The Suffolk Journal

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Trump mulls revoking birthright citizenship

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President Donald Trump is mulling over a major change to the way citizenship is administered, according to multiple news reports.

In an interview with Axios on Monday, Trump told reporters that he plans to sign an executive order that would remove birthright citizenship. Currently, the children of immigrants, legal or otherwise, are automatically granted citizenship so long as they are born in the United States.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” said Trump in an interview with Axios. The full interview will air on HBO this Sunday.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits,” the President said in the interview with Axios.

Mexico, Canada and much of South America also offer birthright citizenship to children of immigrants.

The move is an escalation of Trump’s immigration plan, which involves a major turn away from immigration as a pillar of United States domestic policy.

“The President cannot unilaterally alter constitutional law,” said Suffolk government professor Eric Bellone. “To make such a change, you need to either have Congress amend the 14th Amendment or seek to have the Supreme Court overturn their earlier interpretation of the law and limit its scope to people who are legally in the U.S.”

Trump’s announcement comes just one week before the Nov. midterms, where Democrats are predicted to win in the House while Republicans will gain ground in the Senate according to data collected by Newsweek.

“The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’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.”

Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted in support of the President after the announcement.

“I plan to introduce legislation along the same lines as the proposed executive order,” Graham tweeted. “Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship.”

Trump’s campaign and presidency have always been centered around immigration. According to Migration Policy Institute, the Trump administration has banned nationals of eight countries, reduced refugee admission levels to their lowest in the program’s history, canceled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and ended the Temporary Protected Status of millions of Haitians, Nicaraguans and Sudanese.

“I believe that ending birthright citizenship is absolutely ludicrous,” said Dan Redznak, a junior sociology major involved in Student Government Association. “It is an unconstitutional proposal, and is something that cannot even be done through an executive order.”

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Trump mulls revoking birthright citizenship