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Late-night hosts addressed Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship on Tuesday’s episodes of their shows.
Trump declared in an interview with Axios on HBO that he wants to end the constitutional right to citizenship for children of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants in the United States. Revoking birthright citizenship goes against the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to babies born in the U.S.
The Late Show audience booed when Stephen Colbert told them about the story. “It’s in the 14th Amendment and it’s been reaffirmed multiple times by the Supreme Court over the last 150 years,” Colbert said about birthright citizenship. “But Trump says that his executive order has more legal authority than the 14th Amendment.”
“What do you call a man, a leader of a country, who thinks that what he dictates is more important than the constitution? He’s a di- what’s that word? Hold on. I’ll think of it. I’ll think of it. He’s a dick,” he said. The comment earned a round of applause from the audience.
Colbert then shared a clip of Trump’s interview with Axios on HBO, where he stated that he can override the amendment with an act of Congress and with an executive order. The president stated, “How ridiculous — we’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits.”
“Wrong, wrong, wrong and what?” responded Colbert. “Congress can’t change it. No one is saying you can do it with an executive order — 33 other countries have birthright citizenship and I’m gonna say 85 years is pretty optimistic. You know who the president is right now.”
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi later addressed the topic when she appeared as a guest on The Late Show. “This is just more of the same of what he’s been saying. Taking babies out of the arms of their moms, putting them in cages, warning them about a caravan that’s over 1,000 miles away,” she said. “Putting troops on the border that are more people than will ever reach the border in the caravan.”
“What he was saying today has no relationship to what his authority it,” she said. “But that’s, of course, not unusual.”
Colbert noted that Paul Ryan said that Trump does not have the power to override the amendment. The host asked Pelosi if Congress will be able to take away birthright citizenship.
“This is constitutional. I just can’t even imagine what our founders would be thinking to see a president take an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and then abuse that,” he said. “This is what this election is about. Checks and balances.”
“Trump was like, ‘It’s all part of my plan to ensure no babies vote against me in 2020,'” he said with a Trump impression after explaining the idea.
Jimmy Kimmel called the plan a “bold move” on Tuesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! “Usually when Trump makes an executive order, it comes with four biscuits, two cups of mashed potatoes and ten pieces of the Colonel’s extra crispy fried chicken,” he said.
After sharing a clip from Trump’s HBO interview where he calls birthright citizenship “ridiculous,” Kimmel responded, “‘It’s ridiculous and it has to end’ should be the slogan for his re-election campaign.”
Kimmel also noted that many countries allow birthright citizenship, including Canada and Mexico. “It’s king of a big part of the fabric of what makes America America,” he said. “If we’re gonna start deporting children because of who their parents are, let’s start with Donald Jr.”
Over on Late Night, Seth Meyers joked that Trump doesn’t know that his plan goes against the U.S. Constitution because he’s never read it. “You can’t blame Trump. He stopped reading the Constitution after ‘We the people,'” he said. “‘We? We? That’s too many characters. I can’t keep track.'”
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