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Former President Donald Trump in Vandalia, Ohio, on Nov. 7, 2022.
Former President Donald Trump in Vandalia, Ohio, in 2022.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

Trump renews call for ban of birthright citizenship

Trump repeatedly floated the idea during his past campaigns and as president, but he never went through with an attempt to ban birthright citizenship.


Former President Trump said in a campaign video Tuesday that he would ban birthright citizenship through an executive order if elected president again.

Declaring the order would ensure that the children of undocumented immigrants “will not receive automatic U.S. citizenship," he said he'd sign the executive order on the first day of his presidency if elected in 2024.

Trump's argued the policy would “choke off a major incentive for continued illegal immigration, deter more migrants from coming and encourage many of the aliens Joe Biden has unlawfully let into our country to go back to their home countries.”

In justifying his move, Trump also amplified anti-immigrant sentiment, claiming that undocumented immigrants “come by the millions” from “mental institutions,” prisons and other places.

And he tried to brush off the constitutional arguments against his proposal by arguing the current reading of the 14th Amendment from which birthright citizenship stems is “a historical myth and a willful misinterpretation of the law."

This is not the first time that Trump has suggested he’d seek to make the constitutionally-questionable change.

Early in his 2015 presidential campaign, Trump first outlined his campaign policy proposal to “end birthright citizenship” — a position at the time that led several other Republican candidates, who saw Trump’s polling position not falter despite his hard-right tact on immigration, to respond in agreement with him.

Then in 2018, just days before the November midterm elections, then-President Trump again flirted with the idea of banning birthright citizenship, floating in an interview with Axios that he’d sign an executive order to do so: “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t.”

At the time, then-Speaker Paul Ryan responded to the proposal by saying, “You can’t do something like this via executive order.”

Trump never signed such an executive order during his presidency.

The Citizenship Clause Doctrine of the 14th Amendment states: “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.”