Trump's attack on birthright citizenship
- Sandy Mccarthy
In times of uncertainty - including periods with high immigration and economic transitions - we should look for ways to uphold, not attack, the Constitution and America's lasting values of compassion and strength through diversity. But "who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers" is clearly a restrictive clause modifying "foreigners" and "aliens", with those two words being synonymous here.
The most recent amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1992, some 202 years after it was proposed by the first Congress. Nearly everyone present in the United States, even aliens, come within the jurisdiction of the United States.
"You've got all these benefits and things that American citizens rightly have and we voted and they can come in and increase the population illegally by 250,000 a year", Buchanan said.
The argument is flawed when scrutinized in context.
Franklin Roosevelt's executive order in 1937 appointing a number of Supreme Court justices in excess of the number set by Congress was found unenforceable as it was contrary to Congress' power to set the number. It is also possible that the SC senator could seek to repeal the 14th Amendment entirely, but this long-shot proposal would require the support of two-thirds of the House and Senate, which Republicans lack and are unlikely to achieve, even if next week's midterm elections go their way.
It is worth mentioning that the author of the Citizenship Clause confirmed in his original debates that the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" was specifically created to exclude only foreigners who belonged to families of ambassadors or foreign ministers, and Native Americans who maintained their tribal ties. The Court ordered that he be admitted on the basis that his parents, though born in China, were permanent residents with domicile in the United States.
They are all immigrant success stories who have blessed the country, because their parents fled an impoverished Japan to seek a better life. The phrase was never meant to exclude anyone else.
Where the USA differs from many European countries is that its application of jus soli is unconditional (except in the case of foreign diplomats) and granted to any child born on American soil, regardless of their parents' legal status. This is because allegiance is loyalty to the place of one's birth, and not to the citizenship of one's parents.
"Hilton, who was born in Miami, speaks from a position of privilege". The US Supreme Court has held that the use of presidential authority "must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself".
But in the 1890s the USA government is looking for a test case to really determine whether Chinese people, whether born in the United States or not, can really be considered American citizens. The courts may nevertheless rule that the USA is obligated to abide by the United Nations refugee convention. Misinformed proponents of this theory callously refer to such children as "anchor babies".
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Most countries also allow people to acquire citizenship as adults, for example through marriage or residency and often with other requirements, such as fluency in the national language or special contributions. His family separation policy was met with intense opposition from both sides of the aisle and his executive order seeking to restrict immigration and travel to the US was upheld on the third try after federal courts blocked the first two versions.
This is costing USA many billions of dollars a year.
Did it guarantee that everyone born on us soil is a USA citizen?
Despite this 100-year-old ruling, some continue to argue that the constitutionality of birthright citizenship is not settled.
All three branches of our federal government have confirmed birthright citizenship. Generally, it is to show students that the world's oldest rights-based constitutional system is imbued with deep and intentional ambiguity.
"It's a disgrace. We have got to change our laws". What has changed is the escalating and complex problems of illegal immigration, and public opinion toward undocumented immigrants.
This country has a long history of politicizing the tension and confusion around immigration policy. And so they focus on Wong Kim Ark when he tries to re-enter the country in 1894, and they actually deny him readmission.
There's just one problem - the right to citizenship for all born there is enshrined in the U.S. constitution.
John Medeiros is a partner with the immigration law firm, Myers Thompson in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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