Trump suggests he will end birthright citizenship with executive order

President Donald Trump holds up an executive order about border security in January 2017.   Associated Press  Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Birthright citizenship has become a subject of debate after the United States president, Donald Trump, announced his plans to terminate the right to citizenship for babies born on USA soil to non-citizens.

While Trump asserts that he can change the provision with such an order, that is far from certain: there is a set process for modifying the constitution, which does not include presidential decree.

With seven days to go before high-stakes elections that he has sought to focus on fear-mongering over immigration, Trump made the comments to "Axios on HBO".

Speaking to reporters before leaving the White House for a campaign rally in Florida, Trump compared his plan to act by executive order to President Barack Obama's much-maligned decision to use executive action to provide protections from prosecution and a path to work status for some people brought to the US illegally as children.

One Republican member of Congress, frequent Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham, said he would move to introduce legislation "along the same lines" as Trump's order. As with former President Barack Obama's effort to redefine immigration law to include the children of illegal immigrants brought to the United States before they could legally object to their parents' actions - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA act - changes to citizenship through executive order must pass Constitutional muster.

Legal scholars have had much to say about the 14th Amendment over the years, including U.S. Court of Appeals Judge James Ho-who, in 2011, declared, "Opponents of illegal immigration can not claim to champion the rule of law and then, in the same breath, propose policies that violate our Constitution".

During the interview, the retiring speaker reiterated that Republicans are in "total agreement" with the president on illegal immigration and border security. "You can't erase the Constitution with an executive order, @realDonaldTrump". Birthright citizenship is the "legal right to citizenship of all children born in a country's territory, regardless of parentage".

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Donald Trump has has insisted he will move to end the right to American citizenship for the children of non-citizens born in the USA, a pledge he made frequently throughout the 2016 campaign and one often dismissed as legally unfeasible by scholars.

The Pentagon on Monday directed 5,239 active-duty troops to deploy to the border to assist Customs and Border Protection agents in Texas, Arizona and California. The first sentence reads: "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". "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"

The president revealed his plans during an interview with Axios, which aired on the morning of October 30.

President Donald Trump talks to the media before leaving to Bedminster, N.J., at the White House in Washington on August 17, 2018.

"If you are born in the United States, you're a citizen", he said. In addition to birthright citizenship, he has also targeted "chain migration" and the diversity lottery system.

"I'd rather do it through Congress because that's permanent, but we can certainly do it through - I really (believe) we can do it through executive order", he added, noting he had discussed the issue with legal scholars. "There are folks who say that you know, to be an American is to embrace an idea".

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