Cuccinelli says Trump birthright citizenship action not coming 'in the near future'

Cuccinelli says Trump birthright citizenship action not coming 'in the near future'
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One of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE's top immigration officials said Thursday that he does not expect to see action from the administration to end birthright citizenship "in the near future."

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, said at an Axios event that he's "not entirely sure" if birthright citizenship can be ended with an executive order, but that he thinks Congress should look at the issue.

Asked if he expected action from the president on birthright citizenship, Cuccinelli said it was not imminent.

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"Not in the near future, at least," he said.

But Cuccinelli, an immigration hard-liner who has overseen the implementation of several policies curbing legal immigration and access to benefits for immigrants, said he thinks it should be addressed from a policy perspective.

"I think it ought to be addressed in such a manner that citizenship is reserved for people who are here legally, but how Congress chooses to do that is — there’s a lot of ways to do that," he said.

Trump last month said his administration is once again seriously considering an executive order to end birthright citizenship.

The president previously proposed ending the practice that grants citizenship to those born in the United States during his 2016 presidential campaign. He revived the idea last year, saying he would sign an executive order to enact the change.

But numerous lawmakers, including several Republicans, have pushed back on the idea and argued Trump lacks the authority to make such a change using an executive order. They cited that birthright citizenship is a right enshrined under the 14th Amendment.