Donald Trump's quest to insulate the U.S. from immigration has hit a new level: stopping babies born to noncitizens on U.S. soil from gaining American citizenship

The President said he is looking to sign an executive order that would preclude children from nonresident immigrant parents from becoming American citizens, according to an interview released, in part, on Tuesday by Axios. Currently, people born in the country--regardless of their parents' immigration status--have the legal right to citizenship per the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If it didn't exist, prominent American inventors like Thomas Alva Edison, whose parents emigrated from Canada, and Henry Ford, who had an Irish father, would not be considered Americans. The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," Trump said, referring to putting an end to birthright citizenship, which is offered in 30 countries in the American continent. "It's in the process. It'll happen ... with an executive order." 

The President did not specify when he intends to sign the order. If it passes, it would be the latest move to constrict U.S. immigration policies, which already include a travel ban for citizens of seven countries and more stringent processes for H-1B visa applications.

Immigrants are responsible for founding 55 percent of unicorn startups, startups valued at more than $1 billion, in the U.S. including SpaceX, Uber, and WeWork, according to research by the National Foundation for American Policy. Immigrants or their children are also responsible for starting 216 companies--43 percent--of the 2017 Fortune 500.

Published on: Oct 30, 2018