Latino Memphis leader responds to President Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship

Latino Memphis leader responds to President Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - President Donald Trump is proposing to end the constitutional right to citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to non-citizens.

The executive order has the potential of impacting millions of people.

According to the U.S. Census, Hispanics or Latinos make up almost seven percent of those living in Memphis.

In a newly released interview, President Trump says he plans to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship.

"We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” President Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous and it has to end.”

Latino Memphis Executive Director Mauricio Calvo believes there’s no way an executive order would hold up against the 14th Amendment.

The amendment says in part:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.”

"Either the President doesn't understand how the Constitution works or he thinks that the people, we the people, don't understand how the Constitution works,” Calvo said.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment,” President Trump said. “Guess what? You don’t.”

WMC Action News 5 Political Analyst Michael Nelson is doubtful this executive order can withstand a legal battle.

“There is no way an executive order of this kind would be upheld by the Supreme Court,” Nelson said. “The Constitution is not ambiguous on this at all.”

Nelson thinks this is just another way for the President to bring up the issue of immigration.

"This is an issue he likes to draw attention to because he thinks it’s a political winner for him and for the Republican Party this year,” Nelson said.

As for Calvo, he said just hearing the President make this claim impacts Latino communities nationwide.

"The statement in itself will send waves of fear among immigrant communities and then excitement around his base and once again dividing people,” Calvo said.

President Trump has not yet said when he would sign the executive order.

Rondell Treviño, founder of The Immigration Project and Youth Minister at Woodland Presbyterian Church, also released this statement Tuesday:

14th Amendment says, "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.” If a non-citizen and/or undocumented Mothers has a baby in the United States, the baby has a right to be a citizen of this country. This is the law, and the law cannot be changed through an executive order. I encourage every person of good will and Christian to stand against this because it distorts those babies of undocumented mothers as less than created in God’s Image.

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