Trump claims Paul Ryan 'knows nothing about' birthright citizenship

Trump wants to end birthright citizenship in the U.S.

Peter Schuck is perhaps the most prominent advocate of the idea that birthright citizenship is not conveyed by the Constitution to children of parents who are living illegally in the U.S. Even he says "Trump clearly can not act by" executive order. Critics of birthright citizenship say that the amendment was never meant to apply to children of two non-citizens - and particularly those who have come to the country illegally. "Guess what? You don't", Trump told Axios. But the mainstream opinion from both right and left is that it is more likely that a constitutional amendment, rather than federal legislation or an executive order, would be needed to change the birthright conferred on people born here.

In his latest hardline immigration rhetoric ahead of the midterm congressional elections, Mr. Trump, in an interview with Axios, has said birthright citizenship "has to end" and that it would "with an executive order".

"With all of those benefits [of citizenship], it's ridiculous", he said.

Trump also said the issue would ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

The administration on Monday also announced plans to deploy 5,200 active duty troops - more than double the 2,000 who are in Syria fighting the Islamic State group - to the border to help stave off the caravans. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump could not scrap the right with the stroke of a pen.

Trump insists his immigration moves have nothing to do with politics, even as he rails against the caravans at campaign rallies. "Nobody could unilaterally assert jurisdiction and make it that there's nothing we can do to stop this", he continued.

Prominent US senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, has described birthright citizenship as "absurd".

The Constitution's citizenship clause was part of the post-Civil War amendments that enshrined the rights of African-Americans.

As a candidate for office, Trump frequently lambasted birthright citizenship accusing so-called "anchor babies" of not being Americans.

And Mr Ryan was not the only Republican to shy away from changing the constitution. And when he did differ with Trump, it was on the point of process, not explicitly coming down one way or the other whether birthright citizenship ought to be altered in the first place. An executive order would spark an uphill legal battle for Trump about whether the president has the unilateral ability to declare that children born in the USA to those living here illegally aren't citizens. What then? Andy McCarthy adds a further complication: America's statutory law on immigration echoes the Fourteenth Amendment's grant of natural-born citizenship to anyone who's born within the United States and "subject to the jurisdiction thereof".

"We all know what the 14th Amendment says".

Interestingly every few years, the common law concept of birthright citizenship or "jus soli" comes back into the news.

Most recently, in June this year, two Republican immigration proposals failed to get enough votes in the House, with critics within the GOP accusing Ryan of backing an amnesty for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

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