Under current laws, anyone born in the United States, including children of non-citizens, and including illegal immigrants, automatically qualifies to become an American citizen. But Trump will have none of it; he wants to end the so-called “anchor babies” and “chain migration.”
“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 said in an interview for “Axios on HBO.”
“It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end,” he continued.
Thousands of children of Indian parents, including those born to guest worker on visa and visitor visa holders, automatically become US citizens each year. Under current laws, any baby born in the United States of America, regardless of the residential status of the new born baby’s parents, is considered to be a citizen of the United States by birth and entitled to all the rights available to any US citizen. Once the baby is born, an American birth certificate will be issued.
In fact, some foreigners plan their travel in such a way that they give birth in the US. There has long been speculation that immigration hardliners in the Trump administration want to cancel this route, but policy experts have said it will run into Congressional opposition and it might not withstand legal challenges.
But Trump said he believes it can be done with an executive order. “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump told Axios, which first broke the story, declaring he can do it by executive order.
“You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” he added.
The legal challenges to such an executive order would force the courts to decide on a constitutional debate over the 14th Amendment, which says, “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.”
Immigration hardliners have argued that the 14th Amendment was only intended to provide citizenship to children born in the US to lawful permanent residents — not to unauthorized immigrants or those on temporary visas.
Michael Anton, a former national security official in the Trump administration, recently argued in the Washington Post that Trump could, via executive order, “specify to federal agencies that the children of noncitizens are not citizens” simply because they were born on US soil.