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Central Coast attorney weighs in on birthright citizenship

President Trump has announced that he wants to do away with birthright citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants or non-citizens. A move a local immigration attorney says could have major negative impacts.

Still, local attorney Magnolia Zarraga is doubtful the President can take away birthright citizenship.

“It’s a right that people have that is guaranteed by the constitution, that if you’re born in the U.S. then you are a U.S. citizen by birth and therefore it would require a constitutional amendment to change that,” Zarraga says.

So far leaders in both political parties have voiced their opposition to the President’s plan.

“I believe in interpreting the Constitution as it’s written, and that means you can’t do something like this via executive order,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

The top house democrat, Nancy Pelosi echoed that in a statement saying: “The President does not have the power to erase parts of the Constitution…”

“It would be growing the undocumented population instead of addressing the issue in order to deal with immigration,” Zarraga said.

She says that’s because stripping those born to undocumented parents of their U.S. citizenship could take away any citizenship.

“Merely being born to a foreign parent who has citizenship in the other country doesn’t guarantee you citizenship in that country so we would be creating, by amending that 14th amendment, we would be creating a whole class of individuals who would not have a country potentially,” Zarraga said.

Zarraga says she hopes the President’s announcement brings those who have the right to vote the polls.

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