President Donald Trump on Wednesday fired back at Republican Rep. Paul Ryan after the retiring House Speaker criticized his comments on birthright citizenship for children of non-U.S. citizens.

“Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the [House] Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about! Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.


Trump said Tuesday in an interview with Axios on HBO that he was considering ending birthright citizenship for children born to immigrants and other foreigners. Many legal experts and pundits quickly condemned his statements by saying signing an executive order to implement this would be unconstitutional, as the proposed new law would violate the 14th Amendment. Ryan also denounced Trump’s remarks.

“You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” Ryan told a Kentucky radio station on Tuesday.

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The president’s latest announcement comes after several other comments from him and his allies — including conservative media outlets like Fox News — about the need to curb immigration. A caravan of approximately 3,000 Latin American migrants making their way across Mexico has stirred up anger and concern among Republicans, and Trump has already ordered 5,200 military troops to the southern U.S. border. He added Wednesday that he was prepared to send up to 15,000 troops if necessary.

Democrats have slammed the Trump administration and GOP officials for making fear-mongering comments about illegal immigration just days before the midterm elections.

Trump also used Twitter on Wednesday to acknowledge the fact that should he sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship, the Supreme Court would likely be forced to settle a court dispute on the issue.