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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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With Donald Trump making the elimination of birthright citizenship a central 2016 topic, The Wall Street Journal rounded up the numbers as to who benefits from the U.S.'s longstanding practice of granting citizenship to children born on American soil regardless of their parents' legal status.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 4.5 million children of undocumented immigrants have citizenship thanks to the practice, the Wall Street Journal reported, and 300,000 children annually are born in the United States to undocumented immigrants, Pew figures say.

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Coming from Donald Trump’s mouth, the current debate over ending birthright citizenship sounds like the latest in a series of outlandish proposals thrown out by the recalcitrant billionaire to stir the support of an anti-immigrant base.

Trump’s plan was even too much for Bill O’Reilly, who told him, "That’s not going to happen because the 14th Amendment says if you’re born here, you’re an American and you can’t kick Americans out."

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Ben Carson is the latest GOP 2016 candidate to come out against birthright citizenship, the longstanding practice rooted in the 14th Amendment of granting anyone born on American soil U.S. citizenship.

“I know the 14th Amendment has been brought up recently, about anchor babies—and it doesn’t make any sense to me that people could come in here, have a baby and that baby becomes an American citizen,” Carson said at a rally in Phoenix Tuesday, according to Breitbart. “There are many countries in the world where they simply have recognized that and don’t allow that to occur.”

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Forget building a wall. Some Republicans want to tear down an amendment in the Constitution to prove their anti-immigration bonafides.

Ending birthright citizenship — the practice enshrined by the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil — is the latest conservative litmus test, thanks in no small part to Donald Trump, who included it in his immigration platform released Sunday.

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The first time Donald Trump dipped his toe into presidential politics, his relatively moderate tone on abortion was cast as an advantage. Fifteen years later, it's a major liability. Despite an apparent change of heart on the issue a few years ago, many in the anti-abortion movement don't buy that the billionaire who once described himself as having "pro-choice instincts" will do everything he can to end abortion.

"There are a lot of folks that distrust where Trump stands on life because of his track record and even his recent vacillations on Planned Parenthood," Lila Rose, a prominent anti-abortion activist, told TPM.

With Trump's past public comments on abortion, simply labeling himself as "pro-life" now is not enough for the anti-abortion community. It's not just the typical jockeying in the White House race that is riling abortion foes, but a potential government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding comes this fall with a push for a national 20-week abortion ban to follow.

"Absolutely there is a demand for concrete promises," Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, told TPM. "People want to see a road map."

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It's no surprise that Donald Trump's official immigration platform featured hardline stances like building a border wall (paid for by Mexico, of course) and cracking down on sanctuary cities. But Trump unveiled a new stance Sunday that is fast becoming the litmus test as to how far to the right Republicans will go to secure the anti-immigration extremes of their base.

For the first time, Trump formally advocated for the end of the birthright citizenship, the automatic grant of citizenship to children born within U.S. territory regardless of the legal status of their parents. In a position outline released Sunday, Trump called the policy -- which is rooted in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution -- "the biggest magnet for illegal immigration." He also touted the proposed change during an appearance on Meet the Press.

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A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit brought by Sheriff Joe Arpaio challenging President Obama's immigration executive order Friday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed with a lower court's decision that Arpaio -- the Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff known for his anti-immigration antics -- did not have standing to bring the challenge, which sought to block the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the new programs.

"We conclude that Sheriff Arpaio has failed to allege an injury that is both fairly traceable to the deferred action policies and redressable by enjoining them, as our standing precedents require," the decision's author, Obama-appointee Justice Nina Pillard, wrote.

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They may not have been at the kiddie table debate, but the participants in last week's main GOP 2016 debate acted like a bunch of children -- or at least they did in a reenactment produced by Funny Or Die.

The spoof video, posted earlier this week, casts 10 children in the roles of the top-tier Republican White House candidates, to re-create some of the highlights of the first major primary debate: Donald Trump's refusal to rule out a third-party run, Mike Huckabee's "pimps and prostitute" comments, and the tussle between Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

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