The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:  “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.”

 

Seems simple enough.  Most Americans, upon reading this amendment, no doubt assume that it implies “birthright citizenship,” the tradition we’ve had that simply being born in this country automatically makes one a citizen, case closed.  Most of us don’t know the larger historical context and reasoning associated with its creation and also wrongly assume that most other nations deal with citizenship in just this way.  President Trump’s readiness to look at the issue of birthright citizenship in light of its flagrant abuse is a good thing –- it is not about race –- and we should examine it ourselves with the help of some of our favorite legal minds, who turn out to be of very similar mindset here.


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This affects the status of about 300,000 children born here every year.  Before we get started, it seems to me that there are actually two questions before us.  First, was the amendment really intended to cover everyone who is born here, under every circumstance, as it’s being interpreted in practice today?  And, second, if it’s being wrongly interpreted, is it advisable for President Trump to correct this by executive order so that people here illegally and those who come here just to give birth cannot get citizenship for their children this way?

 

Fortunately, the 14th Amendment has quite a rich backstory, coming as it did in the days of Reconstruction after the Civil War, when the question was, “How do we make citizens of former slaves?”  To greatly condense this history lesson, the 13th Amendment freed the slaves; the 14th Amendment made them U.S. citizens.  Little did legislators in the 1860s think that in another century and a half, just because of the 14th Amendment, pregnant Chinese and Russian women would be hopping planes to come to America and have their babies here, just for the birth certificate.  (Especially the part about the planes, but I digress.)  It seems obvious that they’d be saying, “No, no!  That’s not what we meant at all!”

 

So, was the amendment intended to grant citizenship to all who are fortunate enough to be born here?  The one little part that’s open to interpretation is the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  Law professor John Eastman said in a New York Times op-ed in 2015 that this phrase was understood at the time of adoption to mean “not owing allegiance to any other sovereign.”  Former slaves had lived their entire lives in America and did not owe allegiance to another nation.  To cite a modern example, if the child of an American couple is born in France, the baby is still an American citizen.  Conversely, a child born in America to foreign diplomats is not an American citizen.


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Would modern courts interpret the word “jurisdiction” the way the originators of the amendment intended?  As Andrew C. McCarthy says in NATIONAL REVIEW, the context now is so different and the issue of immigration so politicized that it’s easy to imagine the courts taking a whole different route with the term “jurisdiction.”  (Note:  this is why it’s so important to have constructionist judges.)  But even assuming that the amendment wasn’t intended to grant birthright citizenship, is our practice of granting it merely an “executive policy” that the President has the power to change by executive order?  McCarthy says he doesn’t think so.

 

The problem is, in 1952, Congress enacted a statute, Section 1401 of the immigration and naturalization code (Title 8, U.S. Code), that codifies the amendment, using that same word, “jurisdiction.”  Thus, the courts of today could choose to focus more on what the word meant in 1952.  And why did Congress even pass this law, given that they didn’t need to because there was already a constitutional amendment stating the same thing?  McCarthy sees it as “a strong expression of Congress’ intent to exercise its constitutional authority to set the terms of citizenship.”   And if Congress thought that its law was inconsistent with the practice of conferring birthright citizenship, it could have amended the law at some point, but it never has.

 

The President can always go ahead and interpret “jurisdiction” the way he wants and wait for the chance that Congress or the courts would say otherwise.  His lawyers may have advised him as much.  But McCarthy believes that “the President may not unilaterally change an understanding of the law that has been in effect for decades under a duly enacted federal law.”  We’ve seen how the courts have reacted to other things Trump has tried to do.  If he attempts this by executive order, we know that it will trigger an immediate injunction.  McCarthy agrees that the current understanding of birthright citizenship needs changing but says that to get through the courts, it must be done legislatively, and even then he gives it “a less than 50-50 chance.”

 

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/donald-trump-end-birthright-citizenship-by-executive-order/

 

Legal expert Jonathan Turley, in a piece for USA TODAY, notes that there are good-faith arguments on both sides of the birthright citizenship issue, and he looks forward to a clarification --- “a final and clear resolution.”  Again, it comes down to the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  It would seem this means that the amendment applies only to citizens and legal residents who are subject fully to the legal jurisdiction of the United States.

 

But when the amendment was first being debated on the floor of the Senate, there was considerable talk about what “jurisdiction” meant.  There are three possibilities; Turley’s article goes into detail.

 

Liberals are bringing up a case from 1898, The United States vs. Wong Kim Ark, in which the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that the “14th Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory...including all children here born of resident aliens.”  But the parents in that case were legal residents, who clearly were “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.  We’re talking about something else:  people here illegally or “tourists” here just long enough to give birth and collect the paperwork.

