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Why Trump is right and everyone else is wrong on Birthright Citizenship

Written By | Oct 31, 2018
14th Amendment, Birthright Citizenship, Andrew Mark Miller, Congress

WASHINGTON: It seems impossible to talk about immigration without immediately getting bogged down in a conversation about race, racism, or something that Trump allegedly said years ago. That’s been the case in the conversation surrounding Trump’s recent tweets about birthright citizenship.

The response from the left has been typical and boring. Trump is racist!

As usual, this conversation has nothing to do with race and everything to do with history and precedent which are two things that Democrats are traditionally prone to ignore.

Trump is 100% correct about birthright citizenship.

The fact of the matter is that there is a solid legal argument to be made supporting Trump’s position. And it is a position that has never been decided by the Supreme Court. That’s not just some right-wing talking point either. Respected legal scholars have made the argument for decades that the way the 14th Amendment has been

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But, who cares what we think about the Amendment 150 years later. What did the people responsible for actually crafted think about it? What was the original intent? That couldn’t be more clear if you actually take the time to read the conversations that took place in the Senate in 1866.

Here’s what the author of the 14th Amendment’s Citizenship Clause, Sen. Jacob Howard, had to say back then.

From Forbes:

Sen. Jacob Howard was the author of the 14th Amendment’s Citizenship Clause. On the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1866, Sen. Howard clarified the meaning of the Citizenship Clause:


This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.


“This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners.”
We  really do know what the 14th Amendment is really about

It doesn’t get much clearer than that.  The 14th Amendment was solely about making sure that all the states recognized the citizenship of freed slaves. That’s it. It absolutely was not an endorsement of birth tourism like it is being interpreted today by the American left.

Even some of Trump’s alleged allies don’t understand the issue enough but have decided to chime in anyway. Most notably Paul Ryan who scoffed at Trump’s plan and condescendingly claimed that Trump could never end birthright citizenship without a “very very lengthy Constitutional process”.  That’s just simply not true.

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From National Review:

Critics say that Trump’s plan is unrealistic, that it would require a constitutional amendment because the 14th Amendment mandates birthright citizenship and that the Supreme Court has upheld this requirement ever since its passage in 1868. The critics are wrong. A correct understanding of the intent of the framers of the 14th Amendment and legislation passed by Congress in the late 19th century and in 1923 extending citizenship to American Indians provide ample proof that Congress has constitutional power to define who is within the “jurisdiction of the United States” and therefore eligible for citizenship. Simple legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president would be constitutional under the 14th Amendment.

Mark Levin articulately explained just how wrong Paul Ryan is in a Facebook post.

Not until the 1960’s has the Constitution been interpreted to convey birthright citizenship on the children of illegal aliens. And not due to any congressional statute or court ruling, but decisions by various departments and agencies of the federal bureaucracy. So, to be clear, the president would not be altering the 14th amendment or the intent of the 14th amendment or the original interpretation of the 14th amendment. On the contrary, the president would be taking charge of the executive branch and upholding the 14th amendment. And I challenge Paul Ryan to demonstrate otherwise. That’s not to say that activist judges and courts might not embrace Ryan’s knee-jerk position, but the president is right.

Ending Birthright Citizenship with Executive Order

The debate about whether Trump can end birthright citizenship with an executive order is a more nuanced debate and a separate one entirely. Will Ricciardella wrote a great piece about that which you can read more about here. There’s simply no precedent for birthright citizenship. Ricciardella explains:

There is zero precedent for allowing citizenship to children born to illegal alien parents. Article 1, section 8, clause 4 gives plenary power to Congress over naturalization and Section 5 of the 14th Amendment over jurisdiction, which Congress altered to allow Indians born in the United States to become citizens in 1924.

There is no existing law passed by Congress as of now that gives jurisdiction to illegal aliens born in the United States.


The executive and judiciary don’t have the power to decide the issue.

And then there is healthcare…

The left always likes to talk about what the rest of the world does when it comes to topics like healthcare. So, let’s do that. Take a look around the world? What other countries just let you show up have a kid and that kid is a citizen. Not many. No countries in Europe tolerate it. Very few countries in Africa. China certainly doesn’t. Japan doesn’t.

Are they all racist?

To wrap this up I’ll leave you with a Tucker Carlson monologue that perfectly sums up what’s going on here and cuts right through the left’s lazy argument that it’s somehow racist to care about protecting American wages, reducing crime, and reforming our welfare system.


A debate worth having

This is a debate worth having and the people who throw the “racist” accusation during the course of this argument don’t actually want to debate. They haven’t researched the subject. Nor have they done any due diligence. They aren’t equipped with the statistics. Nor do they want to debate.

Democrats want to silence debate and that’s why they resort to personal insults and smears. Don’t let them control the conversation. There is too much at stake.

H/T Breitbart

Andrew Mark Miller