The worst fear of many non-U.S citizens is coming to a reality as President Donald Trump strikes immigrants again with his plans to sign an executive order to expunge the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil. Trump disclosed this long-feared plan in an exclusive interview with HBO network for a new four-part documentary news series titled “Axios on HBO”
This would certainly be the most dramatic move made by Trump in his extreme immigration campaign, but this time targeting “anchor babies” and “chain migration.” This news however shocking is not unexpected from Trump as he has since waged war against immigrants and non- citizens of the U.S from the moment he began his administration. However, with Trump’s power to push his plan through executive action being debatable, victims of this iniquitous plan will not go down without a fight as another stand-off with the courts is anticipated to happen.
According to Trump in his interview for the “Axios on HBO” he stated that he has run the idea of ending birthright citizenship by his counsel and plans to proceed with the very controversial action, which will not go unheard in court. In his words; “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” also stating “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” thereby confirming his power to do it by executive order.
He exclaimed his reasons for planning to make the order stating that “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,” “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.” “It’s in the process. It’ll happen … with an executive order.”
“Axios on HBO” which had been working on a story on Trump’s plans for birthright citizenship weeks back, sourced the information through conversations with several sources, including one close to the White House Counsel’s office. Trump was taken by surprise that “Axios on HBO” knew about his secret plan stating “I didn’t think anybody knew that but me. I thought I was the only one.” The legalities of the interpretation of the U.S 14th Amendment will definitely compel the courts to decide on a constitutional debate over its provision which states that: “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.”
Many U.S politicians in government and scholars believe that it is within the power of the president to change the birthright citizenship. Some members of the Conservative party have argued that the 14th Amendment has been misapplied for many years asserting that it was only intended to provide citizenship to children born in the U.S. to lawful permanent residents — not to unauthorized immigrants or those on temporary visas.
Michael Anton, a former national security official in the Trump administration, took up the argument in the Washington Post stating that Trump could, via executive order, “specify to federal agencies that the children of non-citizens are not citizens” simply because they were born on U.S. soil. However, it is not yet certain if Trump will use this maximalist argument, but considering his previous rhetorics the chances of him using this is somewhat high. Meanwhile, others such as Judge James C. Ho, who was appointed by Trump to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans stated that the provision of the amendment refers to the legal obligation to follow U.S. laws, which also applies to all foreign visitors (except diplomats) and immigrants, asserting that to change how the 14th Amendment is applied would be “unconstitutional.”
Whats your take on this debate? Is President Trump in the right to order the prohibition of birthright citizenship to the children of non- U.S citizens and immigrants born on American soil?
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