Constitutional citizenship: UConn students react to Trump’s proposed executive order

President Donald Trump pauses as the crowd cheers during a rally at Show Me Center, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Many University of Connecticut students are openly outraged by a recent interview given by President Donald Trump in which he proposed an executive order to eliminate the automatic citizenship of children of immigrants born within the United States.

“It’s just another blow to the idea of the American Dream,” first-semester sports management major Daniel Manger said. “That’s taking away the option of starting a family here for some people, for a lot of people...that’s a vital part of the American Dream.”

Trump, in his interview with Axios on HBO, said he finds birthright citizenship to be invalid, and plans to dissolve the privilege without a constitutional amendment.

"We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States ... with all of those benefits," Trump said to Axios. Axios, in response, wrote that this was not true, listing more than 30 countries that currently provide birthright citizenship.

Controversy arose due to this order’s direct violation of the United States Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which states that “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.”

Among oppositional students was third-semester mathematics major Theodore Nagengast, who said the proposal is an “atrocity.”

“The openness of our country is one of the things that makes this country great,” Nagengast said. “Getting rid of it [will cause] the whole dynamic of immigrants, citizen or not, [to] change forever.”

President Trump’s motivations behind his executive order are his previously made campaign promises to curtail immigration, seventh-semester political science major Anthony Guardi said.

“Access to birthright citizenship is a major motivator for illegal immigration because they know they won’t be forced to leave if their child is born here,” Guardi said.


Grace Burns is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu.