Donald Trump says he will sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship, making this the White House's latest assault on immigrant families.
"We're the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen," Trump said in an interview with Axios on HBO. "It's ridiculous and it has to end."
Of course, legal authorities almost immediately suggested grounds for a legal challenge of any such executive order. Neal Katyal, a constitutional attorney who regularly argues in front of the Supreme Court, said a challenge of birthright citizenship would most certainly fail in court.
"Cynical, stupid, unconstitutional, and is just another way for Trump to divide Americans--this time by starting to go for The Full Antebellum," Katyal said on Twitter. "If he does it, we will challenge it. And win."
Trump acknowledged potential legal challenges to the order in the Axios interview but flatly rejected them.
"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," he said.
"You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order," he added.
For years, anti-immigration activists have railed against the supposed practice of pregnant women crossing the border en masse, having children in the U.S. who are born citizens, and then staying in the country with their American babies. Hardliners dubbed the offensive term "anchor babies" to describe the human children.
This marks the latest example of the administration's hardline immigration stance. The news hits eight days before Election Day and following weeks of Trump ginning up fears of a distant caravan, which he labeled yesterday as "an invasion of our Country." He's promised to send military troops to the border to stop refugees fleeing brutal regimes, on the ground MS-13 gang members could be mixed in with the women and children.
While conspiracy mongers continue suggesting investor and philanthropist George Soros funded the caravan for political purposes, timed to arrive by Election Day, the caravan remains in South Mexico. Of course, this isn't the first time, Trump has raised fears about floods of immigrants racing to the border.