President Trump is vowing to sign an executive order that would seek to end the right to U.S. citizenship for children born in the United States to noncitizens, a move most legal experts say runs afoul of the Constitution.
The action, which Trump previewed in a television clip broadcast Tuesday, would be the most aggressive by a president elected to office pledging to take a hard line on immigration, an issue he has revived in advance of next week’s midterm elections.
“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 for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said during an interview with Axiosscheduled to air as part of a new HBO series starting this weekend. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
In fact, more than 30 countries, including Canada and Mexico, have similar policies.
Whether the contemplated move is legal, Trump seemed to welcome the controversy his comments ignited. The White House has been intent on stoking a debate over immigration as a way to motivate Trump’s base to turn out for midterm elections in which Republicans risk losing the House