Donald Trump's Second Term Agenda Includes Overturning Birthright Citizenship

Donald Trump announced Tuesday that, should he be re-elected in 2024, he plans to overturn automatic citizenship for children born in the United States to immigrants residing in the country illegally.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Donald Trump's Second Term Agenda Includes Overturning Birthright Citizenship

Former President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that, should he be re-elected in 2024, he plans to overturn automatic citizenship for children born in the United States to immigrants residing in the country illegally. This statement starkly contradicts the long-standing interpretation of the 19th-century amendment to the U.S.

Constitution, according to Reuters.

A Shifting Interpretation of the 14th Amendment

Birthright citizenship is a right enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This amendment, ratified in 1868, three years after the conclusion of the American Civil War, extends citizenship to all individuals "born or naturalized in the United States," irrespective of the legal status of their parents.

Eric Foner, a historian, provided context to this interpretation during a 2015 interview with the Washington Post. He emphasized the amendment's original intent as a framework promoting inclusivity and opportunity. He said, "The idea behind the text in the 14th amendment was that citizenship should be extended to people regardless of accidental characteristics, such as race, national origin or the status of their parents." In fact, the 14th amendment emerged as one of the defining principles of the Republican Party in the years following the Civil War, representing a national standard for citizenship.

Looking Ahead: Trump's Proposed Executive Order

Trump's planned executive order, set to be enacted on the first day of his potential second term, would impose a requirement that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident for their children to automatically gain U.S.

citizenship. This policy proposal was outlined in a statement released by his campaign. This isn't the first time Trump has made such declarations. In 2018, during his presidency, Trump voiced his intent to issue an executive order limiting birthright citizenship.

However, the order never materialized, and many legal experts were doubtful about his ability to utilize executive power to repeal this right.

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