US President Donald Trump's decision to bring an executive order to end the right to the US citizenship for children born in the US to non-citizens has invited widespread criticism, even from his own party.
In his latest hardline immigration rhetoric ahead of the midterm congressional elections, Trump, in an interview with Axios, has said birthright citizenship "has to end" and that it would "with an executive order."
"You cannot end the birthright citizenship with an executive order," said Congressman Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
"We didn't like it when (former President) Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives, we believe in the Constitution," Ryan told a local radio station in Lexington, Kentucky.
Under the current laws, anyone born in the US irrespective of the nationality of parents, automatically becomes an American citizen.
"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment, one amendment. You don't have to do it. Number one. Number two, you can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they are saying, I can do it just with an executive order," Trump told Axios in an interview.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, said it would require a constitutional amendment to make necessary changes on who all can acquire citizenship.
"I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me it would take a constitutional amendment to change that as opposed to an executive order," Grassley told a local news channel in Iowa.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi slammed Trump for his move.
"President Trump's new claim he can unilaterally end the Constitution's guarantee of citizenship shows Republicans' spiraling desperation to distract from their assault on Medicare, Medicaid and people with pre-existing conditions," she said.
"The President does not have the power to erase parts of the Constitution, but he and the GOP Congress have spent two years trying to erase protections for people with pre-existing conditions," Pelosi said.