Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Aug. 18 that people born in the U.S. to those who entered the country illegally are not American citizens.
"I don't think they have American citizenship, and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers — and I know some would disagree, but many of them agree with me — you're going to find they do not have American citizenship," Trump said on "The O'Reilly Factor." "We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell."
Trump's comments came after host Bill O'Reilly asked how mass deportations would work, given the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to all born on American soil, and the right to due process for those already here.
Birthright citizenship, according to Trump, is a major driving force behind migration into the country, calling it "the biggest magnet for illegal immigration."
"What happens is they're in Mexico, they're going to have a baby, they move over here for a couple of days, they have the baby — (lawyers are) saying it's not going to hold up in court," he said.
Trump's immigration policy proposal was released on Aug. 16, which includes plans for a border wall, tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, along with ending birthright citizenship.
But Trump said the border can have "a gate" and "a door to let people in legally."
"Regardless, when people are illegally in the country, they have to go. Now, the good ones — there are plenty of good ones — will work, so it's expedited, we can expedite it where they come back in, but they come back legally," Trump explained to O'Reilly.
Trump indicated he wouldn't seek to amend the Constitution due to its lengthy process, but would want to challenge the citizenship status of those born in the U.S. to parents in the country illegally in court.