Donald Trump is screwing around with the U.S. Constitution. He thinks he can just alter America any way he wants with the stroke of the pen, with an executive order. Given the president’s dislike of immigrants and minorities, that would be a dangerous precedent.
Axios on HBO discovered the president’s secret plan to alter the 14th Amendment and target “anchor babies” and “chain migration” through weeks-long investigative reporting. Its sources included one “close to the White House Counsel’s office.” Trump told Axios on HBO:
‘I didn’t think anybody knew that but me. I thought I was the only one.
It is settled law in the Supreme Court that “children born to immigrants who are legal permanent residents have citizenship.” The 14th Amendment states:
‘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.’
Trump said in the interview:
‘It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t…You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order…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 … with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.’
Of course, Trump had his facts all wrong. Over 30 countries offer birthright citizenship, and the majority of them are in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, our president has a booming business in his hotels, providing U.S. citizenship stays to pregnant Russian women. Yet, POTUS said:
‘It’s in the process. It’ll happen … with an executive order.’
Most immigration and constitutional scholars disagree with the president’s twisted view of the 14th Amendment. Fewer still think a president of these United States can change birthright citizenship, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief counsel Lynden Melmed.
On the other hand, some conservatives think that the 14th Amendment only applied to children born to people who are already legal U.S. citizens, such as military families or contractors working in a foreign country. Unauthorized immigrants or people here on temporary visas would be out of luck.
Former national security official in the sitting president’s administration, Michael Anton, has made the case that Trump could, indeed, could change the law by means of an executive order, according to The Washington Post:
‘Specify to federal agencies that the children of noncitizens are not citizens.’
However, Trump appointment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Judge James Ho, told Axios on HBO that line in the 14th Amendment was a reference to the nation’s “legal obligation to follow U.S. laws.” That means it applies to any foreign visitor with the exception of diplomats and immigrants. Changing it, he said, would be “unconstitutional.’
A Pew Research study conducted in 2016 showed that the number of so-called “anchor babies” peaked at 370,000 between 1980 and 2006, then declined somewhat with the Great Recession.
If Trump attempts to follow through, it would go to the courts.
Axios on HBO airs this Sunday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.