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Donald Trump said Tuesday that he doesn’t think people born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants are American citizens.
“I don’t think they have American citizenship and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers – and I know some will disagree – but many of them agree with me and you’re going to find they do not have American citizenship. We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell,” the Republican presidential front-runner said Tuesday night in an interview on Fox News.
Trump added he would “test it out” in the courts.
Trump has called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants living in the United States – allowing the “good ones” to return through an expedited legal process.
“What happens is they’re in Mexico, they’re going to have a baby, they move over here for a couple of days, they have the baby – (the lawyers are) saying it’s not going to hold up in court,” Trump said.
Trump announced in his immigration policy proposal released Sunday that he wants to end birthright citizenship – preventing future undocumented immigrants from giving birth to an American citizen simply by virtue of being born on U.S. soil.
Most legal scholars think birthright citizenship is a constitutional right from the 14th Amendment which says, “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.”
But Trump and some other conservatives have suggested birthright citizenship could be ended by simply passing a law through Congress that defines the clause “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
Other Republican presidential candidates have joined Trump’s call for ending birthright citizenship, but none so far have suggested doing so retroactively and stripping certain people of their American citizenship.