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President Donald Trump said recently that, “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years, with all of those benefits.”

He’s wrong. According to the CIA World Factbook, 39 countrieshave birthright citizenship.

But the rest of the 195 countries (80 per cent) base citizenship at birth on the nationality or resident status of the child’s parents.

Perhaps Trump should have said instead that the United States and Canada are the only two developed countries that have it, and Canada is in the process of deciding whether to stop using it.

Why have most of the countries in the world rejected birthright citizenship?

Part of the answer can be found in the fact that almost all of the countries that have birthright citizenship are in the Americas.

According to John Skrentny, a prominent sociology professor, the European countries that colonized the Americas established lenient naturalization laws here in order to grow and overpower native populations.

The main drawback of birthright citizenship is that it gives up a country’s sovereign right to decide who will become a citizen by birth. With some exceptions, anyone born in the country’s territory automatically becomes a citizen. This is why the United Kingdom (UK) terminated birthright citizenship.

Read more at https://thehill.com/opinion/immigrat...ht-citizenship

Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaportwas detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.