Megyn Kelly pressed former President Donald Trump on his past unfulfilled promise to end birthright citizenship, during an episode of her podcast that aired Thursday.
Trump promised in 2016 to end birthright citizenship, but told Kelly he never followed through because of legal issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. If reelected, Trump said he will “100%” end it through executive action.
“You’ve said that you will end it by executive order if put back in the White House, but putting aside the legal questions around whether that’s possible… You made this promise back in ’16 and then you didn’t do it once elected. And then as president, you kept saying that you were gonna find an executive order on this and you didn’t, so why should people believe you now?” Kelly asked Trump.
The 14th amendment grants citizenship to those “born or naturalized in the United States.”
“Because the lawyers didn’t want me to do it, because the lawyers were saying you have to go through a whole big thing all over the country, you need votes of every state and everything else. I would do it. One thing I’ll say, when I look at the way Biden just signs these executive orders on student loans and on everything, knowing that you can’t do it, knowing it’s gonna be overturned, I’d rather get it through Congress. And we were working to get something through Congress,” Trump said.
Other 2024 Republican presidential candidates have pledged to end birthright citizenship, including Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy believe birthright citizenship shouldn’t be granted to children of illegal immigrants.
Trump also promised in his 2016 campaign to construct a wall along the southern border, which he partially constructed while in office.
“So crazy, somebody comes in, if they put one foot on our land you have to take them, they have a baby, congratulations, the baby becomes a citizen of this country. Then they have chain migration, where the baby then brings in the whole family. The whole thing is crazy, so the lawyers wanted to go through and the politicians wanted to go through and get this approved through Congress and actually go through the states,” Trump said.
“I don’t want them using this in court. I happen to disagree with them and I would’ve done it, I was getting ready to do it and the COVID came in and we had bigger problems,” Trump said.
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