On Wednesday, President Trump revealed that he was thinking about issuing an executive order that would prevent the children of illegal immigrants born on American soil from gaining American citizenship.
“Birthright citizenship – where you have a baby in our land, walk over the border, have a baby, congratulations – the baby is now a U.S. citizen. We’re looking at it very, very seriously.” Trump told reporters, “We’re looking at birthright citizenship very seriously. It’s frankly ridiculous.”
The issue with this executive order is that it may violate the 14th amendment, which states:
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.
But the Supreme Court has never ruled on whether “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” applies to illegal immigrants to the country. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, about 8% of babies born in the United States in 2008, or 340,000, were born to illegal immigrants. So, at the very least, Trump issuing an executive order that will effectively force the Supreme Court to rule on what “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” applies to will clarify a big issue in our country.