 

Turley points out that most countries, including our European allies, do not have birthright citizenship.  The most common rule is “right of blood,” not “right of the soil.”

 

As to whether or not an executive order from Trump is the best way to ignite some change, Turley agrees with McCarthy that with something this important, it would be better for Congress to do it.  “The use of an executive order rather than legislation or a constitutional amendment adds another controversial element to the combustive mix,” he says.  On the other hand, it would finally force the courts to clarify what it means to be a citizen of our country –- something of tremendous importance.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/10/30/donald-trump-birthright-citizenship-executive-order-court-14th-amendment-column/1818609002/

 

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Comments 26-50 of 65

  • steve dunklee

    10/31/2018 09:40 PM

    I forget the exact law, but it basically says if you are involved in a crime, you loose your rights. Both the mother and the Fetus are in the country illegally. Hiding your child in your womb is no different than swallowing condoms full of drugs. If a person is in the country legally and seeking citizenship and they give birth, when they become a citizen I believe their child should also become a citizen.

  • Nancy Slay

    10/31/2018 09:36 PM

    I grew up in El Paso TX in the 60s. There were always pregnant women coming across the border to have their babies. Once you allow this, the cycle will continue until someone (Trump) has the guts to take a stand.

  • Marianne Henderson

    10/31/2018 09:08 PM

    As a 69 yr old conservative Republican who has voted in every single election since I turned 21, an American citizen by birth of parents & Grandparents for generations who were American citizens also, I strongly feel that the law should be changed to be more specific & not allow foreigners to take advantage by coming here to birth their babies. No, no, no, that should not happen. The law should state that the parents also have (at least one parent) to be citizens, besides the birth being on American soil just as so many other countries laws state for their countries.

  • John Mathis

    10/31/2018 09:02 PM

    I applaud our President for taking action on the illegal birthright issue. It is about time we stop this outrageous practice in order to save our nation.

  • Bernadette Dillon

    10/31/2018 08:23 PM

    Good Evening and Happy Halloween. If you end birthright citizenship there is no reason for all these people to come here. You just cancelled their free get out of ICE jail. This will force them to come in the right way. Oh there will still be those coming here for Asylum and jobs but they will not get to stay. The laws have to be changed to say if you do not show up for your hearing you will be collected and sent home. If you come a second time we are going to tag you with tracker so we can track you to make sure you do not come back.

  • Richard Delorme

    10/31/2018 08:12 PM

    Case law is very clear that not everyone born in the USA is a citizen. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) is generally regarded as the land mark case interpreting the 14th amendment. In is very clear that the case declared that all children of legal immigrants are US citizens under the 14th amendment, but what is often forgotten is that the majority opinion the court laid out four conditions that had to be met before birthright citizenship is affirmed.
    1) One must be born in the US and not in a region under the control of a foreign occupier. The occupation issue was in reference to a situation that arose during the War of 1812, children of British officials and settlers born in Maine claimed us citizenship. The Supreme Court ruled before the 14th amendment that the children of foreign occupiers could not claim citizenship: the court reaffirmed the earlier ruling and stated that the 14th amendment did not change this earlier ruling.
    2) You must be a permanent resident during your minority. Temporary visits out of the country do not count against ones permanents residence status, but long period or residence abroad would exclude one from claiming citizenship. The court excluded the children of tourist, students and anyone who's parents resided only temporarily in the US. Wong Kim Ark had visited China to bury his grandparents when he was 17, the court ruled that this did not exclude him from claiming permanent residence. A childhood friend of my mother was born in Detroit to Canadian parents who lived in the city, but because they spend three years (out of 18) in Winsor (across the river), she did qualify as a permanent residence and had to "immigrate" from Canada.
    3) Your PARENTS must be engaged in a LAWFUL business, which is not diplomatic. Children of diplomats are obvious exclusions; but the court ruled in the 1980's that a college friend of mine was not a citizen because his Iranian parents work for a UN agency. They did not have diplomatic immunity, but were employed in diplomatic activity.
    4) You cannot have sworn allegiance to a foreign power.

  • Jerry Korba

    10/31/2018 07:55 PM

    Congress is a disappointment for the most part ineffective group of people with self interest at the top of their list. Please do not disturb them for simple illegal immigration reform so that issues of this nature would not have be talked about. No, keep the do not disturb sign on the doors so lobbyist and big business can have the congressmen and women's full attention . The finale details need to be worked out to make sure the price of labor does not go up only the cost the taxpayer pays for their medical bills. Keep the labor cost down and the taxpayer can help with government programs. As a senior with limited income why not raise my taxes so I can struggle a bit more after all at age 70 all I want to do is get another job instead of taking it easy after 50 years of greeting the sunrise. Hell no, President Trump sign the executive order and as many as U need to get the do not disturb sign off those doors!!!!!!!

