President Donald Trump is making another threat. This time towards immigrants who have children in the U.S., which automatically makes them U.S. citizens. If that already sounds like something you’ve already heard before, you’re correct. The Trump Administration has repeatedly called into question the 14th Amendment — the birthright law — and whether or not it can be overturned.
In an Axios interview released today, Trump made his threat a little more direct by saying: “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 for 85 years, with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
First off, the U.S. isn’t the only country that has such a law in place. Axios updated their story by factually including that more than 30 countries have laws just like the 14th Amendment. So let’s look at the wording of the 14th Amendment:
Good morning. President Trump wants to repeal (by Executive Order, no less) the provision of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed citizenship for African Americans. https://t.co/6Gmv841qzY Are you awake yet? pic.twitter.com/DYiyyZTQ4S
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@SIfill_) October 30, 2018
“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.”
However, Trump said that revoking it is already in place. Trump also goes on to say in his interview with Axios that he could do away with the amendment simply by signing it away. “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said, claiming he can do it by executive order.
Well, it appears that he’s wrong about that too. We know that the Second Amendment — the Right to Bear Arms — can’t be revoked, just the same as the the First — the Right to Free Speech. No amendment can be revoked because it’s part of the constitution, and getting rid of it would be illegal.
“Politically it can’t be done, and it is simply a distraction from seeking true immigration reform,” Bill Ong Hing, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and supporter of birthright citizenship, said in 2010, according to the Christian Monitor.
The founders set up the constitution so the president can’t do what he’s proposing to do with birthright citizenship. It’s a stunt, like sending the troops to a border for a non-existent invasion.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 30, 2018
Trump’s threats are just that. Threats. If he could change an amendment with a stroke of a pen that would mean our entire constitution would be vulnerable and at its core, meaningless. Once again, Trump proves that with words alone he will be able to instill fear — his goal is just that, and also as many are saying just another distraction.
Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, just released this statement: “The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear. This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.”