In the final days before the mid-term election, President Trump is again appealing to his hard line immigration supporters. The President says, he wants to end the right to citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to non-citizens.
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end,” President Trump said.
That’s actually not true. More than 30 countries offer birthright citizenship. But that’s what started all this talk about what the President can or cannot accomplish when it comes to changing The Constitution.
“Let’s look at it for what it is. The President is facing a midterm election and he’s concerned. So he’s saying things that will energize the base,” said Win Eaton, a local immigration lawyer and specialist.
According to Eaton, nothing is going to happen to the people who were born in the United States to non-citizens. He says, nothing is going to change for any future American-born babies, either.
“Never has the president had the ability to change The Constitution of the United States. The Constitution specifically protects itself from that kind of rogue power,” Eaton said.
In fact, there are checks and balances that have kept any president from ever altering The Constitution in this way.
“You obviously can’t do that,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, Tuesday. “You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.”
But some people don’t know his threats are just that – threats. The fact is, no policies have been changed. And it would take a lot for The Constitution to ever see a change, even if this immigration order were to continue down the pipeline. That’s due to checks and balances.
The check and balance here is, if the country is going to alter the fundamental document upon which the entire government is structured, then they would need to have support for that amendment from every state in America.
Eaton says, that would never happen.
Regardless, this won’t be something that effects any existing American citizens who currently have birthright citizenship but whose parents do not.
“I had a fellow in here this morning who was just terrified over the issue of his parentage because he was born here and his parents are undocumented. He just wasn’t sure what was going to happen to him,” said Eaton.
There are a lot of people like that, who are confused by The President’s rhetoric and scared that they are at risk.
Win Eaton is offering free legal advice for anyone like that young man, who might also have questions about what this means for themselves or their family. Just visit the law offices of Eaton & Associates at 707 18th Street and mention 17 News.