While speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Trump said his administration was reviewing an executive order to end the "ridiculous" birthright citizenship policy. "We spend a lot of time talking about Russian Federation at those meetings and they're not there", said Trump. "And it has to end".
Officials in some border towns say they do see evidence of mothers entering the U.S.to give birth, and the federal Justice Department in January announced it had busted several massive "birth tourism" operations in California that catered to wealthy Chinese women. If the new rule survives court challenges, the policy change could permit authorities to detain families through the duration of their immigration proceedings. Experts have said such a move would run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.
Ryan's comments echo the largest legal impediment to Trump's vow.
The 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees birthright citizenship and 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".
"That birthright is protected no less for children of undocumented persons than for descendants of Mayflower passengers", Ho wrote in the paper published before he became a judge. It was originally enacted to override the 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision that denied citizenship to African-Americans.
It has generally been interpreted to grant citizenship to most people born in the United States, whether or not their parents are American citizens or are legally living in the United States.