U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that his administration was seriously looking at ending the right of citizenship for U.S.-born children of non-citizens and people who immigrated to the U.S. illegally.
"We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby – congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen... It's frankly ridiculous," Trump told reporters outside the White House.
The president has made cracking down on immigration a central plank of his presidency and re-election campaign, but many of the administration's sweeping rule changes and executive orders have been stymied by the courts.
Back in October 2018, the Republican president had told Axios news that he would end "birthright citizenship" through an executive order. Experts have said such a move would run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.
The Constitution's 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War to ensure that black Americans had full citizenship rights, granted citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the U.S."
It has since routinely been interpreted to grant citizenship to most people born in the U.S., whether or not their parents are American citizens or legally living in the U.S.
Any talks concerning possible changes to the U.S. Constitution have always stirred controversy among U.S. citizens since it is held to be a uniquely hallowed, even sacrosanct, document.