President Trump targets end to birthright citizenship

US President Donald Trump has pledged to end the automatic right to citizenship for children born in the US to non-citizens.

In what has been described as one of his most hard-line immigration promises yet, the President made the pledge while campaigning ahead of next week’s mid-term elections.

Currently, the constitution states that all children born in the US get automatic citizenship.

But in an interview with American news website Axios, President Trump made clear his dislike for the current rules.

“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,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

The President said that he could enact the change by signing an executive order.

However, both these claims are highly dubious.

For starters, the US is not the only country to offer birthright citizenship. In fact, the US’s southern and northern neighbours, Mexico and Canada, both grant citizenship to babies born in their countries to non-citizens. More than 30 countries worldwide do likewise.

Meanwhile, it is debatable whether an executive order would be enough to trigger the end of birthright citizenship, as such a move would likely require explicit authorisation from Congress.

The Axios interview with President Trump will air in full on HBO in America over the weekend, as part of a four-part documentary news series.

Article published 31st October 2018