Closings & Delays

President Trump says he wants to end birthright citizenship

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LANCASTER, Pa. --  Right now, any child born in the United States is automatically a citizen, but President Donald Trump wants to change that.

The president said in an interview he plans to sign an executive order ending birthright citizenship.

The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution has protected people born in the United States for 150 years.

It states anyone born here is a citizen, and many have taken the amendment to literally mean that.

It has been debated before, and now the president is reigniting the conversation.

"How ridiculous. We're the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby, essentially, is a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits," said President Trump.

That statement quickly drew mixed reactions from people in Central Pennsylvania.

"It's their parents creating life and to not give the children the opportunity to be an American is completely and utterly unfair," said Robert Walters of Lancaster.

"Once the mother is here with her child, she's able to bring in other family members. It doesn't address the need of our current citizens," said Jennifer Clough of East Lampeter Township.

President Trump says he plans to end birthright citizenship with an executive order, saying "it's in the process; it'll happen."

An immigration attorney out of Lancaster FOX43 spoke with says, 'hang on...not so fast.'

"Even if it were to happen, it wouldn't happen immediately. It would drag out for years," explained Troy Mattes, an attorney.


Mattes has twenty years experience in the field; he says an action like that would definitely stir up a lawsuit.

"It would have to go through the federal courts to be actually implemented so there would be huge, any attempts like that would face huge legal battle almost immediately," added Mattes.

A long legal fight which could end up in the hands of the Supreme Court.

The issue of birthright citizenship has been taken to the supreme court before.

In 1898, the court ruled in favor of a man with Chinese parents who was born in the United States.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham also announced plans to introduce legislation to end birthright citizenship.

Just like an executive action, some attorneys believe that wouldn't hold up either.

President Trump's announcement comes just days before the midterm elections.

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