In response to President Trump’s threat to end birthright citizenship, Linda Chavez, Director of the Becoming American Initiative, is releasing the following statement:
President Trump’s decision to issue an executive order stripping millions of Americans of their citizenship exposes the depths of his contempt for our Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the states wherein they reside.” These words are unambiguous. They have been interpreted consistently by the U.S. Supreme Court to grant citizenship to children born on U.S. soil, regardless of the circumstances of their parents’ birth or status. The individuals whom the president has targeted are no less American in any meaningful way than those whose parents were born here, nor has the law treated them as anything but citizens throughout their lives. They have been educated here, work and pay taxes here, and serve in the U.S. military. Yet, the president would cast these millions into a state of legal limbo, subjecting them to the possibility of deportation to countries most of them have never set foot in and whose language they may not even know. The president’s motives are purely political—hoping to stir up his anti-immigrant base in advance of next week’s midterm election.