Birthright citizenship ain’t in the Constitution! I’m issuing an EO ending it! Well, of course it’s in the Constitution: The 14th Amendment Section One reads (the Wiki):
‘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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’
But of course a cadré of legal beagles of similar stripe say, as with this Oct. 31 Amerikan Thinker op-ed by Daniel John Sobieski: ‘Ending Birthright Citizenship’ (a few outtakes, and I ♥ the ad about medical hemp oil being legal now):
“History, as the saying goes, is a lie agreed upon, and there has perhaps been no bigger lie detrimental to the future national security and economic well-being of the United States that the 14th Amendment, clearly written to protect the rights of African-American slaves liberated by the first Republican President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, somehow confers citizenship on the offspring of anybody whose (sic) pregnant and can sneak past the U.S. Border Patrol.
[Actually, Daniel John Sobieski, they say that ‘history belongs to the victor’.]
“U.S. citizenship is rendered meaningless if it is defined as an accident of geography and it is the clear that this was not the intention authors of those who wrote the 14th Amendment and shepherded it into the Constitution. President Trump has rightly targeted birthright citizenship as an historical error that needs to be corrected.”
This is the leg they’re standing on as to buttress their arguments:
“Michael Anton, a former national security adviser for Trump, pointed out in July that “there’s a clause in the middle of the amendment that people ignore or they misinterpret – subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
“What they are saying is, if you are born on U.S. soil subject to the jurisdiction of the United States – meaning you’re the child of citizens or the child of legal immigrants, then you are entitled to citizenship,” Anton told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in July. “If you are here illegally, if you owe allegiance to a foreign nation, if you’re the citizen of a foreign country, that clause does not apply to you.”
“Anton is stunningly correct and clearly echoes the sentiments and legislative intent of the authors of the 14th Amendment. The only question is whether this historical error is better corrected though a clarifying amendment, legislation, or through a Trump executive order. GOP Rep. Steve King, R-IA, has proposed legislation:
In January of this year, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) proposed the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2015 (HR 140) that seeks to amend current law by making requirements for citizenship more narrow, and, in King’s opinion, more constitutional…”, including:
‘And subject to the jurisdiction thereof.’ So once the practice began, it grew out of proportion and today between 340,000 and 750,000 babies are born in America each year that get automatic citizenship even though both parents are illegal immigrants. That has got to stop.”…
He quotes other Constitutional Scholars, including some who’d testified before the House Judiciary Committee in October, 2008, Herr Trump himself in an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” what magnets Anchor Babies are for other illegals to enter (they didn’t say ‘this shithole country of ours’) etc. Their conclusions are that it may not in fact take a Constitutional Amendment to nullify it, just the courts interpreting it correctly, as the ‘framers’ had obviously intended it, or with ‘corrective legislation’. He winds up with this dilly:
“The current interpretation of birthright citizenship may in fact have been a huge mistake and given the burden illegal aliens have imposed on our welfare, educational, and health care systems as well as through increased crime on our legal system, a very costly one.”
In his Nov. 1, 2018 ‘The American oligarchy’s attack on birthright citizenship; All men are not created equal’, Eric London, wsws.org writes in part:
“With this move, the American oligarchy is repudiating the basic democratic principle upon which the American republic was founded, embodied in the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that “all men are created equal.” If the American president can, by executive fiat, strike out the 14th Amendment, what is to stop him from overturning the entire Bill of Rights, which guarantees free speech, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, due process, and the right to counsel, among other fundamental protections?”
[Well, he has, other Presidents already have, but…moving on…]
“Trump’s proposal, which comes in the final days of the midterm election campaign, is a provocation by the administration and its fascist staffers aimed at whipping up xenophobic sentiments and creating a constituency for a right-wing extra-constitutional movement. Such a movement is deemed necessary to implement Trump’s pro-corporate, pro-war, anti-immigrant agenda.”
It would produce an underclass of immigrant families afraid to send their children to school, give birth in hospitals, or send their sick children to the doctor’s office. Millions of children would become stateless, lacking citizenship in any country. Slum districts and even walled ghettos with third world, apartheid conditions would become commonplace.
If applied retroactively, the rescission of birthright citizenship would reportedly place over 10 million people at immediate risk of deportation. Either way, the government will respond to the growth of the undocumented population with further moves toward martial law, including the construction of more detention camps and the deployment of more immigration agents and soldiers, not only to the border but to major metropolitan areas.
As the American Immigration Council wrote yesterday, the decision “would also impose hardship on all Americans, who could no longer point to a birth certificate as proof of citizenship. If place of birth no longer guaranteed citizenship, then all Americans—not just those whose parents were undocumented—would be forced to prove their parents’ nationality to the government in order to be recognized as a US citizen.”
London then notes that since the stolen election in 2000 and the endless ‘war on terror’, both parties have shredded the Bill of Rights. He writes that Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Sen. Claire McKaskill (D-M) support Trump on the issue.
Some write that both Bill Clinton and Harry Reid were of a similar opinion, but London wasn’t the only one to note that at a campaign stop for Ben Jealous, Bernie Sanders avoided the issue, even though he’s called the Prez a racist, xenophobe, so and so in the past. Jeb Bush had also campaigned on the issue.
