Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his vow to end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants if elected back in office.
The policy, which would come in the form of an executive order, contradicts the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment and is expected to be met with legal challenges.
“As part of my plan to secure the border, on Day One of my new term in office, I will sign an executive order making clear to federal agencies that under the correct interpretation of the law, going forward, the future children of illegal aliens will not receive automatic U.S. citizenship,” said Trump, who first laid out the plan in 2018 while in office.
Ratified three years after the end of the Civil War in 1868, the 14th Amendment has guaranteed citizenship to all persons “born or naturalized in the United States” regardless of their parents’ documentation status.
Trump’s executive order would “clearly explain” that citizenship extends “only to those both born in AND ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States.”
It would require at least one parent to be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident for their future children to become U.S. citizens by birthright.
The order would also guarantee that children of illegal immigrants will not be issued passports, Social Security numbers or be eligible for taxpayer-funded welfare programs. Under the current interpretation, children of such immigrants, as U.S. citizens, are able to access these benefits.
The policy is also expected to end what Trump calls “birth tourism,” or the practice of illegal entry to the U.S. by foreigners in their final weeks of pregnancy for the sole purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for their children.
“My policy will choke off a major incentive for continued illegal immigration, deter more migrants from coming, and encourage many of the aliens Joe Biden has unlawfully let into our country to go back to their home countries,” Trump added.
Illegal immigration has reportedly skyrocketed under the current administration. When Biden took office, Customs and Border Protection tracked nearly 100,000 encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border per month, but the rate has now soared to more than 200,000, as per Fox News.
Latest polling shows Trump as leading the Republican primary.
A CNN poll released last week showed that the former president was the first choice of 53% Republican and Republican-leaning voters, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trailing at 26%.