President Donald Trump is vowing to end birthright citizenship with an executive order that seems to be at odds with the constitution.
All of this comes just one week from the midterm elections that will decide Washington’s balance of power.
It’s a dramatic but legally questionable statement the president made during a recent interview.
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous and it has to end,” President Trump said.
The Commander in Chief wants to end the constitutional right to citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to non-citizens.
More than 30 countries allow birthright citizenship. Here in the U.S., it’s written in the 14th amendment.
Michael Latner, Cal Poly Associate Professor of Political Science, says you can not change the constitution with an executive order.
“This is a large constitutional change that the executive simply doesn’t have the power to do,” Latner explained.
He says the only way to change the constitution is through Congress or a convention of the states.
“There’s really no confusion about this,” Latner continued. “I think the president very well understands that he’s not able to change the constitution with an executive order. This is clearly an election move.”
The president’s plan has people on both sides talking.
“Pregnant women supposedly coming a thousand miles away just to have their baby over here. Now that’s not right,” said John Ruiz of Texas.
“All they want to do is get a better life for their family. That’s the only reason why they travel here,” said Arely Arias.
As the president sends 5,200 troops to the border to confront a migrant caravan, he’s gambling his focus on immigration will help Republicans keep control of Congress next week.
The 5,200 troops outnumber the roughly 4,000 migrants making up the caravan.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Trump can’t end birthright citizenship on his own. This is a rare challenge to the president from his own party.