In a recent statement by President Trump, he has said he wants to issue an Executive Order overriding the Fourteenth Amendment that bans birthright citizenship:
President Donald Trump offered a dramatic, if legally dubious, promise in a new interview to unilaterally end birthright citizenship, ratcheting up his hardline immigration rhetoric with a week to go before critical midterm elections.
Trump’s vow to end the right to citizenship for the children of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on US soil came in an interview with Axios released Tuesday. Such a step would be regarded as an affront to the US Constitution, which was amended 150 years ago to include the words: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
Trump did not say when he would sign the order, and some of his past promises to use executive action have gone unfulfilled. But whether the President follows through on his threat or not, the issue joins a string of actions intended to thrust the matter of immigration into the front of voters’ minds as they head to polls next week.
A day earlier, the President vowed in an interview on Fox News to construct tent cities to house migrants traveling through Mexico to the US southern border. His administration announced the deployment of 5,200 troops to protect the frontier as the “caravan” continues to advance — though it is still weeks, if not months, from reaching the US border. And the President has warned of an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants if the border isn’t sealed with a wall.
Still, the threat of ending birthright citizenship amounts to another escalation in Trump’s hardline approach to immigration, which has become his signature issue.
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said in an interview for “Axios on HBO.”
Several other countries, including Canada, have a policy of birthright citizenship, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for reducing immigration.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end,” he continued.
The step would immediately be challenged in court. Some of Trump’s previous immigration executive orders, including an attempt to bar entry to citizens from some Muslim-majority countries, came under legal scrutiny after a chaotic drafting process. At the same time, the President has derided his predecessor Barack Obama for taking executive actions to block some young undocumented immigrants from deportation, a step Trump said was a presidential overstep.
The American Civil Liberties Union slammed Trump’s proposal Tuesday morning.
“The President cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.”
Asked about Trump’s promise on Tuesday, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, said the President has the “right to raise that debate” if he wants but “this notion that he can simply violate the Constitution by executive order, let’s face it, no serious legal scholar thinks that’s real.”
“This is simply an attempt for Donald Trump, who wants to do anything possible to bring back fears around immigration, to use that as a political tool in this last week before the election,” Warner said. “This is again, where a President’s words matter. The Constitution is quite clear that no one, including the President of the United States, is above the law.”
The White House did not provide additional details of the planned executive order on Tuesday morning.
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” he said, adding that he has run it by his counsel. “You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” Trump said.
The President didn’t provide any details of his plan, but said that “it’s in the process. It’ll happen.”
The interview is a part of “Axios on HBO,” a new four-part documentary series debuting on HBO this Sunday, according to the news site. (source, source)
During Obama’s Presidency, there was much legitimate concern that Obama was going to abuse the powers of Executive Orders to undermine the Constitution itself as far as it concerns the Second Amendment and the provision of the public to carry firearms, something which has existed since the inception of the nation. This concern was real and objectively poses a direct threat to the nation itself in two ways.
First, it is a threat to the concept of self-defense, of which it is known throughout history that the mass disarmament of any population is always a precursor to tyrannical actions from said government. This crosses all cultures, times, and places because it is a philosophical principle- take away a man’s tools to protect himself, and he will be rendered helpless in the fact of another with the same tools.
Second, and even more dangerously, it poses a threat to the integrity of the Constitution itself. While the document is not from God and there are certainly problems with it, the Constitution acts as both a fundamental basis of law and a philosophical ideal which guides the nation. To say that any leader can issue an “Executive Order” that directly contradicts any of the fundamental principles of said document, however right or wrong said Order may be or is intended to be, is to attack the process by which the Constitution is allowed to be amended. It reduces its importance to something that can be used as a tool by a leader instead of being the thing which the leader is ordered to defend and is himself bound by, thus placing the will of the leader over the will of the principles which guide society. It is why the Presidential Oath states:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. (source)
Certainly a President may disagree with certain provisions, but if he disagrees and wishes to change them, there is a process that he can use to change them, and it involves the consent of Congress and most importantly, the common people, as the document applies to them as well.
Illegal immigration is a major issue, but as we have noted, it is also being allowed to continue and increase in severity because it is a political tool of influence used by both the Republicans and Democrats alike as well is a way for the government to receive the necessary cheap labor used to driver her agricultural policies as a vital point in her foreign policy by using aid in the form of food as a weapon against other nations. In short, we will give you or sell you at below-market prices food, and if you do not accept the demands of the USA, the food will be withdrawn and as it is documented throughout history, revolutions begin when food prices are too high or when food is too scarce. However, such a policy require below-market labor prices, and poor people from Central America whose average annual income is at or less what a worker earning the Federally-mandated minimum wage earns in a month, they will gladly work long hours for what is to the average American an unsustainable salary but for them is a hope they only could dream about.
I am not saying that “anchor babies” should be promoted, but it is a reality of the agricultural policies of the USA. Put yourself the shoes of the “average Jose”. If you were allowed in illegally to the USA and worked picking lettuce or fruits for hours, and your wife was pregnant, knowing that if she had the baby the child would gain US citizenship, and given how much better life for you already is compared to the misery of your native village (and in which many of your family members still reside), would you not take the opportunity to use it to stay in the USA and keep sending money back to your parents, siblings, and extended family until you could bring more of them over?
I have repeatedly noted that the “migrant caravan” is the US parallel of what happened three years ago in Germany with the “migrant crisis”. There are too many suspicious actions, curious co-incidences, and non-conformities that show this “migration” is being driven by outside forces and that it is being used to further nationalism and consolidate the power of the government regardless of what political side- Democrat or Republican- one adheres to. As such, one can see that same dynamic continue in this argument over using and “Executive Order” to do to the Fourteenth Amendment what Obama wanted to do to the Second Amendment.
The Fourteenth Amendment was instituted in 1868, three years after the Civil War and it has remained as such since then, that all people who are born in the USA automatically receive US citizenship:
Section 1. 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. (source)
The Second Amendment, which is a part of the Bill of Rights, allows for the common people, with certain very specific circumstances that have been clarified over the years who are barred (such as felons and the certified insane), to own and use firearms.
It was for political reasons that Obama wanted to use an “Executive Order” to effectively undermine the provisions of the Constitution regarding the Second Amendment, expanding the power of the government to issue “at-will” demands and destroying what remains of due process and the rights guaranteed to the people.
With all respect to Trump, how is this situation with the Fourteenth Amendment any different as far as the principle itself is concerned? Especially how this issue is being raised in three days from the elections, it is far from being merely co-incidental or even a matter of discussing objective policy aims. It does, however, have all of the sentiments of a politician agitating his voter base.
I say this not to “support” any politician. I did not like Obama because I did not like his policies and the philosophies he was promoting, and to say that one should support Trump when he makes use of the same philosophies that lead to the same ends albeit in a slightly altered context is to embrace the same errors that Democrats promoted but this time instead possessing a Republican wrapping.