Trump's pledge to change immigration law targets all nationalities, not only Nigerians

A social media post in Nigeria claims that former US president Donald Trump vowed to stop Nigerians from getting citizenship by birth if he was re-elected in 2024. But this is misleading: in a campaign video, Trump said he wanted to end automatic birthright citizenship for children of all undocumented immigrants. At no point did he specifically mention Nigerians.

“Trump vows to stop Nigerians, others from getting US birthright citizenship if reelected,” reads the opening line from a tweet published on May 31, 2023.

The Twitter account responsible belongs to a popular news blog in Nigeria. So far, the post has been retweeted more than 300 times and received more than 1,000 likes.


"Former U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop Nigerians and other illegal immigrants from getting citizenship for their children born in the United States, on 'day one' of his presidency if he wins the 2024 election," according to the tweet.

In response, some people condemned Trump and wished for his re-election bid to fail. Others suspected the post was clickbait.

A screenshot showing comments on the misleading post, taken on June 3, 2023

The claim also appeared elsewhere on Twitter, Facebook and a local news blog.

Trump’s immigration policy

Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigrants included an election promise to build a wall on the US southern border with Mexico.

He also signed executive orders during his presidency imposing bans or visa restrictions on citizens from various countries (here and here).

But the claim that Trump recently vowed to stop Nigerians from obtaining birthright citizenship is misleading.

Using keyword searches, AFP Fact Check found a video posted by a pro-Trump account on May 30, 2023 (archived here).

In it, Trump says he plans to sign an executive order on the first day of his presidency – if elected in 2024 – to prevent birthright citizenship for children of parents who are illegal immigrants.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution (archived here) states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

A screenshot showing section 1 of the 14th amendment

Trump accuses President Joe Biden of launching an "illegal foreign invasion"by allowing illegal aliens to cross into the US and secure citizenship for their children.

"This policy is a reward for breaking the laws of the United States and is obviously a magnet helping draw the flood of illegals across our borders," he says.

Trump's proposed executive order (archived here) would require that at least one parent be an American citizen or lawful permanent resident for their offspring to become automatic US citizens.

At no point does he specify that his proposed policy would apply to Nigerians.

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