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LI group calls president's birthright citizenship plan unconstitutional

The Trump administration is considering an end to the policy of granting citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents and that's not sitting well with one Long Island group.

News 12 Staff

Aug 22, 2019, 11:12 PM

Updated 1,740 days ago

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The Trump administration is considering an end to the policy of granting citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents and that's not sitting well with one Long Island group.
Make the Road New York advocates for immigrant rights. Members of the group say what the president is proposing is actually unconstitutional and that the 14th Amendment states any child born on U.S. soil is a citizen.
"In order to change an amendment in the Constitution you have this long process that needs to go through Congress," says Ana Flores, from Make the Road New York. "So it's not as simple as we will be at the whim of whichever president."
However, President Donald Trump says too many people are coming to the country and having children for this reason.
"We're looking at it very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, you have a baby, congratulations the baby is now a U.S. citizen," says President Trump.
Abraham Arriaza, of Central Islip, was born in the U.S. to immigrant parents. He's troubled to hear what the president is considering and says this will make a lot of people upset. Unlike Arriaza, Angie Kowalchuk of Deer Park came to the U.S. from Wales. She says it took her two years to become a U.S. citizen.
"I had the immigration card and now I have the permanent alien card," says Kowalchuk. "I think it should be a waiting type of thing. I think just because you're born here you shouldn't automatically be that."
Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin tells News 12, "A discussion about our nation's birthright citizenship and any ways it is being abused should be a part of the immigration discussion, but any changes to the Constitution can't be done via executive order."
Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, says she's not surprised by the president's action.


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