Trump vows to end birthright citizenship on first day in office if elected

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Former President Trump pledged to end birthright citizenship on his first day in office if he gets a second term in the White House. 

Trump made the announcement in a video posted to social media on Tuesday. The Republican frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race said that he would sign an executive order to “choke off a major incentive for continued illegal immigration, deter more migrants from coming and encourage many of the aliens Joe Biden has unlawfully let into our country to go.”

Trump referred to the policy as a “willful misinterpretation of the law by the open borders advocates.”

According to the Trump campaign, the executive order would “explain the clear meaning of the 14th Amendment,” to show that foreign nationals born in America are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. as defined in the Constitution. 

My order will also end the unfair practice known as ‘birth tourism’ where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the planet squat in hotels for their last few weeks of pregnancy to illegitimately and illegally obtain US citizenship for the child, often to later exploit chain migration to jump the line and get green cards for themselves and their family members. It’s a practice that’s so horrible and so egregious, but we let it go forward. At least one parent will have to be a citizen or a legal resident in order to qualify.


For more than a century, the U.S. has granted citizenship to anyone born in the states, regardless of their parent’s immigration status. The longstanding interpretation of the 14th Amendment granting citizenship to anyone “born or naturalized in the United States” was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in an 1868 decision granting citizenship to an American-born child of Chinese nationals, according to The Guardian.

Trump’s pledge to end birthright citizenship picks up on a 2015 campaign promise that was never fulfilled. In 2018, the Trump administration circulated a draft executive order to that effect, which drew a swift rebuke from then-House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” Ryan said at the time. “We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives, we believe in the Constitution.”


Trump’s revival of the issue comes amid criticism from GOP primary rivals who have slammed the former president’s record on immigration. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who launched his 2024 campaign for the White House last week, accused Trump of “moving left” on the issue, per the New York Post.

“He attacked me for opposing an amnesty bill in the Congress. He did support this amnesty, this 2 million illegal aliens he wanted to amnesty. I opposed it because that’s what America First principles dictate, that you are opposed to amnesty,” DeSantis said in an interview last week. 

DeSantis-aligned Super PAC Never Back Down pointed out that Trump pledged to issue an executive order to end birthright citizenship at least four times during his tenure in the White House.

Trump talked about doing this in 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Why didn’t he?” the group asked in a tweet.

Migrant activists and legal experts said that any effort to end birthright citizenship by executive order would prompt immediate legal challenges and result in swift defeat.

The Guardian noted that Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said in 2018 that such an order would have “no chance of surviving review, even by the judges and justices the president has appointed.”

This article was partially informed by Reuters and The Hill reports.