What Countries Have Birthright Citizenship? Donald Trump is Very Wrong That It’s Only the U.S.

President Donald Trump is considering an executive order to end the long-standing U.S. policy of birthright citizenship.

“We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States...with all of those benefits," the president said in an interview with Axios.

Legal scholars pointed to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to explain the official government policy. The amendment’s first section says: "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."

GettyImages-1054431908 President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Southern Illinois Airport on October 27 in Murphysboro, Illinois. The president is considering an executive order to end birthright citizenship. Scott Olson/Getty Images

It’s unclear whether an executive order could remove birthright citizenship, with many experts suggesting an act of Congress would be necessary. But one point is certain: Trump is wrong in classifying the U.S. as “the only country in the world” with birthright citizenship. Many countries around the world have such a policy.

Known legally as jus soli (Latin for "right of the soil”), birthright citizenship is guaranteed in about 30 other countries. Some do, however, restrict the practice so that children of diplomats or diplomatic workers are not automatically granted citizenship.

In addition to the U.S., the following nations offer citizenship to children born on their soil: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, México, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Several nations, such as Australia, New Zealand, Malta and France removed just soli in the 1990s, while several more removed it in the 1980s. Constitutional scholars have argued that such a move would currently be unconstitutional, meaning an amendment to the Constitution would be required.

But Trump said he could make the change with an executive order.

"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," the president said, explaining that he had discussed the issue with legal advisers, whom he didn't name..

"It's in the process. It'll happen—with an executive order,” he said.

Even if Trump moves forward with such an executive order, it would almost certainly lead to a court battle, that would likely end at the Supreme Court.

“This will set up the Court fight—the order will be enjoined, case will eventually reach SCOTUS, which then will finally have to rule on the meaning of ‘subject to the jurisdiction,’” Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., tweeted.


 

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