President Donald Trump announced in a newly-released video interview with Axios that he plans to sign an executive order to do away with birthright citizenship in America.
Here’s what you need to know about birthright citizenship — and why the president wants to get rid of it.
What is birthright citizenship?
It means that any person born on American soil is also considered a citizen of the nation.
The concept is also known as “Jus Soli” (Latin for “right of the soil.”)
It comes from the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says 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.”
Why does President Trump not like the policy?
President Trump has often signaled his displeasure with the idea of birthright citizenship by using the term “anchor baby” to describe a child born in the United States to parents who are not legally inside the country.
And in his interview with Axios, the president described how immigrants can take advantage of the policy.
“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,” Trump said during his interview with Axios. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Is America actually the only country to have Jus Soli?
Can Trump get rid of birthright citizenship through an executive order?
Because it is enshrined in the Constitution, there is a question whether Trump can undo it with an executive order.
An Axios reporter brought this problem up to President Trump, who replied, “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress.”
“But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” he said in the interview.
CNN reported that attempting to undo birthright citizenship that way “is certain to set off a legal fight that could potentially wind up in the Supreme Court over his authority to issue Executive Orders with such broad scope.”
But Jon Feere, a legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote on the organization’s website that some scholars believe the concept of birthright citizenship enshrined in the 14th Amendment can be challenged.
The problem comes with the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
“Several legal scholars and political scientists who have delved into the history of the 14th Amendment have concluded that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” has no plain meaning,” he wrote, “and that the executive branch’s current, broad application of the Citizenship Clause may not be warranted.”
The full Axios interview with Trump will be aired Nov. 4 on “Axios on HBO.”