Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship sparks fiery responses ahead of midterms
In an Axios interview this morning, President Donald Trump said he plans to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship. Just a week ahead of the midterm elections and seemingly eager to redirect attention away from a string of white supremacist terrorist attacks, Trump is hard lining his anti-immigrant stances.
Throughout his presidential campaign and administration, Trump has enforced controversial xenophobic policies, from the Muslim ban to family separations at the border. His anti-immigrant policies have largely affected people of color. This time, the president is targeting “chain migration” and “anchor babies.”
When asked about the dubious legality of the executive order, Trump responded to Axios, “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 continued, “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… with all of those benefits… It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
According to Axios, Trump’s claim is untrue. Over 30 countries give birthright citizenship. Many are in the West.
Trump’s controversial potential move would be sure to face legal challenges. Among them is the 14th amendment, which states, “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.”
Few conservatives and constitutional scholars, like John Eastman, director of Chapman University’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, have argued the amendment only applies to green card holders and citizens.
Dr. Martha S. Jones, author of Birthright Citizens writes that “this issue is not one that has been directly tested or addressed by our courts. And the final interpretation here rests with the Supreme Court.” However, Jones posted on Twitter that this “categorical exclusion” of people runs opposite to the historical purpose of the 14th amendment as it was granted for former slaves. Trump’s executive order would challenge a Reconstruction era amendment after the civil war.
8/ My view is that this sort of wholesale or categorical exclusion is contrary to the spirit of the 14th Amendment which aimed to expand and open a way for citizenship, especially for those who might otherwise be denied because of racism. The case being former slaves.
— Martha S. Jones, JD, PhD (@marthasjones_) October 30, 2018
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also condemned Trump’s plan, saying it was “blatantly unconstitutional.”
This is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.
— ACLU 🗳 (@ACLU) October 30, 2018
Adam Bates, a lawyer and policy analyst, shares on Facebook that since all persons who are detained by ICE are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S., they are also legally included in the 14th amendment’s clause.