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October 31, 2018 GMT

Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center, says some proponents of immigration restrictions have argued the words “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in the 14th Amendment allows the U.S. to deny citizenship to babies born to those in the country illegally.

However, Hoffman said those arguments are false since any person in the U.S., besides diplomats, would be subject to U.S. laws regardless of immigration status.

Any executive order by Trump or any president could be subjected to a judicial challenge and there are many articles in the Constitution that would make a fight against the Citizenship Clause difficult.

Besides the 14th Amendment itself, Hoffman said an executive order banning the Citizenship Clause would violate Article 2 of the Constitution, which states the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Hoffman said such an executive order would violate laws of denaturalization and would attempt to strip citizenship retroactively — another violation of the Constitution.


Associated Press Writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP’s race and ethnicity team. Follow Contreras on Twitter at twitter.com/russcontreras.