NY Times Op-Ed, Oct. 31, 2018
Donald Trump’s Unconstitutional Dreams
The president has birthright citizenship all wrong.
By Eric Foner
(Mr. Foner is a historian who specializes in the Reconstruction period.)
In an interview with the news program “Axios on HBO,” President Trump announced that he plans to issue an executive order ending birthright citizenship, the principle that everyone born in the United States, with a handful of exceptions, is automatically a citizen of the United States.
“It was always told to me,” the president declared, “that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t.”
In fact, such an order would undoubtedly be unconstitutional. It would also violate a deeply rooted American idea — that anybody, regardless of race, religion, national origin, or the legal status of one’s parents, can be a loyal citizen of this country.