  • Michael Johnson

    10/31/2018 07:53 PM

    I think it is best that President Trump do it by executive order. It will immediately be challenged by a liberal court and then be ruled on by the Supreme Court much quicker. Who cares if it’s not popular, Trump haters are going to be haters. We need this law changed NOW.

  • John Niles

    10/31/2018 07:37 PM

    Still don't see how Trump or any other President can strike out an amendment by XO. If that is the case, how about abolishing the income tax? (16th amendment)
    On a somewhat related question, the 2nd amendment reads:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    So does this mean only those members of a "well regulated militia" (which I interpret to read something like the Reserves or National Guard, can own firearms?

  • Esther Patterson

    10/31/2018 06:56 PM

    It has never made sense that simply by setting foot on American soil and delivery of a baby would confer citizenship and create the conundrum that the ”Anchor Baby” situation has brought about. Congress needs to deal with this and soon. I believe that it will simplify the immigration issues. No other country allows this overreach and we should not either.

  • Steve Scott

    10/31/2018 06:46 PM

    I agree that it's best for Congress to make the change via legislation. Problem we have now is that the Dems are in the obstruction business, and I don't think the law would pass. Let's wait for the mid-term results and see if we have enough republicans in the House and Senate to take up this business, among many others, and move our country forward.

  • mike Malloy

    10/31/2018 06:42 PM

    Mike the obvious reason why people have anchor babies is so that THEY can stay in the US with their citizen child. A law should be passed making it a crime to come here illegally and have a child to avoid removal. Those found violating the law would be offered two options: they can voluntarily return to their native countries or live in Roosevelt camps (detention centers) with their citizen child until the child is 18. At that point the parents are deported. If they choose they can make arrangements so that the child can live with a legal resident of the US. The child will be transported to school daily and at age 10 can leave the camp escorted. This would put the brakes on anchor babies.

  • Deb Lundquist

    10/31/2018 06:33 PM

    I agree that just because a baby is born here, but the parents do not reside here, the baby does not deserve citizenship. I believe that if the parents want the child to have citizenship, the parents should receive it first and should learn to speak English before they receive said citizenship. Otherwise, we are giving away our rights, which our ancestors fought so hard for, away to people who do not respect them. We are giving away our country to people who want to change and destroy it. Whether Trump does it by Executive Order and Congress catches up or not, I don't care, it just needs to stop! An amendment written to allow slaves to become citizens does not apply to today's world.

  • Antonio Fernandez

    10/31/2018 05:56 PM

    As Cuban refugee who arrived in the United States legally with my wife and child and was blessed with another child while going with the Residency and Citizenship procedures I would have to agree only if it protectes people that were in the U.S. legally.

  • Guy Hicklin

    10/31/2018 05:46 PM

    Whether or not Trump has the legal authority to do this with executive order is moot. No one else will do anything about it. His effort will at least precipitate action.

  • mike Malloy

    10/31/2018 05:39 PM

    Mike the obvious reason why people have anchor babies is so that THEY can stay in the US with their citizen child. A law should be passed making it a crime to come here illegally and have a child to avoid removal. Those found violating the law would be offered two options: they can voluntarily return to their native countries or live in Roosevelt camps (detention centers) with their citizen child until the child is 18. At that point the parents are deported. If they choose they can make arrangements so that the child can live with a legal resident of the US. The child will be transported to school daily and at age 10 can leave the camp escorted. This would put the brakes on anchor babies.

  • Most Rev. Archbishop Gregori

    10/31/2018 05:09 PM

    Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says, in part:
    “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 main purpose of Section 1 was to extend citizenship to freed slaves.
    This Section does not provide that illegals who invade our Country and give birth to a baby here are automatically the parents of a US citizen.
    The key words are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”: An illegal alien who invades our Country is in the same status as the children of foreign diplomats who are born on American soil, that child, though born in the U.S are NOT granted U.S. birthright citizenship because they are “subject to the jurisdiction” of their parent's home country. Likewise, the children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant (alien) are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the home country their parents left.
    So the 14th Amendment does NOT confer citizenship on babies of illegals born here – just as it does not confer citizenship on the babies of foreign diplomats stationed here.
    Pursuant to Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 4, US Constitution, Congress may make laws deciding how people become naturalized citizens.
    But Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship status on babies born here of illegal aliens.

