Congressional Hispanic Caucus Head Says Birthright Citizenship Won't End

San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro, who heads the House Hispanic Caucus, says any changes to 'birthright citizenship' are non starters in Congress.

President Trump has again threatened an executive order to end the policy of granting U.S. citizenship to anybody who is born in the United States, calling it a 'magnet for anchor babies.'

But Castro says the President doesn't have the authority to end birthright citizenship, because it is in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

"Any idea that he can do it unilaterally without going to Congress to change the Constitution is ridiculous," Castro said.

Birthright citizenship was included in the 14th Amendment to insure that all slaves who were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation were certain to become citizens. Since the international slave trade had dwindled by 1866, virtually all freed slaves had been born in the U.S.

The Provision resides in Section 1 of the Amendment:

"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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Castro says this Amendment is a key part of what the United States stands for.

"This birthright citizenship is fundamental to the United States," Castro said. "It is fundamental to the fabric of the nation, and I don't see that changing any time soon."

Photo: Getty Images

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