On Monday, President Trump announced to Axios on HBO that he would pursue an executive order to outlaw birthright citizenship just before the election. “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment,” Trump stated. “Guess what? You don’t.” He then added, “You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an 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…with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Trump isn’t wrong that the United States is one of only two developed countries to maintain birthright citizenship (the other is Canada). But it’s dicey whether an executive order could simply change birthright citizenship, or whether an act of Congress could.
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