US & Canada

Donald Trump: No citizenship for illegal migrants' babies

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on 15 August 2015 Image copyright AP
Image caption A tough deportation policy is needed, Mr Trump says

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he wants to end the automatic right to citizenship for all US-born children of families living illegally in the United States.

All children born in the US get citizenship under the constitution.

Other measures he outlined would include raising visa fees to pay for a wall along the Mexican border.

Immigration is a central plank of Mr Trump's campaign to be the Republican contender in next year's election.

"They have to go," he told NBC.

A tough deportation policy was needed, he said, because "there's definitely evidence" of crimes linked to immigrants living in the country illegally.

Could Trump change citizenship rules?

If he became president, Mr Trump wouldn't be able to issue an executive order to change or repeal the 14th Amendment of the US constitution giving birthright US citizenship. So what would be his options?

1 - A bill would need to be passed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress


2 - Two thirds of state legislatures must call on Congress to hold a Constitutional Convention, where amendments can be proposed

In both scenarios, the amendment must be approved by three quarters of all state legislatures and given the political divide in US politics, it is unlikely to happen.

Mr Trump - a front-runner in the field of Republican candidates - said he would also deport all undocumented immigrants, and pay for a tripling of the number of immigration officers by eliminating tax credit payments to immigrant families residing illegally in the US.

He added families with US-born children could return quickly if deemed worthy by the government.

"We're going to try and bring them back rapidly, the good ones," he said, adding: "We will expedite it so people can come back in.

"The good people can come back," he said, without elaborating.

On Monday morning, Mr Trump reported for jury duty in New York, prompting a media scrum outside the courthouse in Manhattan.

2016 runners and riders

Image copyright AP
Image caption Clockwise from top left: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton
  • The early Republican frontrunner is Donald Trump
  • Hillary Clinton will have learnt much from her failed campaign of 2008
  • Florida senator Marco Rubio lost some right-wing fans by backing a bipartisan immigration reform package
  • Wisconsin governor Scott Walker appeals to both the Republican establishment and the Tea Party
  • Libertarian Rand Paul has his supporters - and enemies - among Republicans
  • Veteran congressman Bernie Sanders is drawing huge crowds at his rallies

Meet all of the 2016 hopefuls

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