October 31, 2018

Trump’s Proposed End to Birthright Citizenship

“President Trump plans to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil," he said in an interview released yesterday.

Axios

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From the Left

The left is in strong agreement that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees birthright citizenship, and an executive order designed to change that would be both unconstitutional and immoral.

At its core, birthright citizenship is what our 14th Amendment is all about, bridging the Declaration of Independence’s promise that ‘all men are created equal’ with a constitutional commitment that all those born in the United States share in that equality."

Washington Post

“The Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, an 1898 case, that a man born on U.S. soil to parents who were Chinese nationals was a citizen. As part of a 1982 decision, Plyler v. Doe, the high court said that even if someone enters the country illegally, they are within U.S. jurisdiction, and their children born in the U.S. are entitled to the protections of the 14th Amendment."

USA Today

“When the 14th Amendment included the phrase ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ the framers and the public clearly understood that they were setting aside the children of foreign diplomats. Other visitors to the United States were and continue to be plainly under the jurisdiction of US law. Why else can they be detained and convicted in US courts for violating US law, unlike diplomats?...

“This is not a genuine effort to change the law. This is a genuine effort to inspire President Trump’s voters to go to the ballot box on November 6. President Trump has repeatedly tried to style himself as a conservative who supports the strict constructionist or originalist view of constitutional interpretation. The hypocrisy of ignoring all principles of originalism and trying to rewrite the Constitution by executive order is stunning.”

Vox

“This trial balloon is particularly ironic given the conservative movement's obsession with Obama-era executive orders, which it loudly argued marked an assault on the Constitution, calling him ‘King Obama’ -- and much worse. In contrast, they claimed to be ‘constitutional conservatives’ -- faithful to the vision of the Founding Fathers."

CNN

“The Public Religion Research Institute and the Atlantic released a survey saying ‘fears about cultural displacement’ were a main factor in white working-class Americans' support for Trump... To many among Trump’s base, restricting — if not full-out stopping — immigration from countries where the citizens are predominantly Latino or black or practice Islam is perhaps the best way to ‘Make America Great Again.’"

Washington Post

“Not only would such an order be unconstitutional, but it would be wrong as a matter of principle. Birthright citizenship is an important emblem of equality and inclusion, and an affirmation that being an American doesn’t depend on bloodlines. That’s a concept that suits a nation of immigrants."

LA Times

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right generally agrees that the children of illegal immigrants should not automatically be granted citizenship, but is divided on how this can be accomplished.

From the Right

The right generally agrees that the children of illegal immigrants should not automatically be granted citizenship, but is divided on how this can be accomplished.

“Categorical birthright citizenship is a bad idea... U.S. citizenship is one of the most valuable things in the world, and we generally don't let people get hugely valuable things because of the criminal acts (even if only mildly criminal) of their parents.”

Volokh Conspiracy

“Only two advanced countries, as classified by the International Monetary Fund, have birthright citizenship. Canada is the other... No European country provides automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants. Great Britain did away with the practice in 1983, and Ireland did so in 2004."

Daily Signal

Democrats and their media allies risk overreaching if they think the public agrees with their absolutist view on the matter. The question is, ought we to confer citizenship to every baby born here. We suspect that most people agree, as we do, that children born here to illegal immigrants and legal passers-through should not get citizenship automatically, but children born to permanent residents should."

Washington Examiner

Minority view: “In our current understanding of the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship, the existence of a permanent underclass of native born non-citizens ends at the first generation. Their children are as American as you, and integration into American life begins in a way that discourages the creation of multigenerational non-citizen ghettos."

The Federalist

Regarding constitutionality, some state that “the 14th Amendment doesn’t say that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens. It says that ‘all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ are citizens... Sen. Lyman Trumbull, a key figure in the adoption of the 14th Amendment, said that ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the U.S. included not owing allegiance to any other country."

Heritage Foundation

Meanwhile, many others argue that “with the exception of a few years before the Civil War, the United States followed the British rule of jus solis (citizenship defined by birthplace), rather than the rule of jus sanguinis (citizenship defined by that of parents) that prevails in much of Europe... The only way to avoid this straightforward understanding is to misread the 14th Amendment’s text, ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ as an exception that swallows the jus solis rule.”

American Enterprise Institute

“I am in favor of changing the current understanding of birthright citizenship, but I believe such a change must be done by statute to have any hope of surviving court-scrutiny... if Congress did not believe conferring birthright citizenship was consistent with [federal law], it would have amended the statute."

National Review

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

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