  • Dennis Woodman

    10/31/2018 05:04 PM

    Re: Birthright
    My mother and her five brothers became citizens by way of birthright. Both parents were immigrants and neither achieved citizenship. Her father was born in Japan and Congress denied citizenship to him. Her mother was unable to demonstrate reading and writing proficiency in English, which was required then (still now?). Her mother was subjected to a deportation hearing during WWII, as an Austrian national. Had not her 5 sons all been in the military and she was vouched for by her civics teacher, my parents would have never met. While kids of illegals or those born in transient birthing centers are not as compelling, to reverse this practice takes us far from what our country should stand for.

  • Carol Lee Pattridge

    10/31/2018 05:00 PM

    These are the words to a song sung by Gene Autry in his movie Bells of Capistrano in 1942 I think they fit our world today.
    Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You

    Last night, as I lay a sleeping,
    A wonderful dream came to me.
    I saw Uncle Sammy weeping
    For his children from over the sea;
    They had come to him, friendless and starving,
    When from tyrant's oppression they fled,
    But now they abuse and revile him,
    Till at last in just anger he said:
    If you don't like your Uncle Sammy,
    Then go back to your home o'er the sea,
    To the land from where you came,
    Whatever be its name,
    But don't be ungrateful to me!
    If you don't like the stars in Old Glory,
    If you don't like the Red, White and Blue,
    Then don't act like the cur in the story,
    Don't bite the hand that's feeding you!
    You recall the day you landed,
    How I welcomed you to my shore?
    When you came here empty handed,
    And allegiance forever you swore?
    I gathered you close to my bosom,
    Of food and of clothes you got both,
    So, when in trouble, I need you,
    You will have to remember your oath:
    If you don't like your Uncle Sammy,
    Then go back to your home o'er the sea,
    To the land from where you came,
    Whatever be its name,
    But don't be ungrateful to me!
    If you don't like the stars in Old Glory,
    If you don't like the Red, White and Blue,
    Then don't act like the cur in the story,
    Don't bite the hand that's feeding you!

  • Terry VanHouten

    10/31/2018 04:23 PM

    The illustration of an American couple traveling in France and happening to be there at the time of the birth of their child does not make that child a French citizen is as clear as it can be. Being "under the jurisdiction" would only apply to citizens of that country where you are a legal citizen. If nothing else at least the law needs to be applied to those children born here after a certain specified date to illegals and possibly grandfather those born here prior to that date? The change does not necessarily need to be applied retroactively as to deport those already accepted as legal citizens. The idea is to fix a problem going forward. We cannot un-abort all the innocent lives that have been lost in this country but we can make a change so that it doesn't continue.

  • Elizabeth Slack

    10/31/2018 04:16 PM

    Dear Mike,

    What is at stake is the value of the vote.

    My parents fled from Hungary at the time of the Nazi occupation. We were among the sea of refugees. We lived in Pakistan during the years of waiting for immigration into the United States or Canada. Canada accepted my parents first. Later, I immigrated to the United States. I weep every time I consider the American blood which was shed for my freedom.

    I value my vote as sacred. Is my vote protected by the equal protection clause?

    Sincerely,

    Elizabeth Slack

  • Rosalie Gilliland

    10/31/2018 04:06 PM

    This issue is a quagmire. The 14th Amendment has been abused to the point that unlawful use of the Amendment has become the norm. But if President Trump were to attempt to alter it via executive order, I fear the pushback from the left would result in rioting and injury all across the country. It's infuriating that millions of people who have no right to be here - except by distorting our laws, are taking jobs needed by citizens, and costing taxpayers billions in govt issued benefits. Something has to change, but I really fear for our President if he tries to shut down this free ride.

  • Bill Nailor

    10/31/2018 03:54 PM

    Mike,
    I've been getting your Newsletter via email for several months and I have to ask why you include obnoxious photos that seem to have no bearing on the topic you are presenting. Why do you include these in your messages? Here is an example that I've copied and pasted into this comment.... Well, it appears that they are links to ads for various "health" products that the web developer is smart enough to not allow them to be copied and pasted. And I imagine that they are smart enough to know if I was to try to forward it back to you as an example so they can block you from receiving it. The pictures border on being pornographic! I am sure you don't know that they are being sent out and I even more sure that you don't want them sent out. You need to have a friend in another state setup receiving your news letters so he can verify what I am seeing. As I said I know that you don't want this stuff on your newsletter or on your website.
    Much Love in Christ,
    Bill Nailor

