One of Donald Trump’s latest policies has led to an ugly myth being circulated about his 12-year-old son Barron.
One of Donald Trump’s latest policies has led to an ugly myth being circulated about his 12-year-old son Barron.

Trump's own policy might hurt his son, Barron

DONALD Trump's crackdown on birthright citizenship has sparked speculation on social media that his youngest son would be affected by the policy change.

The US President recently revealed plans to sign an executive order that would prevent babies born in the country to parents who aren't citizens getting automatic citizenship.

On October 30, Twitter user @davenewworld made a post stating that Barron would no longer be considered an American citizen under the new laws.

"Fun fact: Barron Trump was born in March 2006 and Melania wasn't a legal citizen until July 2006," the user wrote. "So under this executive order, his own son wouldn't be an American citizen."


He posted the tweet in response to a CBS News article announcing Mr Trump's plan to challenge the 150-year-old constitutional standard by ending birthright citizenship.

Various Twitter users retweeted and replicated the post, and it went viral after a screenshot was posted to the comic Facebook page The Good Lord Above, which has almost four million followers.

The only trouble? The claim is completely untrue.

Currently, birthright citizenship dictates that any child born in the US automatically becomes a US citizen at birth. It is this that Mr Trump wants to change.

This principle stems from the 14th amendment, which states: "All persons born or naturalised in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

But this isn't the only thing protecting Barron.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, if a child has one parent who is a foreign national and another who is a US citizen and has been physically present in that country for at least five years, the child in question automatically becomes a US citizen.

While it's correct that Barron was born in March 2006, and his mother, Slovenia-born Melania Trump, didn't become a US citizen until July 2006, Mr Trump's status as a US citizen automatically guarantees him the same rights.

Even if Barron had been born outside of the US - which he wasn't - he still would have been granted US citizenship because of his father.

The youngest Trump has been subject to abuse since his father's rise through the Republican primaries.

In late 2015, Rosie O'Donnell caused controversy after she tweeted out a video suggesting the then-10-year-old was autistic.

She tweeted: "Barron Trump autistic? If so - what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic."

The video, originally posted by YouTube user James Hunter, speculated that Barron could be autistic because he was making "strange movements in his seat" and showed signs of "anti-social" behaviour during election night.

While she didn't mean for it to be antagonistic - O'Donnell later explained her own daughter is on the autism spectrum - the prominence she lent to the unverified claims prompted a furious backlash.

Melania responded by taking legal action, with her lawyer arguing O'Donnell's sharing of the video made the bullying of the young Trump even worse.

The move forced O'Donnell to issue an immediate apology.

"I apologise to @MELANIATRUMP - I was insensitive in my RT - I am sorry for the pain I caused - it was not my intent - I am truly sorry," wrote O'Donnell, before setting her account to private.


Donald Trump first announced his intention to prepare an executive order to nullify birthright citizenship last week.

"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 told Axios. "It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. And it has to end."

Around 30 other countries allow similar "jus soli", or "right of the soil", citizenship, however most at least require one or both parents to also be citizens.

Besides the US, birthright citizenship is common in the Americas including in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico.

It usually does not apply, however, for children born to foreign diplomats or military personnel.

But whether the plan can actually be enforced is another question. Members of his own party have already cast doubt on it, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying it can't be done.

"You obviously cannot do that," he told WVLK, a radio station in Kentucky. "I'm a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I think in this case, the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process."

Australia tightened its citizenship requirements in 1986. Today, children born in Australia automatically acquire citizenship if at least one parent is an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of the child's birth.

Mr Trump pursued former president Barack Obama to make his birth certificate public for several years in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

As early as 2011, Mr Trump publicly told the media he was skeptical of Mr Obama's citizenship. The following year, he offered to donate $US5 million to charity if the former Democratic leader made his college and passport applications public.

In 2016, as the Republican Party presidential nominee, Mr Trump finally conceded that "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period."