The 14th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution 150 years ago in July of 1868. Among other things, it enshrined our traditional common law practice of granting citizenship to those born in the United States who are subject to its laws—specifically it guaranteed that the recently freed slaves and their descendants would be citizens. The 14th Amendment also applied to the children of immigrants, as its authors and opponents understood at the time.
President Trump's immigration position paper, however, famously endorsed an end to birthright citizenship. Michael Anton, a former national security official in the Trump administration as well as a lecturer and researcher at Hillsdale College, pushed such a move recently in the Washington Post. Anton argued that President Trump should use his pen and his phone to exclude the children born here to noncitizens, with little thought of what would happen were such a policy enacted.