Some aides even urged Trump to sign an executive order attempting to end birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants, said two people familiar with the discussions — a legally dubious tactic given that birthright citizenship is enshrined in the Constitution. A third person said the idea had recently been dismissed.
The moves amount to an 11th-hour attempt to solidify the Trump administration’s legacy on immigration, which started with a sweeping ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries, swerved into scandal over family separation at the border and solidified with severe reductions on refugees and temporary foreign workers. Now, the focus is on putting a bind on President-elect Joe Biden, making it harder for him to reverse these politically fraught issues, according to half a dozen people familiar with the changes.
“What they’re doing through the transition is working their way down their list of items to minimize immigration to the U.S.,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, an immigrant advocacy group. “The Trump administration has been widely effective in terms of grinding our immigration system to a halt.”