Trump plans to scrap birthright cit­i­zen­ship

‘It was al­ways told to me that you needed a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment. Guess what? You don’t. Now they’re say­ing I can do it just with an ex­ec­u­tive or­der,’ pres­i­dent says in an in­ter­view with Ax­ios

The Gulf Today - - AMERICAS -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he will scrap a con­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tee to cit­i­zen­ship for any­one born on US soil in a head­line-grab­bing move bol­ster­ing his anti-im­mi­gra­tion plat­form a week be­fore midterm elec­tions.

The sur­prise an­nounce­ment in an in­ter­view with Ax­ios, re­leased in part on Tues­day, fol­lowed the dis­patch of more than 5,000 reg­u­lar troops to the Mex­i­can bor­der, it­self a highly un­usual move prompted by Trump’s warn­ings of a mi­grant “in­va­sion.”

The birthright cit­i­zen­ship pro­posal was likely to prove even more con­tro­ver­sial, given ques­tions over whether a pres­i­dent can med­dle with the con­sti­tu­tion at all.

The right to US cit­i­zen­ship for all born in the coun­try is en­shrined in the 14th amend­ment.

To change the con­sti­tu­tion re­quires a two thirds ma­jor­ity in Congress -- some­thing al­most un­think­able in to­day’s deeply par­ti­san, near evenly split leg­is­la­ture.

But Trump told Ax­ios that he now be­lieves a stroke of his pen will be enough.

“It was al­ways told to me that you needed a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said in an in­ter­view with Ax­ios. “Now they’re say­ing I can do it just with an ex­ec­u­tive or­der.”

Trump railed against the cur­rent rule, er­ro­neously declar­ing that the United States is unique in grant­ing cit­i­zen­ship this way.

“We’re the only coun­try in the world where a per­son comes in, has a baby and the per­son is es­sen­tially a ci­ti­zen of the United States for 85 years with All of those Beneits. It’s ridicu­lous. It’s ridicu­lous and it has to end,” he said.

In fact, while most coun­tries around the world do not grant cit­i­zen­ship au­to­mat­i­cally to new­borns, more than two dozen do, in­clud­ing Canada which like its US neigh­bour grants cit­i­zen­ship to chil­dren born to il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

Trump said he had spo­ken to le­gal coun­sel about the plan and that the change is al­ready in the works.

“It’s in the process, it’ll hap­pen -- with an ex­ec­u­tive or­der.”

The con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment in ques­tion reads: “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.”

Trump’s sur­prise pol­icy an­nounce­ment will trig­ger in­tense le­gal de­bate over the mean­ing of those words and how to ap­ply the ven­er­a­ble con­sti­tu­tion in a chang­ing world.

Ex­cerpts from the Trump in­ter­view gave no in­di­ca­tion of the tim­ing of the pro­posal. How­ever, while the birthright row will likely drag on, the po­lit­i­cal im­pact was sure to be im­me­di­ate and in­tense -- right ahead of the midterms, where Trump has made slash­ing im­mi­gra­tion his sig­na­ture idea.

In THE inal Countdown to THE Nov.6 polls, which could see op­po­si­tion Democrats seiz­ing con­trol of at least part of the Repub­li­can-held Congress, Trump has doubled down on de­pict­ing the coun­try as un­der at­tack by im­mi­grants.

His or­der for large num­bers of ac­tive duty sol­diers to de­ploy in com­ing days to the bor­der, re­in­forc­ing thou­sands of al­ready de­ployed Na­tional Guard troops, brought the high­est level of mil­i­tari­sa­tion to the bor­der with ma­jor trad­ing part­ner Mex­ico in re­cent years.

Trump says the armed forces are needed in the face of a “car­a­van” of sev­eral thou­sand im­pov­er­ished Cen­tral Amer­i­cans who are slowly trekking north in an at­tempt to en­ter the United States.

Many of THE mi­grants ARE LEE­ING THE Grip of Crim­i­nal GANGS that lour­ish in their home­lands, but Trump has re­peat­edly as­serted that the crowd it­self is com­prised of dan­ger­ous el­e­ments.

“Many gang mem­bers and some very bad peo­ple are mixed into the Car­a­van,” he tweeted, with­out pro­vid­ing ev­i­dence. “This is an in­va­sion of our Coun­try and our Mil­i­tary is wait­ing for you!”

The pres­i­dent’s in­creas­ingly hard­line anti-im­mi­gra­tion stand could help him take back the agenda after a week dom­i­nated by the mas­sacre of 11 peo­ple in a Jewish synagogue in Pitts­burgh, rock­ing a coun­try al­ready on edge after more than a dozen home­made bombs were sent to Trump op­po­nents.

The Florida man ac­cused of mail­ing the pipe bombs ap­peared to have been a hard­core Trump sup­porter and crit­ics have claimed that the pres­i­dent’s di­vi­sive language on im­mi­gra­tion is at least partly re­spon­si­ble for en­cour­ag­ing ex­trem­ist vi­o­lence.

Reuters

Mi­grants make a hu­man chain in a river be­tween Gu­atemala to Mex­ico in Ci­u­dad Hi­dalgo on Mon­day. WASHINGTON:

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