Can President Trump End Birthright Citizenship By Executive Order?
November 9, 2018
One of the President’s most recent statements on immigration is a pledge to end birthright citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants through an executive order. However, it is extremely unlikely that such an executive order would survive a legal challenge. Birthright citizenship is provided by the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which says that all people born in the U.S. and “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. are U.S. citizens. The President claims the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. can be read to exclude children of undocumented immigrants. Most legal scholars disagree and believe it includes everyone subject to U.S. laws, which undocumented immigrants are. The phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. is rather normally read to exclude children of certain foreign diplomats who hold diplomatic immunity and are thus not subject to U.S. laws.