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One week before the U.S. midterm elections, President Donald Trump took another hawkish line on immigration by appealing to his supporters in promising an executive order that would end birthright citizenship which grants anyone born on American soil a U.S. citizenship.

Prominent US senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, has described birthright citizenship as "absurd".

President Donald Trump went after House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, saying one of the top Republican leaders in the President's party "knows nothing about" birthright citizenship and "should be focusing on holding the Majority" in the House of Representatives "rather than giving his opinions" on the issue.

Even House Speaker Paul Ryan, typically a supporter of Trump proposals, said on WVLK radio in Kentucky: "Well you obviously can not do that".

"I believe you could have a simple vote in Congress", he said of birthright citizenship.

The Constitution's citizenship clause was part of the post-Civil War amendments that enshrined the rights of African-Americans.

"Among Republicans, we've certainly seen that immigration more regularly tops the list of issues", said Lauren Passalacqua, the communications director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

In Trump's Monday interview with Fox, he said the US also plans to build tent cities to house migrants seeking asylum, who would be detained until their cases were completed.

Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi called Mr Trump's claim an example of "Republican's spiralling desperation to distract from their assault" on healthcare.

"We will keep the criminals, the drug dealers, we will keep them all out of our country", he said.

Trump noted a 1993 speech by Harry Reid on the Senate Floor a day after he stunned lawmakers by announcing he planned to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship to non-residents.

"The President can not erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment's citizenship guarantee is clear", said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

Trump, as well as those who support abolishing birthright citizenship, believe that the line "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" means that only parents who are subject to USA jurisdiction (a.k.a. citizens) will pass on birthright citizenship to their children.

That message is notably similar to comments President Donald Trump has made about the migrant caravans attempting to travel to the US from Central America.

The Amendment reads "all persons born or naturalised in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside".

"This is simply an attempt for Donald Trump, who wants to do anything possible to bring back fears around immigration, to use that as a political tool in this last week before the election", Warner said.

A day earlier, the President vowed in an interview on Fox News to construct tent cities to house migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S. southern border. "Guess what? You don't", the president told Axios' Jonathan Swan in an interview in the Oval Office.

When asked after the debate about ending birthright citizenship, Yoder told reporters that if the US secured its borders adequately, "That's not an issue then".

The Supreme Court has never ruled squarely about the clause's application to children of immigrants who are in the US illegally. We all cherish the language of the 14th Amendment. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

At Levin's request, Horowitz explained how an executive order issued by Trump ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants would not be lawless because the order would be pursuant to law. And 84 years later in its 1982 ruling in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that even if one enters the USA illegally, they were within US jurisdiction-which means that any of their US -born children enjoy 14th Amendment protections. According to a Pew survey, the number of children born to unauthorised immigrants in the United States rose dramatically from 30,000 in 1980 to 370,000 in 2006, though it has been declining since then. Most are in the Americas.