On the morning of Oct. 30, President Donald Trump announced his plans to end birthright citizenship through an executive order in an interview with Axios. While the right to birthright citizenship — the idea that any person born on U.S. soil is automatically granted U.S. citizenship — is enshrined in the Constitution, meaning any executive order or legislation would likely face a long legal battle, his claim enraged many citizens who view this proposed action as antithetical to the very foundation of the country. Bustle spoke with six women who became citizens through birthright regarding how they felt about this proposed executive order — and their comments show why this right is so important.
While children born to U.S. citizens are granted birthright citizenship through the 14th Amendment, President Trump’s comments are most appropriately viewed through the lens of his ongoing anti-immigrant rhetoric: “We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States ... with all of those benefits," he told Axios. (This claim is not true; over 30 other nations, mostly in North, Central, and South America, also grant birthright citizenship.) These comments run counter to the narrative that the United States is a “nation of immigrants” — a narrative that has historically excluded Native people in this country, but that, in its proffered openness to all, has become a defining aspect of what makes America great nonetheless.
These six women shared with Bustle how they reacted to this news, and what they want people who are not children of immigrants to know.