Former President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, restated his commitment to enact an executive order which would abolish the guarantees of birthright citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants, if he returns to office in 2024. This comes despite previous constitutional criticisms and lack of previous action on the matter.
The 76-year-old former President said that his prospective second nonconsecutive term’s agenda would cease both birthright citizenship and the phenomenon known as “birth tourism” in the U.S, effective from his first day in office. This idea was also discussed prior and during his first tenure in the Oval Office.
“In the Agenda 47 announcement video, Trump expressed his stance, “My policy will choke off a major incentive for continued illegal immigration, deter more migrants from coming, and encourage many of the aliens Joe Biden has unlawfully let into our country to go back to their home countries.” He criticized the existing policy as a “willful misinterpretation of the law by the open borders advocates.”
He further addressed the topic of ‘birth tourism’, stating, “My order will also end the unfair practice known as ‘birth tourism’ where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the planet squat in hotels for their last few weeks of pregnancy to illegitimately and illegally obtain US citizenship for the child, often to later exploit chain migration to jump the line and get green cards for themselves and their family members.” He emphasized that one parent would have to be a citizen or a legal resident for the child to qualify.
Despite Trump’s claim in 2018 that he would terminate this practice via an executive order, he faced opposition from then-House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Ryan retorted at the time, “You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives, we believe in the Constitution.”
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.” along with decisions like United States v. Wong Kim Ark, affirms the birthright citizenship of children born to immigrants in the U.S.
Trump has faced criticism from his Republican competitors, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for his past immigration policies, accusing him of “moving left” on the issue since 2016.
In response to Trump’s recent announcement, the DeSantis-supporting super PAC Never Back Down noted that Trump had made similar pledges at least four times before. The group questioned his past inability to implement such a policy during his previous tenure as president, stating, “Trump had 4 years as president to write this executive order. Why didn’t he?”