Paul Ryan Slammed Donald Trump for His Plan to End Birthright Citizenship, and Trump Just Fired Back

Retiring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is pushing back against President Donald Trump's threat to end birthright citizenship with an executive order.

Trump "obviously cannot do that," Ryan told Kentucky talk radio station WVLK in an interview on Tuesday.


“You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order," Ryan said. "As a conservative, I’m a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I think in this case the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process. But where we obviously totally agree with the president is getting at the root issue here, which is unchecked illegal immigration.”

On Wednesday, Trump fired back at Ryan, whom the president thinks "should be "focusing on holding the majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!"

Those that oppose the president begrudgingly found themselves coming to Ryan's defense, but they made some good points.

Ryan certainly knows more about it than Trump.

Others pointed out the president's hypocrisy on how he approaches constitutional amendments; namely, why is the 14th Amendment subject to change while the 2nd isn't?

Trump, as president, does not have the power to change the Constitution.

Though one person asked an awkward question:

Also breaking from the president, albeit less blatantly, was Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), who said birthright citizenship is "a symptom of a bigger problem. And my position on immigration is pretty simple: legal immigration is good, illegal immigration is bad."

Cornyn believes the solution lies with Congress.

"We need less posturing and less rhetoric on this and more solutions," Cornyn said. "I know the president is enormously frustrated, and I am frustrated too, about our inability to work together on a bipartisan basis to solve the underlying problem, but that is what I think we have to do."

On Tuesday, Trump boasted that he alone could issue an executive order ending birthright citizenship because "they're saying" he can.

"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," Trump told Axios. "You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress," he added, "but now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order."

Trump did not specify who told him he could do that right before he falsely claimed the United States is the only country that offers citizenship to babies born on its soil.

"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 continued. "It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. And it has to end."

In fact, more than 30 countries offer some form of birthright citizenship. And precedent is not on president's side.

The 14th Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868. It reads: "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."

The Supreme Court in 1898 ruled in United States v. Wong Kim Ark that anyone born in the United States, regardless of their parents' immigration status, shall be granted American citizenship. This landmark decision has set a legal precedent for more than a century.

"The 14th Amendment's citizenship guarantee is clear," according to Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. "This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms."

But not everyone agrees.

John Eastman, a constitutional scholar and director of Chapman University's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, said the language of the 14th Amendment is key. He told Axios that "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" means citizenship only for people with green cards or legal residency.

Either way, if Trump does issue such an executive order, "the courts would have to weigh in in a way they haven't," Eastman said.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has recently forged a political alliance with Trump, plans on introducing legislation to end birthright citizenship, which he called "absurd policy."

"This policy is a magnet for illegal immigration out of the mainstream of the developed world,"  Graham said earlier this week, "and needs to come to an end."

David McNew/Getty Images; Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has used a symbiotic relationship with Fox News to advance his rhetoric and propaganda.

But occasionally his favorite network decides to air dissenting opinions or facts that disprove statements made by Trump.

Keep reading...
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images // Republican National Committee

President Donald Trump's administration has tried for over a year to wield the United States census to bolster its anti-immigrant platform, rather than getting an accurate count of the country's populace to better allocate its resources.

The administration has long sought to add a citizenship question, despite warnings that it could result in underreporting of the population and the targeting of immigrants.

According to reporting from The Tampa Bay Times, Republican party is once again using the census to bolster its interests.

Keep reading...
Emily Assiran/Getty Images for Pizza Hut // Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Donald Trump was enraged at the news that Russia was working to elect him once again in 2020.

But Russia once again seeking to interfere in our elections wasn't what enraged him. It's that officials sounded the alarm about it.

Keep reading...
Andrew Harrer - Pool/Getty Images // David McNew/Getty Images

President Donald Trump replaced former Acting Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats with longtime Trump ally and ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. The move came after Trump rebuffed Coats for announcing Russia's ongoing attempts to interfere in the 2020 election.

Grenell was deemed vastly unqualified for the position, to the point that officials had to assure Americans that the new Director of National Intelligence would be announced soon.

Trump said he was considering his longtime ally in Congress, Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), for the position...but there's just one problem.

Keep reading...
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images // C-SPAN

President Donald Trump held yet another campaign rally in Colorado, where he railed against one of the favorite targets for Republican lawmakers: Hollywood elites and the films they make.

Trump went on a bizarre rant lamenting this year's winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture: Parasite.

Keep reading...
CNN video/Win McNamee/Getty Images

Maine's Democratic primary is slated for March 3.

The vote will determine who faces off against incumbent Republican Susan Collins in November.

Keep reading...