Does President Trump have power to change Amendment 14?
'It's bologna,' executive director of Americans for Immigrant Justice says
MIAMI – For decades, being born in the U.S. meant you were an American citizen. But President Donald Trump wants to change that.
But one expert from South Florida said the president doesn't have the power to put his plan into action.
Trump made the comments Tuesday morning to "Axios on HBO." He said he could change Amendment 14 with a simple executive order.
"We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States," Trump said.
His comments went viral.
"It's bologna," Cheryl Little said. "It's just not factually correct."
Little is the executive director of Americans for Immigrant Justice -- a nonprofit law firm.
"The fact of the matter is this: The U.S. Constitution -- the 14th Amendment ensures that anybody who is born here or naturalized here is entitled to the benefits that U.S. citizenship provides," Little said. "And then they're obligated as citizens to contribute to this country in a number of ways."
Revoking birthright citizenship would spark a court fight over the president's ability to change an amendment to the constitution on his own.
The president said White House lawyers are reviewing his proposal, despite some of the backlash.
"What this president is saying is, 'I am king and I am going to change this because I want to.' And so, here we go," Little said.
Many elected officials, including from South Florida, have voiced their opposition to the president's comments, including Republican U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Mario Diaz-Balart.
Curbelo said what this country needs is "broad immigration reform."
Birthright citizenship is protected by the Constitution, so no @realDonaldTrump you can’t end it by executive order. What we really need is broad immigration reform that makes our country more secure and reaffirms our wonderful tradition as a nation of immigrants. https://t.co/7xlbfrt6rW— Carlos Curbelo (@CLCurbelo) October 30, 2018
Diaz-Balart, meanwhile, said "I strongly disagree with the proposed executive order. As a Member of Congress, I take an oath to support the United States Constitution. In this instance, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. All persons in the U.S., thus, except for accredited foreign diplomats in specified instances, are subject to U.S. laws, and, if born in the U.S., are U.S. citizens."
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