Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that he will “closely review” President Trump’s possible executive order that would end citizenship rights for children born in the U.S. to noncitizens.
Grassley called birthright citizenship for "for the children of permanent resident immigrants” ... “settled law” under the 14th Amendment.
“Birthright citizenship for the children of permanent resident immigrants under the Fourteenth Amendment is settled law, as decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark. There is a debate among legal scholars about whether that right extends to the children of illegal immigrants,” he said in a statement.
Grassley said he will “closely review” the executive order, but noted that it is “an issue that Congress should take the lead to carefully consider and debate.”
Trump has long criticized so-called "anchor babies," claiming in August 2015 that “many” scholars have said they are not protected by the 14th Amendment.
[Opinion: Ending birthright citizenship would be as unconstitutional as it is unproductive]
That amendment says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
In an interview published earlier in the day Tuesday with the Associated Press, Grassley said that it would take a constitutional amendment, not an executive order, to change the 14th Amendment.
"The 14th Amendment says anybody born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction there of, and those last few words are very important," Grassley said. "It seems to me born in the United States is pretty simple, subject to the jurisdiction there of might be a little more debatable by lawyers, and I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me it would take a constitutional amendment to change that as opposed to an executive order."
In 2010, Grassley’s then-communications director Jill Kozeny told The Iowa Independent in an email that Grassley believed the amendment should be reconsidered.
However, Grassley has been critical of executive action before. In a 2014 Senate floor speech, the senator called former President Barack Obama’s use of executive action with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “the latest in a long list of abuses of his executive authority.”