Donal Trump has announced he wants to use Executive order to end birthright citizenship and by doing this, defy Constitution. The 14th amendment to the U.S constitution grants birthright citizenship to all persons born or naturalised in the United States.
The announcement made headlines across the globe. In the UK, children born in British soil to non-British parents are not granted British citizenship automatically. British Citizenship at birth is only available to children with a parent who holds British Citizenship or settled status.In fact, non -British parents must prove to the Home Office that at least one of them has settled status in the UK and that they have been living continuously in the UK for 5 years as well as paying taxes to HMRC.
Many parents of British born children fail the strict Home office guidelines and their children are left either without passport or with the passport of the country the parents come from.The child will eventually get a British passport if after a certain number of years he has been living in the UK continually and attends school here.
Trump plans may not materialise at all as changing an amendment in the constitution is not Trump’s sole decision. Ultimately, it would be the courts the ones deciding on its constitutionality.
Trump rhetoric and intentions with this move has to do with the immigration issue. Moreover, he is targeting the so-called ‘Anchor Babies’, a dismissive term that refers to the children of undocumented immigrants who are born in the US. If a child is born in the US, he or she is granted American citizenship regardless of the immigration status of his or her parents.The word “anchor” is in reference to the belief that if a child is born in the US, their parents can more easily gain citizenship.
However, there are many wealthy people who don’t even live in the USA and travel there to have their babies at top hospitals to get an American passport for their children.In fact, this is a profitable business for many top hospitals such as the Cedars-Sinai in L.A or N.Y.
Chiara Ferragni ,the wealthy Italian blogger, did document via her Instagram how she travelled from her home in Milan to L.A a few weeks before she was due to give birth in USA soil. Even though Chiara lives in Milan, her baby does have American citizenship just because mum could afford travelling to L.A . Chiara didn’t have to join the current immigrant caravan to get a passport for her baby. As the influencer she is, she flew first class and booked the best hospital suite money can buy. Had she given birth in Britain using the same tactics- say she had moved to London a few weeks before her due date to give birth at the Portland– her baby would have been refused British citizenship as neither does she live or work here . Many Premiership footballers with British born children also face the same issue when they try to get a British passport for their children and they have only been with their team for a season or two.
This is a tale of two worlds: If a pregnant migrant crosses the border and gives birth, she will be seen as someone taking advantage of her position to access all the benefits the American citizenship will offer her child. Even if the mum plans to live in the US permanently. On the other hand, for pregnant women like Chiara, the fact that she strategically moved to LA to give birth was seen as perfectly normal.