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Paul Ryan: Trump ‘cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order’

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Paul Ryan
House
Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday said President Donald Trump cannot
end birthright citizenship via an executive
order.

Carlos
Barria/Reuters


  • House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday rejected President Donald
    Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship via an executive
    order. 
  • “You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive
    order,” Ryan said. 
  • Trump told Axios he planned to issue an executive order
    to end birthright citizenship. 
  • Birthright citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment
    to the Constitution, and
    legal experts say Trump does not have the authority
    to
    unilaterally end it.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday rejected President Donald
Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship via an executive
order. 

“Well you obviously cannot do that,” Ryan
said in an interview
with a Kentucky radio station. “You
cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive
order.”

“We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration
laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives we
believe in the Constitution,” Ryan added. “As a conservative, I’m
a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I
think in this case the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that
would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional
process.” 

Ryan said he agreed with the president that “unchecked
illegal immigration” must be addressed, but he believes this can
be better achieved by securing the border and fixing immigration
laws.

The House Speaker’s comments echoed what many legal experts
have already said in response to Trump’s proposal, which came
during an interview with “Axios on HBO.” 

During the interview, Trump falsely stated the US is the
“only country in the world where a person comes in and has a
baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States
… with all of those benefits. More than 30
countries
 have laws providing for birthright
citizenship. 

Trump also suggested he would not have to amend the
Constitution in order to end birthright citizenship, which is
enshrined in the 14th Amendment, but
legal experts strongly dispute this contention

“Trump has zero authority to amend the Constitution through
executive fiat, and he certainly can’t do it with a tweet,”
Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney in Buffalo, New York,
told Business Insider on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s
closest allies in Congress, on Tuesday said he would introduce
legislation similar to the executive order proposed by the
president. 

“I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform –
and at the same time – the elimination of birthright
citizenship,” Graham
tweeted.

Graham described birthright citizenship as a “policy”
that “is a magnet for illegal immigration, out of the mainstream
of the developed world, and needs to come to an end.”

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