End of Birthright Citizenship?


President Trump announced on 10/30/2018 that he will sign an executive order ending birthright citizenship for American born individuals whose parents are not citizens.

We know that approximately 20 million individuals live in mixed status families, this typically means that children who are citizens by birth live with at least  one of their parents who is undocumented.

After the Civil War, congress passed the 14th Amendment and it was ratified by the states guaranteeing birthright citizenship. This means that any person born in the U.S. had the right to be a citizen of the nation.

Can Trump take away their citizenship?

Technically yes, but he can’t do it alone and it will be really hard.


In 1898, the supreme court case, US. v Wong Kim Ark reaffirmed that all individuals born in the jurisdiction are granted citizenship.

Justice Horace Gray wrote, “the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens ….The Amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born, within the territory of the United States, of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States.”

14th Amendment Section 1 states the following:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

In order for the Trump administration to end citizenship by birth they will need to reverse the fourteenth amendment.

Can President Trump reverse/end the 14th amendment?

Yes, there are two potential scenarios, but they are hard to attain.

Scenario one: The Trump administration would need congress to pass a bill by a ⅔ majority in both houses and then he will need to sign the bill. After the signing of the bill the states will also need to ratify the bill in order to make this go into effect.

Scenario two: If he decides to do an executive action (which will be unconstitutional) there is a potential lawsuit. This will go through regular court order and could travel all the way to the Supreme Court of the U.S. In order for this to go to effect, the Supreme Court will have to hear the case and rule in favor of changing the 14th amendment.

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