President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order ending so-called birthright citizenship for babies of noncitizens born on US soil - a move that would nearly certainly trigger legal battles, Fox News and other outlets are reporting.
But he also went further and said he sees the constitutional question as settled, guaranteeing citizenship to most people born on US soil even if to illegal immigrant parents.
Allowing an executive order to go through would be specifically against the 14th amendment, which states: "All persons born or naturalised in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside".
"It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous".
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"The fact of the matter is this: The U.S. Constitution - the 14th Amendment ensures that anybody who is born here or naturalized here is entitled to the benefits that U.S. citizenship provides", Little said. "Guess what? You don't", Trump told Axios.
The remarks were a continuation of Trump's efforts to stoke anxiety about immigrants and asylum-seekers ahead of the midterm elections.
Trump doesn't believe that should necessarily apply to the American-born children of undocumented immigrants.
Trump said that his planned changes could be made via an executive order, meaning he wouldn't need to change the constitution in order to introduce changes to the 14th amendment. Adopted in 1868, it's considered one of the Reconstruction Amendments and granted citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws to former slaves.
Birthright citizenship has been repealed in a handful of other countries, including Australia, Ireland, France and India.
The critical issue in interpreting the 14th Amendment lies in its exact wording, say some. Birthright citizenship allows any baby born on US soil to automatically be a USA citizen. The children, as citizens, can then sponsor their families to become USA citizens as well once they turn 21. We're not catching, we're not releasing ... "And then they're obligated as citizens to contribute to this country in a number of ways".