Washington: President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed that the US Constitution does not guarantee the right to citizenship to everyone born in the country and asserted that it "will be ended one way or the other", bringing his tough stance on immigration ahead of the crucial mid-term elections next Tuesday.
Trump's remarks came following widespread outrage over an interview in which he announced plans to terminate the right to citizenship for babies born on the US soil to non-citizens.
"So-called Birthright Citizenship, which costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens, will be ended one way or the other," Trump said, a day after he dropped a bombshell by stating that he intends to issue an executive order to do away with birthright citizenship, the process by which babies born in the country automatically become citizens.
Under the current laws anyone born in the US irrespective of the nationality of their parents is given citizenship of the US.
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 said in his tweet on Wednesday.
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.