Trump says no other country has birthright citizenship. That’s not true

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But as with Trump's proposed executive order, Graham's bill would likely avoid making any major changes to the Constitution directly, but rather help better define the terms and conditions of obtaining "birthright" citizenship. "Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!"

Both of Maine's USA senators said Tuesday they are strongly opposed to President Donald Trump's plan to issue an executive order revoking birthright citizenship for the children of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born in the U.S. "And it has to end".

The president's opposition to the constitutional provision centers specifically on the fact that children born in the U.S. to immigrant parents - whether they are in the country legally or not - are automatically citizens.

Further, the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) of 1952, the basic body of USA immigration law, also says that a "person born in the United States who is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a U.S. citizen at birth".

Mr Trump said the soon-to-retire House of Representatives speaker should not be opining on "something he knows nothing about".

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"No. 2, you can definitely do it with an act of Congress, but now they are saying I can just do it with an executive order".

Trump could argue that children of unauthorized immigrants aren't subject to USA jurisdiction.

Activists seeking to limit immigration, including Michael Anton, who wrote an article on the subject for the Washington Post in July, argue that illegal immigrants are not under the jurisdiction of the United States and therefore their children born on US soil should not be USA citizens. And the announcement Tuesday was met with a mixed reception by lawmakers in Congress, particularly the idea that Trump might use an executive order to impose such a significant immigration change - something Republicans blasted former President Barack Obama for doing with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

Trump's potential legal argument for overriding the common interpretation of the 14th Amendment and the INA, both ratified by Congress, amounts to challenging whether or not unauthorized immigrants to the United States are "subject to the jurisdiction" of the US.

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Trump contends the wording of the 14th Amendment, which grants the citizenship, gives him the authority. "Oh, yeah? Everybody born here is a citizen, so says the Constitution".

"President Mr. Trump's new claim he can unilaterally end the Constitution's guarantee of citizenship shows Republicans' spiralling desperation to distract from their assault on Medicare, Medicaid and people with pre-existing conditions", she said.

But Jon Feere, a legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote on the organization's website that some scholars believe the concept of birthright citizenship enshrined in the 14th Amendment can be challenged.

Trump campaigned on lowering immigration, and wants to target what he called "anchor babies", or children born to unauthorized immigrants who help the parents establish citizenship. The right was written into the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in 1868 after the Supreme Court had ruled that people of African descent, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens.

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