MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Trump is looking to the power of the pen to end what’s known as ‘birthright citizenship.’
It means anyone born on US soil is granted citizenship, even if his or her parents are here without documents.
Opponents say that right is guaranteed by the constitution and can’t be changed by the president.
Katherinne is a US citizen who was born in the United States to parents who are undocumented, here from Mexico and Honduras.
She was stunned when she learned President Trump plans to sign an executive order to “Remove the right of citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on US soil.” It’s called birthright citizenship.
“I was completely like, taken aback, like are you really trying to do this,” she said.
The president made the statement while speaking to Axios.
“How ridiculous, 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. It’s ridiculous,” he said.
Actually more than 30 countries have birthright. Cheryl Little is an immigration attorney and advocate. She says the president can not change the law by the stroke of a pen.
“The president is not yet a king,” she said. “He can not alone, unilaterally decide who’s going to be a US citizen and who isn’t.”
She points out the 14th amendment says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…”
“If you’re born here you’re born here, okay? And under our constitution, which last time I checked, was still alive and well, you are entitled to US citizenship, period, end of story,” she said.
That’s not true says Miami Attorney and Trump supporter Jesus Suarez.
“Nowhere in the constitution of the United States is the citizenship contemplated by the so called anchor babies guaranteed in the constitution,” he said.
Suarez argues the 14th amendment does not cover children from people who arrived in the US without documentation.
“The purpose of the 14th amendment was to make sure the state couldn’t disenfranchise a freed slave from citizenship in the United States,” he said. “It was not written and does not purport to give those entering this country illegally access to birthright citizenship on behalf of their children.”
Katherinne says, in her view, she and others born to parents here with out documentation, are just as American as everyone else.
“The amendment is not opened up to interpretation,” she said. “It is what it is. We were born here in America, we are citizens.”