WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born in the United States.
Section 1, which contains the Citizenship Clause, of the 14th Amendment guarantees that right for all children born in the U.S. Here’s a look at the 14th Amendment.
What the Citizenship Clause 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.”
The second sentence contains two of the most important clause in the Constitution, the due process and equal protection clauses. They apply to everyone in the U.S., not just citizens:
“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.”
The history of the 14th Amendment
The 14th Amendment was passed by Congress in 1866 after the Civil War and during the period of Reconstruction. The amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868 by three-fourths of the states. By extending citizenship to those born in the U.S., the amendment nullified an 1857 Supreme Court decision (Dred Scott v. Sandford), which had held that those descended from slaves could not be citizens.