Politicians in California and around the country have been ramping up the rhetoric as the crucial 2018 midterm elections draw near, and immigration is a hot-button issue that makes voters on both sides of the political aisle sit up and pay attention. President Trump is well aware of this and made immigration a primary focus during his successful 2016 presidential run, and he placed the issue front and center once again on Oct. 30 when media outlets reported that he was mulling ending birthright citizenship in the United States.
Trump raised the issue of birthright citizenship during an interview that HBO plans to air less than 36 hours before the polls open on Nov. 6. Trump says in the interview that he is considering using an executive order to prevent children born in the United States being granted citizenship if their parents are in the country illegally. Trump claims that this will close an often abused immigration loophole.
Birthright citizenship is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and senior figures from both political parties were quick to respond to Trump's comments. House Speaker Paul Ryan told a Kentucky radio station that only Congress could amend the Constitution and any president who tried to circumvent the process with executive orders would face a long and bitter legal battle. Ryan also reminded his Republican colleagues that they roundly condemned President Obama when he sought to use his executive privileges to change immigration laws.
Campaign soundbites that are designed to fire up voters can cause anxiety and fear in some quarters. Attorneys with experience in this area may help those hoping to start a new life in America by describing the various paths to citizenship and residency its immigration laws provide. Attorneys could also advocate on behalf of individuals facing deportation for allegedly violating these laws.