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President Donald Trump wants to change the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States.
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump could have met his match on Tuesday: the 14th amendment to the US Constitution.

"All persons born or ordinated in the United States and subject to their jurisdiction are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside." The change from 1868 begins.

"It's ridiculous," Trump said 150 years later, on the eve of the elections, that could undermine his power for the rest of his presidency. "And it has to end."

So began the recent legal, political and political struggle of the 45th President, which is included in a history lesson from the field of reconstruction.

When the government swore to block a caravan heading south and postpone a trial next week In his plan to seek citizenship in the 2020 census, Trump focused on generations of American-born citizens.

He took over both the constitution and the federal law. Title 8, Section 1401 of the US Code lists individuals who are considered citizens of the United States, beginning with "a person born in the United States under jurisdiction".

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The Supreme Court ruled in the US against Wong Kim Ark, a case of 1898, that a man born on American soil as a parent who was a Chinese citizen was a citizen. As part of a 1982 decision, Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court, states that even if someone enters the country illegally, he is in the US and his children born in the US are entitled to protection of the 14th Amendment.

Trump said he had been advised that he could reverse both the constitution and the law and end citizenship by executive order. He has some support.

Michael Anton, former National Security Council spokesman, recently wrote in the Washington Post that the 14th Amendment was written to avoid undocumented immigrants.

Michael Anton, National Security Adviser, is waiting in the East White House area in Washington at the beginning of the press conference of President Donald Trump on 16 February 2017. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

Since the change refers to persons who are subject to US jurisdiction, writes Anton, distinguishes between "persons to whom the United States owes citizenship and those to whom they are not entitled.

" "Liberated slaves have definitely qualified," said Anton. "The children of immigrants who have come here illegally do obviously not. "

Other Conservatives claim that at least Congress, if not the President, has EU citizenship through Ges Eastman, director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, has written that the 1898 ruling was only for children of legal immigrants.

"It's a long time to clarify that the 14th Amendment does not grant US citizenship of American citizenship anyone, just because he manages to be born on US soil," Eastman wrote in The New York Times ,

Most jurists disagree. In a statement before Congress in 1995, deputy lawyer al Walter Dellinger said that even Congressional efforts to deny citizenship to some US-born children were not newcomers.

"There should be no discretion on the part of public officials on this issue, and it should not be investigated whether someone of the right caste or race, ancestry or bloodline came from the establishment of American citizenship," Dellinger said. "In America, a country that rejected the monarchy, every person is born equal, with no curse of infirmity and no sublime status, which results from the circumstance of her or her descent." On Tuesday, Dellinger noted Trump's suggestion Even the citizenship of people whose parents or grandparents had first-birth status would be questioned.

Dellinger is liberal, but many conservatives agree with his assessment. James Ho, who was named by Trump before the US Circuit Court for the 5th Circuit last year, wrote in 2011 that states' efforts to rewrite US citizenship law were unconstitutional.

"Rule of law and then propose guidelines in one fell swoop that violate our constitution," Ho wrote. "Primary citizenship is a constitutional right, no less for children of undocumented males than for descendants of Mayflower passengers."

Dred Scott filed the first lawsuit in which the Supreme Court denied black citizenship. Scott sued his freedom when he was enslaved after a free life in Missouri. His owners finally freed him. [Photo: Library of Congress / USA TODAY]

Before the Civil War, the constitution did not explicitly define what made someone a US citizen, which led to decades of disputes, according to legal scholars Akhil Reed Amar and John C. Harrison. The Supreme Court had 1857 in the decision of Dred Scott v. Sandford decided that people of African descent, whether slaves or free people, are not entitled to full citizenship.

"At the simplest level, the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment Dred Scott should be rejected," Amar wrote. "However, it was also intended to root America after the Civil War – America's second founding – in an inspiring Lincolnian interpretation of one of the founding truths of our country, that we are all created and born free and equal."

Amar, a professor of law at Yale University, said the citizenship clause of the amendment "marked a major change in American identity" and "established a simple national rule for citizenship: if you were born under our flag in America, are you a US citizen? "

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