End to US birth right citizenship?


President Donald Trump has claimed that the provision of birth right citizenship has created an industry for birth tourism in the US with Chinese people benefitting the most. He did not mention the large numbers of Russian birth tourists to the US.

The US President intends to use an executive order to deny automatic citizenship to children born of non-American parents in the USA.

Opponents and some leading Republicans and lawyers argue that Trump cannot sign such an executive order. Any changes in citizenship require a constitutional amendment. Trump argues that he is empowered to make changes with an executive order.

After the recent mid-term elections where Democrats took back control of the House of Representatives, President Trump will no longer be able to make new law without opposition and legal restraint. The Senate and House of Representatives must pass a joint resolution by a two-thirds majority vote. The resolution then must be ratified by three-fourths of state legislatures, or 38 of 50. It is doubtful whether his proposal will ever become law. If it does, it will effectively halt the inbound birth tourism market in the USA.

The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born on the US soil and was intended to give constitutional protection to former slaves. But Republicans say it creates an incentive for people to come to the country as visitors or illegally, to have children.

30 countries, mostly in the Americas, allow right-of-the-soil citizenship. Canada is among them, but a conservative opposition party is eager to end the practice. Since 2000, the guarantee has been abandoned by New Zealand, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, India and Australia.



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