Washington: President Donald Trump has claimed that the provision of birthright citizenship has created an entire industry of birth tourism in the US with Chinese people benefitting a lot from this "crazy, lunatic policy".
Birth tourism refers to the practice of people travelling to another country solely to give birth there. Most leave for their home countries right after.
In his latest hardline immigration rhetoric, the US President on Tuesday expressed his intention to take the path of an executive order to deny automatic citizenship to children born of non-American parents in the US.
"This policy (birthright citizenship) has even created an entire industry. It's called birth tourism, where pregnant mothers from all over the world travel to America to make their children instant lifelong citizens with guaranteed everything," Trump told his supporters at an election rally in Columbia, Missouri.
Trump alleged that the opposition Democrats want to continue giving automatic birthright citizenship to every child born to an illegal alien. "Even if they've been on our soil for a mere matter of seconds," he said.
"Hundreds of thousands of children born to illegal immigrants are made automatic citizens of the United States every year because of this crazy, lunatic policy that we can end," he said amidst applause from his supporters.
"We need support, but we can do it. They're all made instantly eligible for every privilege and benefit of American citizenship. You get nothing more than they do. They're full citizens," he said.
This is costing US many billions of dollars a year.
"You don't realise what a big industry - it's an industry. Many come from China. You'll be surprised. China now is number one. We're not talking just South America, Latin America. We're talking about China, parts of Asia. It's crazy," he said.
"Think of it. You're an enemy of our country. You're a general with war on your mind. You're a dictator who we hate and who's against us. And that dictator has his wife have a baby on American soil. Congratulations. Your son or daughter is now an American citizen. Does anybody think this makes sense?" he asked the audience.
"It's crazy. But we're getting it all worked out," he said assuring his supporters that he will work to end birthright citizenship.
Birthright citizens in turn can then bring their entire extended family into the country through chain migration. Trump wants to end chain migration too.
"You come into the country, you're like two months old, and you're going to take your brother and your sister and your mother and your father. You're going to bring them all, aunts and uncles and grandfathers, and lots of people," he said.
"It's a disgrace. We have got to change our laws. The Democrats refuse to do it. And it's not because they don't know right from wrong. They think it's good politically for them to make us all go through hell to get those laws changed. We're going to get them changed," Trump said.
Opponents say that Trump cannot sign an executive order. Any changes in citizenship requires a constitutional amendment. Trump argues that he is empowered to make changes with an executive order.
"It is not covered by the 14th Amendment because of the words "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Many legal scholars agree...," Trump has said.
The 14th Amendment, added after the US Civil War, grants citizenship to anyone born on the US soil and was intended to give constitutional protection to former slaves. But Republicans such as Trump say it creates an incentive for people to come to the country illegally to have children.
The president asserted that the US is the only country granting birthright citizenship. However, about 30 others, including America's neighbours Canada and Mexico, also grant birthright citizenship.