Trump steps up anti-immigrant offensive ahead of USA midterm vote

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Mr. Trump jabbed one of the top leaders of his own party after Ryan said Tuesday the president "cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order", the clearest objection to the president's proposal from GOP leadership.

Trump's statements came with the midterms just one week away and amid an onslaught of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the president. "Guess what? You don't", Trump told an interviewer on Monday.

Trump ruffled several feathers when he announced that he wanted to issue an executive order to get rid of birthright citizenship.

Seeking to end the so-called birthright citizenship outlined in the 14th Amendment would take direct aim at the Constitution and likely prompt immediate legal challenges and potential opposition in Congress.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution affirms that, with very few exceptions, all persons born in the USA are American citizens, regardless of the immigration status of their parents, said the American Immigration Council. "It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous and it has to end", he said.

"Where we obviously totally agree with the President is getting at the root issue here, which is unchecked illegal immigration", Ryan said.

Trump stated his disapproval of the current system that allows children born to noncitizen parents while on American soil to be granted citizenship.

Trump repeated his claim that he can eliminate birthright citizenship via executive order later Wednesday, although he said his preference would be for Congress to pass legislation ending that constitutional right.

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The Pentagon this week said it would deploy more than 5,000 active-duty soldiers to the southern boundary, as thousands of Central American migrants head north through Mexico.

Trump argued in a tweet that children born in the U.S.to undocumented immigrants are not protected by the Constitution's 14th Amendment.

"The shrinking caravan of refugees isn't a threat to the country or the constitutional order".

Under the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment, passed following the Civil War to ensure freed slaves would not be denied citizenship, anyone born in the United States automatically becomes an American citizen.

He was speaking to Axios in an interview, whose clips were aired today ahead of the full broadcast on Sunday, where he said he has already consulted with White House's counsel on the matter.

"I've always supported comprehensive immigration reform - and at the same time - the elimination of birthright citizenship", Graham added.

But he kept similar positions for years after the speech, writing in a 1994 op-ed, for instance, that the United States was like a dinner table "becoming overcrowded" and that changes would have to be made to prevent the table from collapsing. In addition to birthright citizenship, he has also targeted "chain migration" and the diversity lottery system. "I'm concerned about any president trying to rewrite the constitution by themselves", King said.

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