Democratic leaders, civil rights groups and legal experts are blasting President Trump for saying he’ll sign an executive order ending the constitutionally protected birthright citizenship for children of noncitizens born on U.S. soil. Trump’s statements came with the midterms just one week away and amid an onslaught of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the president. In the interview with reporters from the new series “Axios on HBO,” Trump falsely claims that the U.S. is the only country with birthright laws. In fact, at least 30 other countries have similar laws, including most nations in North and South America. The ACLU tweeted Tuesday, “This is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms. The 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear. You can’t erase the Constitution with an executive order, @realDonaldTrump.” On Tuesday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he would introduce a bill to support Trump’s citizenship plan. However, other Republicans have criticized the proposal. This is House Speaker Paul Ryan speaking to Kentucky radio station WVLK.
Speaker Paul Ryan: “You obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. As a conservative, I’m a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution. And I think, in this case, the 14th Amendment is pretty clear.”
We’ll have more on Trump’s attempts to circumvent the 14th Amendment’s birthright citizenship clause after headlines with historian and author Martha Jones.