The Washington Post (including videos) on Oct. 30 quoted even some Republicans (Rep Mike Coffman, as saying ‘whoa, Nellie; ya can’t do that’, and:
‘Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said Trump was engaged in “a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.”
Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that birthright citizenship IS enshrined in the Constitution, and he can’t change it with an EO, plus:
“Ryan also said that Republicans did not like it when President Barack Obama changed immigration policy by executive action and that altering the Constitution would be a lengthy process.”
I assume he’s referencing O’s quasi-con ‘Dream Act’. And yes, Obomba’s been shouting from the rooftops against this evil ploy, but to me it all rings hollow in the face of his massive anti-immigrant moves, including deporting millions, caging many (including families) on concrete floors with space blankets as bedding.
The Wapo piece had also included that Boss Tweet was wrong about Amerika being the only nation to have Birthright Citizen language:
“NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration, has compiled a list that shows 33 nations grant citizenship to anyone born within their borders. The list includes Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and most other countries in Central and South America. The United States and Canada are the only two “developed” countries, as defined by the International Monetary Fund, that have unrestricted birthright citizenship laws.”
This isn’t NumbersUSA, but has similar information.
From Kevin Alexander Gray’s (author of Killing Trayvons) November 2, 2018, counterpunch.org: ‘14th Amendment Nullification Threatens the Core of Citizenship’ (a few outtakes):
“When I was in the military in the 1970s, I heard two white soldiers talking on the rifle range. One soldier asked the other how he learned to shoot so well.
“I like shooting cans right off the fence,” the other soldier responded, adding: “Af-ri-cans, Puer-to-Ri-cans and Mex-i-cans.”
The comment came to mind when I heard Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., saying, “Birthright citizenship is a mistake,” and when he and his GOP cohorts started talking about immigrants having “anchor babies.”
“People come here to have babies,” said Graham. “They come here to drop a child. It’s called, ‘Drop and leave.’”
“Drop a child.” It’s as if he were talking about animals.
Graham says he’s considering introducing a bill to rescind Section 1 of the 14th Amendment.
Section 1 does confer citizenship on anyone born in the United States. But that’s not all it does.
The second sentence of that section says: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any Also called the “due process” clause or the “equal protection” clause, this part of the 14th Amendment is the very foundation of U.S. civil rights law. The new nullifiers who talk of getting rid of Section 1 are signaling their larger purpose and are targeting all those they hold in contempt, like so many cans on the fence.
The Reconstruction-era amendment, finally adopted as part of the Constitution in 1868, ensured that former enslaved Africans and their children were U.S. citizens. Together with the 13th Amendment, which bans slavery, and the 15th, which prohibits the government from denying any citizen the right to vote on the basis of race, color or previous condition of servitude, the 14th Amendment is fundamental to the whole country’s long walk toward human rights and equality under the law.”
Gray reminds readers that the 1954 SCOTUS Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was based on the discriminatory nature of segregation in which white supremacy loomed large in the debates, as it does today. He further contends that opponents of the decision claimed that black children would be ‘threatening morality’ by people ‘unfit for the responsibilities of American citizenship’ is quite similar to Lindsay Graham’s slurs against immigrants ‘coming to drop a child’. And further, that tampering with the 14th Amendment would bring Amerika back to the 1857 days of Dred Scott, at its core ‘once a slave, always a slave; once undocumented, forever undocumented, down to one’s children and children’s children’.
Bonus: speaking of due process: ‘Due Process; Lamenting the death of the rule of law in a country where it might have always been missing, Lewis H. Lapham (a teaser)
“Trump didn’t need briefing papers to refine the message. He embodied it live and in person, an unscripted and overweight canary flown from its gilded cage, telling it like it is when seen from the perch of the haves looking down on the birdseed of the have-nots. Had he time or patience for looking into books instead of mirrors, he could have sourced his wisdom to Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis, who presented the case for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal: “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Not that it would have occurred to Trump to want both, but he might have been glad to know the Supreme Court had excused him from any further study under the heading of politics. In the world according to Trump—as it was in the worlds according to Ronald Reagan, George Bush elder and younger, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama—the concentration of wealth is the good, the true, and the beautiful. Democracy is for losers.
The framers of the Constitution were of the same opinion. The prosperous and well-educated gentlemen assembled in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 shared with John Adams the suspicion that “democracy will infallibly destroy all civilization,” agreed with James Madison that the turbulent passions of the common man lead to reckless agitation for the abolition of debts and “other wicked projects.” With Plato the framers shared the assumption that the best government, under no matter what name or flag, incorporates the means by which a privileged few arrange the distribution of property and law for the less fortunate many. They envisioned a wise and just oligarchy—to which they gave the name of a republic—managed by men like themselves, to whom Madison attributed “most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue the common good of the society.” Adams thought the great functions of state should be reserved for “the rich, the wellborn, and the able”; John Jay, chief justice for the Supreme Court, observed that “those who own the country ought to govern it.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)