The 'Right' to Birthright Citizenship
On October 30, Axios posted “Exclusive: Trump targeting birthright citizenship with executive order.” The post included a one-minute-eight-second video of Jonathan Swan interviewing President Trump about using an executive order to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens.
Using an executive order may be effective in dealing with immediate problems, like the caravans wending their way to the border; for instance, Pres. Trump might have a pause in accepting asylum applications. But any executive order can be undone by the next president with his own EO. Also, some progressive judge might decide to disallow an EO on birthright citizenship, just as was done with the president’s travel ban.
Pres. Trump surely knows this. Perhaps Trump’s reasoning is to get Congress off its duff to deal with this issue. A more lasting remedy is legislation. But some think that the only route is that of a constitutional amendment, and that’s a long hard slog, fraught with difficulty.
So-called birthright citizenship comes to us from the 14th Amendment, and the problem is contained in its very first sentence: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
Those who believe the 14th does not grant citizenship to the children of illegals, tourists, foreign embassy staff, and other foreign nationals, hang their hat on the “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause, which they back up with the speeches and debates given by the drafters of that clause. The original intent and purpose of the 14th was to guarantee citizenship for the recently emancipated slaves, not the children of lawbreaking foreigners 150 years in the future.
Regardless of whether the government’s current practice of granting citizenship to the spawn of any foreigner who scrambles across our poorly-defended borders sticks in your craw or not, you need to watch Tucker Carlson’s brilliant Oct. 30 monologue: “Birthright citizenship is a scam.” I highly recommend that you click and listen to Tucker’s compelling take on this issue.
Also on the 30th in “When Birthright Goes Wrong,” Laura Ingraham dilated on the federal government’s pathetic policy on birthright citizenship. (It seems that all the big brains in cable news are at Fox.)
Mr. Carlson also talked with Michael Anton on the Oct. 30 program, and he referred to a zesty little article by Anton in the Washington Post last July that supposedly created a bit of a stir. Anton claimed that the framers of the 14th Amendment, as well as America’s founders, understood “that birthright citizenship is inherently self-contradictory.” Anton cited Edward Erler. Here’s another article by Erler that Imprimis ran in 2008: “Birthright Citizenship and Dual Citizenship: Harbingers of Administrative Tyranny.”
The issue of birthright citizenship arose in the presidential campaign in the summer of 2015. I chimed in on it myself with a few articles, including “Anchor This!” If an Article V constitutional convention ever were mounted, at the top of the agenda should be clarifying what “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” means, and then set that meaning in stone.
If the plebiscite, i.e. referendum, were available in federal elections, such as the U.K. conducted in its Brexit election, and the question of birthright citizenship for the children of foreigners were put to the people, one would hope that the folks would have the sense to end it. But people who don’t pay taxes don’t care what things cost, and about half of Americans don’t pay income taxes.
Unchecked caravans of foreign invaders coming to America should remind Americans of the caravans of Syrians and others that invaded Europe in 2015. Many Europeans now think that allowing them entry was a huge mistake. But American progressives want to be just like sophisticated Europe.
Regardless of what the problem clause in the 14th Amendment actually means, the question for Americans is: do we want open borders and unchecked invasion? Birthright citizenship is a magnet to invade America. We need to destroy the magnets and we need to create disincentives to invasion, such as putting invaders in chain-gangs to clean up the deserts they’ve defiled with trash. Maybe we should make them work on the wall, too.
In the closing days of these midterm campaigns, birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens should be a burning issue. Candidates who want to continue with the current interpretation of the 14th, or who refuse to say whether they’d vote to change it, should not get your vote.
Americans are a bunch of patsies to have accepted the reigning interpretation of the 14th for so long. The decades-long, ongoing invasion and settlement of foreign nationals is costing American citizens a fortune, and not just in the pocketbook: America’s very culture is being changed -- and against our will.
Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.