Trump steps up anti-immigrant offensive ahead of US midterms

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Jannat Anjum, 9, holds a sign during an interfaith vigil against anti-semitism and hate at the Holocaust Memorial, Oct 30, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP)

WASHINGTON, Oct 31, (Agencies): US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would fight all the way to the Supreme Court to end a constitutional guarantee of citizenship for people born on US soil, stepping up his anti-immigrant offensive in the final stretch before key midterm elections.

With control of Congress at stake in the Nov 6 vote, Trump has sought to energize his base by portraying migrants as a national security threat, ordering thousands of soldiers to the southern border and pressuring Mexico to halt groups of migrants headed for the US. In the latest twist, he has vowed to eliminate the automatic right to citizenship of persons born in the United States, long guaranteed – with few exceptions – under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. “So-called Birthright Citizenship, which costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens, will be ended one way or the other,”

Trump tweeted. He said he would take the fight to the nation’s highest court. “This case will be settled by the United States Supreme Court!” he wrote. Trump had said previously in an interview with Axios that he would end the blanket guarantee via an executive order – something not included in provisions for modifying the US constitution.

Trump also asserted that birthright citizenship “is not covered by the 14th Amendment because of the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof.’” That phrase traditionally has been interpreted as meaning people who have immunity from US law such as children born to foreign diplomats in the United States. Trump’s administration has detained thousands of illegal immigrants under US immigration law, undercutting the argument that they do not fall under American legal jurisdiction.

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