Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have said that the Constitution is the Constitution, and it means what it says. Those arguments have been made as the left have tried to restrict or eliminate our rights under the First and Second Amendments, to try to punish ‘hate speech’ or take away the rights of the people to keep and bear arms.
Unfortunately, not all of the threats to our Constitutional rights come from the left. From Bloomberg:
By Kathleen Hunter | October 30, 2018, 5:39 AM EDT | Updated on October 30, 2018, 6:01 AM EDT
U.S. President Donald Trump said he plans to sign an executive order ending birthright citizenship for babies of non-immigrants and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil, according to excerpts of an interview released Tuesday.
Exclusive: Trump to terminate birthright citizenship https://t.co/ckg0vs4T9O
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) October 30, 2018
“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,” Trump told “Axios on HBO” Monday. “It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
While the President’s argument that ‘birthright citizenship’ should be ended is at least reasonable and debatable, the Fourteenth Amendment is clear and unambiguous:
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.
That’s it, there simply is no doubt about what was meant when it was written and ratified; if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen, period, and no congressional act or executive order can change that. The only way to end birthright citizenship is a constitutional amendment.
Do some illegal immigrants take unfair advantage of that provision of the Constitution, by having so-called ‘anchor babies’ after sneaking into the United States? Yes, of course that happens! But the answer to their illegality is not to act unconstitutionally ourselves. President Trump has a duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and an attempted executive order to try to set aside part of it is a violation of his oath of office. If he wants to end birthright citizenship, let him get a constitutional amendment to do so submitted to the Congress for ratification.
Yes, I know: such an amendment would never make it out of either House of Congress, but that doesn’t matter. Such is the only appropriate way to end birthright citizenship, and if it’s that important, the President needs to try to do the right thing and argue sufficiently to persuade enough congressmen, senators, and, later, state legislators, to ratify it.
But, quite frankly, the Fourteenth Amendment is good law. I am as American as they come: I was born here, both of my parents were American citizens, and soldiers, also born here, and I can trace my family history back to Richard Warren, who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. On my father’s side, my ancestry has been traced back to Hawai’i, beforethe islands became an American territory. My first American ancestors were in America before their lands became part of the United States.
But, other than my birth certificate, how much difficulty would I have in proving that I am a citizen? If my parents had to have been citizens, how much effort, and money, would it take on my part to find the documents proving such? While their birth certificates would probably not be too difficult — they were born in 1928 and 1930, respectively — would I then have to prove that their parents were citizens as well? I can easily see how other very ‘real’ American citizens might have even more problems proving so than I would.
The idea of ending birthright citizenship has some real appeal to those opposed to illegal immigration, and I am among those opposed. But having ‘real appeal’ doesn’t somehow make it right, and ending birthright citizenship is fraught with more peril than any promise it could deliver.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.