President Donald Trump offered a dramatic, if legally dubious, promise in a new interview to unilaterally end birthright citizenship, ratcheting up his hardline immigration rhetoric with a week to go before critical midterm elections.
Trump’s vow to end the right to citizenship for the children of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on US soil came in an interview with Axios released Tuesday. Such a step would be regarded as an affront to the US Constitution, which was amended 150 years ago to include the words: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
Trump did not say when he would sign the order, and some of his past promises to use executive action have gone unfulfilled. But whether the President follows through on his threat or not, the issue joins a string of actions intended to thrust the matter of immigration into the front of voters’ minds as they head to polls next week.
“We’re looking at that very seriously,” Trump told reporters when leaving the White House for the US state of Kentucky, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“Birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land – walk over the border, have a baby, congratulations, the baby’s now a US citizen,” said the President. “It’s, frankly, ridiculous.”
Trump promised ending the birthright citizenship during his 2016 presidential campaign and once revived the idea last year, according to a report of The Hill.
Earlier Wednesday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan unveiled new policies which will allow the government to detain families crossing the US-Mexico border longer than before. If the new rule survives court challenges, the policy change could permit authorities to detain families through the duration of their immigration proceedings.
The US federal government has sought various ways to curb illegal and legal immigration since Trump was sworn in January 2017. (IANS)