President Trump's birthright citizenship comments cause concern for locals

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - Carlos Fernandez and his wife have three children. All three are U.S. citizens. He and his wife are in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Fernandez is concerned after learning that President Donald Trump said he could issue an executive order that would end citizenship by birth.

"It's not their fault. They were born here. They've been raised here. This is the only place that they know," Fernandez said.

Geoffrey Hoffman, the director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center, said he expected legal challenges would follow.

“I think we have a template for that, with regard to the Muslim ban and the travel ban that we just saw. That was immediately challenged," Hoffman said.

On Tuesday, Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said, "I suspect that the president's executive order will end up in the courts. But what I would prefer to do instead of just dealing with the symptom of the problem, I'd like to deal with the root cause."

The immigrant rights group FIEL condemned the possible executive order.

"We adamantly condemn President Trump's statement on attacking birthright citizenship. For many decades, the Constitution has been respected and this hasn't been a pressing issue. It is truly a shame that President Trump has once again launched an attack against the immigrant community by trying to instill fear,” FIEL Executive Director Cesar Espinosa said.

The possible order left Fernandez with questions. He is a paralegal who works on issues with FIEL. He knew he might have to work on his family’s case next.

He asked, "Now what's gonna happen? What are we going to do if this goes through?"

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