Rabat - In attempts to galvanize voters before the US midterm elections, Donald Trump has proposed his most hardlined policy on immigration to date.
President Trump recently claimed the ability to reverse the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment with an executive order. The amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
Trump’s executive order would end the right to citizenship of undocumented people born on US soil.
In an interview with Axios Tuesday morning, Trump defended his immigration policy, claim, “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 for 85 years with all of those benefits.” According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 29 other countries grant automatic citizenship to all people born within their borders.
Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan blatantly dismissed Trump’s plans in a radio interview, stating, “You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.” Ryan’s rejection of the idea is shared by much of the legal community.
The general consensus among legal scholars considers Trump’s proposal as unconstitutional because it insinuates the president is above the legal process.
It is unlikely the executive order will be unchallenged, or upheld in court. A formal amendment to change the US Constitution requires a two-thirds Congressional majority vote in both houses, or two-thirds of state government approval.
The interpretation of the 14th amendment has been part of an ongoing debate among politicians regarding its exclusion of undocumented citizens, but legislation regarding the issue has never passed a vote in Congress.
A study conducted by the Migration Policy Institute projected a surge of nearly 5 million undocumented citizens in the US between 2015 and 2050 if Trump’s plan succeeds, putting further strain on local authorities to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
Trump’s announcement is stirring political and public controversy across the US, leaving many questioning the legitimacy of his claims and the limits of his presidential power.