens or undocumented immigrants born in the country.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment,” Trump told Axios for HBO in a clip that aired early Tuesday. “Guess what? You don’t.”

He then incorrectly claimed that the United States was the only country to offer birthright citizenship. In reality, at least 30 countries do.

“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,” Trump continued. “It’s ridiculous, it’s ridiculous—and it has to end.” 

The potential move would undoubtedly trigger a major legal battle over the 14th Amendment, which states, “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.” It comes as the latest anti-immigration pitch put forward by the Trump administration ahead of next week’s midterm elections.

In 2015, Trump, then the Republican front-runner, said that as president he would look into terminating birthright citizenship, which he bemoaned as the “biggest magnet for illegal immigration.” Amid those remarks, Sarnata Reynolds, a senior adviser on human rights at Refugees International, told Mother Jones that any changes to birthright citizenship could be disastrous for children of undocumented immigrants and potentially create a new generation of statelessness. “We could be talking about a situation that affects tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands,” Reynolds said.

“It would be a humanitarian crisis within the United States,” he added.

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate