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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Trump admin.: We Can End BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP Without Constitution Fix

In this Aug. 30, 2019, photo, a group of Mexican asylum seekers wait near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico. Pregnant women face special hazards in Mexico because places where migrants wait to enter the U.S. often don’t have access to regular meals, clean water, and medical care. (AP Photo/Veronica G. Cardenas) ** FILE **

Stephen Dinan

 The government’s citizenship chief said Wednesday that there’s no need to amend the Constitution to stop automatic citizenship being granted to illegal immigrants, though he said he’s not sure whether President Trump could act alone or whether it would take a law from Congress.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said that second issue still needs study, but he said he has a firm belief that the Constitution allows it.
“I do not think you need an amendment to the Constitution. I think the question is do you need congressional action or can the executive act,” said Mr. Cuccinelli, a former attorney general in Virginia who’s seen as a front-runner to be named the next acting secretary at Homeland Security.
He spoke to reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Birthright citizenship is the policy of granting automatic U.S. citizenship to almost anyone born on American soil, including children of illegal immigrants. The only major exception is children born to foreign diplomats.
Many legal scholars say the 14th Amendment guarantees birthright citizenship, though some scholars say the exception for those not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. — the reason why diplomats’ children aren’t covered — would also create an opening to refuse automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly raised the issue, including most recently in August when he said it’s still very much a goal of his.
“We’re looking at that very seriously,” the president told reporters at the White House.
But Mr. Cuccinelli signaled the matter has not been prominent in his work during his four months as acting chief at USCIS.
Mr. Trump’s interest in the issue rankles immigrant-rights activists, who say it’s unconstitutional, impractical and sends a poor message to migrants about America’s commitment to being a nation of immigrants.

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