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WASHINGTON (KDKA/AP) – President Donald Trump says he wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born in the United States.
The president’s comments to “Axios on HBO” come amid a renewed push for hardline immigration policies before the midterm elections. Trump believes focusing on immigration will energize his supporters and help Republicans keep control of Congress.
Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, called the president’s remarks “hate speech.”
Revoking birthright citizenship would spark a court fight over the president’s unilateral ability to change an amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guarantees that right for children born in the U.S.
Asked about the legality of such an executive order, Trump said “they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
Trump says White House lawyers are reviewing his proposal. It’s unclear how quickly he’d act on an executive order.
Constitutional experts are questioning Trump’s legal ability to limit a constitutional amendment on birthright citizenship without Congress’ consent.
Sarah Turberville directs The Constitution Project at the Project on Government Oversight and says Trump is “not a king” and “can’t announce what the law is.”
Other experts said Tuesday such an executive order might be possible if narrowly drawn but would violate the spirit of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
(TM and © Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)