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Can Donald Trump End Birthright Citizenship with an Executive Order?

By Terry | Bill of Rights

We the People

Donald Trump Looking at Ending Birthright Citizenship With an Executive Order- Critics Are Pulling Out All Stops to Block It.

On an interview with Axios which will air on HBO, Trump said:

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.

Any attempt to remove birthright citizenship will undoubtedly set off a constitutional challenge. Adding weight to Trump’s argument, birthright citizenship wasn’t applied to the children of immigrants until the 1960’s. Between 1980 and 2006, the number of births to unauthorized immigrants – which opponents of birthright citizenship call “anchor babies” – skyrocketed to a peak of 370,000, according to a 2016 study by Pew Research.

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What is Birthright Citizenship?

Birthright Citizenship (aka anchor babies) is currently interpreted to mean that any child born in the United States automatically becomes a legal citizen of the United States. Illegal immigrants come here pregnant, give birth and the child automatically is granted citizenship.

Thereafter, that child and by osmosis the illegal immigrants parents (who in most cases do not even speak English – at least not well and lack skills and training to get good jobs) are entitled to benefits like free schooling, hospitalization, welfare, food stamps, housing assistance and more because their child is considered a citizen.

A pretty important issue to consider since the net impact of illegal immigrants according to a well researched report by FAIR is, even after considering the taxation derived from illegals, $116 Billion annually or $8,075 per illegal alien family member for citizens. (See the FAIR Report in full for the average cost per taxpaying citizen in your state.)

Additionally, entire businesses have been built around the “birthright citizenship” interpretation such as birth tourism where citizens from other countries come here for a few months, give birth to their baby, then take advantage of the interpretation to get U.S. citizenship for their child. China and Russia are both big users of this birth tourism tactic for a variety of reasons.

This industry was recently brought to light via the stabbing of 3 babies and 2 adults in a shadily set-up birth tourism house by a 52 year old Chinese woman. An industry that wouldn’t be there if the law were being interpreted correctly.

So, let’s take a closer look at President Trump’s stated intentions to take action on this issue via an executive order.

Executive Order – Change the Constitution?

Ok, let’s begin with an acknowledgement that it is true that Donald Trump or any President does not have the authority to transform a Constitutional amendment with an executive order. Truth be told, executive orders cannot legally create laws or alter the Constitution.

The Constitution can only be amended with an amendment. Laws are created by state, local and federal representatives in both houses.

So, yes it is true that the President cannot alter the Constitution with an amendment as Paul Ryan made a point to reinforce. However, suppose the ones who have altered the plain meaning of the amendment was not the President but rather the politicians who have interpreted the Section 1 of the 14th amendment to automatically grant citizenship to ANY baby born within the borders of this nation.

If the amendment were being misinterpreted that would change the game now wouldn’t it? Let’s take a closer look at the language of the amendment and the intent.

The 14th Amendment

First of all, let’s make clear that this amendment has not been settled by any Supreme Court decision. It is being implemented by interpretation, not by any clear court decision.

The text of the amendment in question reads as follows:

Amendment XIV, Section 1- 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.

As presently interpreted, what is ignored in the interpretation is the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, ” Most liberal leftists leave that portion of the amendment out when citing the amendment. Cited that way, the interpretation being applied at present allowing “birthright citizenship” has more weight.

However what does the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” mean? Why was it pointedly included?

The Intent of the 14th Amendment

In an op-ed article by former Trump security official, Michael Anton, in The Washington Post (of all places), he makes clear what the meaning of phrase and thereby the amendment was.

Anton makes the point that the amendment was initiated to make certain that former slaves would be granted full citizenship. He points out that during the debates of this amendment:

“The notion that simply being born within the geographical limits of the United States automatically confers U.S. citizenship is an absurdity — historically, constitutionally, philosophically and practically.

Constitutional scholar Edward Erler has shown that the entire case for birthright citizenship is based on a deliberate misreading of the 14th Amendment. The purpose of that amendment was to resolve the question of citizenship for newly freed slaves. Following the Civil War, some in the South insisted that states had the right to deny citizenship to freedmen. In support, they cited 1857’s disgraceful Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which held that no black American could ever be a citizen of the United States.

A constitutional amendment was thus necessary to overturn Dred Scott and to define the precise meaning of American citizenship.

That definition is the amendment’s very first sentence: “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.”

The amendment clarified for the first time that federal citizenship precedes and supersedes its state-level counterpart. No state has the power to deny citizenship, hence none may dispossess freed slaves.”

Anton goes on to further make the point that the amendment makes specific two criterion:

  1. Birth or naturalization (i.e., lawful immigration)
  2. Being subject to U.S. jurisdiction

He also states:

We know what the framers of the amendment meant by the latter because they told us. Sen. Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, a principal figure in drafting the amendment, defined “subject to the jurisdiction” as “not owing allegiance to anybody else” — that is, to no other country or tribe. [Note: It meant complete U.S. jurisdiction not jurisdiction to another country.- Dr. John Eastman – Constitutional Law Professor and Sr. Fellow, Claremont Institute]

Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, a sponsor of the clause, further clarified that the amendment explicitly excludes from citizenship “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”

Thus, the intent was made clear by the Senators who voted on the amendment. It was intended to assist black citizens freed from slavery to be guaranteed citizenship.

Leftist Response

CNN, MSNBC, The View etc. condemned the statement by Donald Trump to Axios that he was going to alter the interpretation of the amendment via an executive order. Once again the racist label was immediately applied.

Fact is, we are one of the few nations in the world who offer birthright citizenship- U.S., Canada and two African nations – out of 52 btw. Almost all other nations do not. It contributes greatly to the cost of illegal immigrants to our legal and naturalized citizens.

The other fact, of course ignored by critics, is that all of this “birthright citizenship” is based upon a misinterpretation of the amendment and its original intent.

The Executive Order

So, what impact can Donald Trump’s executive order have then? Well, for one thing, it can stir up enough resistance to place the order in front of the Supreme Court to force a Constitutional ruling on the current interpretation.

Senator Lindsey Graham has already announced that he will introduce a law in the Senate to end birthright citizenship through Congress.

Quite frankly, this is something that the left does not want, especially with the conservative-liberal mix now present on the Supreme Court with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh. The appointment of two new decidedly conservative judges tips the scales towards an originalist intent of the Constitution which, of course, includes the entire Bill of Rights and amendments.

In my opinion, this would be a good outcome. I think this issue has plenty of Constitutional meat to it and real world consequences that it needs to addressed by the Supreme Court.

Truthfully speaking, all the leftists in our Houses are doing with this birthright issue is using it to produce citizens that will vote for the left while assisting the globalists in watering down our cultural homogeneity. A tactic they are using globally to assist them in the achievement of their end game of global world government with nations erased and folded into regional government structures as we see in the EU template.

The left will scream and throw continual tantrums of resistance replete with the standard memes of racism and white nationalism in goose step repetition. But the reality is, the American citizens are already paying a high price for rampant illegal immigration and if this interpretation is permitted to continue it will only get worse.

The real tragedy will be felt if and when they are able to reach their unstated but intended goal of a one world government or as they like to describe it- a new world order. A goal that can only be achieved with a citizenry under the thumb of government through the continual use of police state tyranny.

There will be nothing pleasant about it for one who values their personal liberty and freedoms. History has already proven that point. Let’s hope Donald gets the help he needs to move this issue through. It will be a welcome first step in curbing our rampant and growing illegal immigrant problem despite the claims of the leftstream media and lefty politicians.