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ACLU-NM Monitors Trump Threat to Revoke Birthright Citizenship

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President Donald Trump's promise to revoke birthright citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to non-citizens could end up in a Supreme Court showdown. (Nitish Meena/Pixabay)
President Donald Trump's promise to revoke birthright citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to non-citizens could end up in a Supreme Court showdown. (Nitish Meena/Pixabay)
November 2, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Legal experts say President Donald Trump's threat this week to revoke birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to non-citizens would immediately be challenged in court, but even the threat has caused outrage.

The president said he had the authority to single-handedly issue an executive order to end the practice. At a campaign rally this week, the president said granting citizenship to immigrant children born on U.S. soil is a "crazy policy."

But ACLU of New Mexico Communications Director Micah McCoy says the president cannot end this protection with the stroke of a pen.

"It's just hard to imagine a situation in which an executive order would be able to supersede the United States Constitution in a matter this clear," says McCoy.

Trump attacked House Speaker Paul Ryan on Twitter for disagreeing with him, after Ryan told reporters the 14th Amendment is clear and doesn't allow ending birthright citizenship with an executive order. The president said Ryan "knows nothing" about the issue, and suggested his time would be better spent making sure Republicans win on November 6th.

McCoy says the president has used a migrant caravan making its way through Central America to sow further division a week before midterms, during a very contentious political season.

"It has the effect of pouring fuel on the already dangerously volatile political situation we have, where real hate and rancor is being stoked-up for political convenience against certain groups like immigrants," says McCoy.

The latest estimates from the Pew Research Center indicate the number of babies born to non-citizens nationwide declined from 330,000 in 2009 to 275,000 in 2014.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM