Recently the President of the United States controversially announced that he could end birthright citizenship by executive order.
What is birthright citizenship? The 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to all persons born in the United States. This right to citizenship is referred to as “birthright citizenship.” Such a right is granted to an individual born in the United States, irrespective of their parent’s immigration status in the United States.
Unsurprisingly, the President made the suggestion that he could do away with birthright citizenship, ahead of the midterm elections in the United States. The timing of the President’s statement shows that the message was politically motivated.
Does the President have the power to end birthright citizenship? The President cannot end birthright citizenship by executive order. The President’s message was made simply to incite fear in the non-citizen population, and to solidify the President’s support from his conservative base, who believe that “anchor babies,” a derogatory term used to refer to children born in the United States to non-citizen parents, should not be entitled to United States citizenship.
The President is likely aware that he, of course, does not have the power to end birthright citizenship by executive order, and made such a statement to deliberately deceive his base, and create confusion.
This is very troubling, given the state of our current political climate. If the President ever signed such an executive order, it would undoubtedly be met with fierce opposition in court.