  • Linda Pratt

    10/31/2018 03:36 PM

    Why are liberals so quick to fight against repairing our immigration system? Do they really think the borders should be open without consequence? And why can't birthright citizenship stop on the day the executive order is made and the ink dries? This one area will solve a lot of problems with our system. If you can't gain citizenship by just being born here you can't expect all the benefits of the citizens of this nation through your children. The incentives for staying here illegally are waning. Maybe Congress will step up and do their job if they think president Trump will issue an executive order or perhaps this will solve a problem Congress doesn't want to mess with. Isn't this why former president Obama was able to give us DACA? President Trump should go for a compromise: Dreamers up till December 31, 2018 get citizenship in exchange for discontinuing birthright citizenship starting January 1, 2019.

  • Dan Lach

    10/31/2018 03:35 PM

    Dear Mike,
    As always, your analysis is useful to understanding what is really going on.
    The 14th Amendment was never intended to confer birth right citizenship the way it was abused today.
    I think the President should immediately write the executive order AND get Congress to get off their dead political elite worthless butts and resolve this problem once and for all. This issue is one of the key magnets for illegal aliens to enter the country illegally cause once they get the baby citizenship then the chain follows. This is wrong and circumvents, totally, the lawful immigration process.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:  “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.”

 

Seems simple enough.  Most Americans, upon reading this amendment, no doubt assume that it implies “birthright citizenship,” the tradition we’ve had that simply being born in this country automatically makes one a citizen, case closed.  Most of us don’t know the larger historical context and reasoning associated with its creation and also wrongly assume that most other nations deal with citizenship in just this way.  President Trump’s readiness to look at the issue of birthright citizenship in light of its flagrant abuse is a good thing –- it is not about race –- and we should examine it ourselves with the help of some of our favorite legal minds, who turn out to be of very similar mindset here.


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This affects the status of about 300,000 children born here every year.  Before we get started, it seems to me that there are actually two questions before us.  First, was the amendment really intended to cover everyone who is born here, under every circumstance, as it’s being interpreted in practice today?  And, second, if it’s being wrongly interpreted, is it advisable for President Trump to correct this by executive order so that people here illegally and those who come here just to give birth cannot get citizenship for their children this way?

 

Fortunately, the 14th Amendment has quite a rich backstory, coming as it did in the days of Reconstruction after the Civil War, when the question was, “How do we make citizens of former slaves?”  To greatly condense this history lesson, the 13th Amendment freed the slaves; the 14th Amendment made them U.S. citizens.  Little did legislators in the 1860s think that in another century and a half, just because of the 14th Amendment, pregnant Chinese and Russian women would be hopping planes to come to America and have their babies here, just for the birth certificate.  (Especially the part about the planes, but I digress.)  It seems obvious that they’d be saying, “No, no!  That’s not what we meant at all!”

 

So, was the amendment intended to grant citizenship to all who are fortunate enough to be born here?  The one little part that’s open to interpretation is the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  Law professor John Eastman said in a New York Times op-ed in 2015 that this phrase was understood at the time of adoption to mean “not owing allegiance to any other sovereign.”  Former slaves had lived their entire lives in America and did not owe allegiance to another nation.  To cite a modern example, if the child of an American couple is born in France, the baby is still an American citizen.  Conversely, a child born in America to foreign diplomats is not an American citizen.


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Would modern courts interpret the word “jurisdiction” the way the originators of the amendment intended?  As Andrew C. McCarthy says in NATIONAL REVIEW, the context now is so different and the issue of immigration so politicized that it’s easy to imagine the courts taking a whole different route with the term “jurisdiction.”  (Note:  this is why it’s so important to have constructionist judges.)  But even assuming that the amendment wasn’t intended to grant birthright citizenship, is our practice of granting it merely an “executive policy” that the President has the power to change by executive order?  McCarthy says he doesn’t think so.

 

The problem is, in 1952, Congress enacted a statute, Section 1401 of the immigration and naturalization code (Title 8, U.S. Code), that codifies the amendment, using that same word, “jurisdiction.”  Thus, the courts of today could choose to focus more on what the word meant in 1952.  And why did Congress even pass this law, given that they didn’t need to because there was already a constitutional amendment stating the same thing?  McCarthy sees it as “a strong expression of Congress’ intent to exercise its constitutional authority to set the terms of citizenship.”   And if Congress thought that its law was inconsistent with the practice of conferring birthright citizenship, it could have amended the law at some point, but it never has.

 

The President can always go ahead and interpret “jurisdiction” the way he wants and wait for the chance that Congress or the courts would say otherwise.  His lawyers may have advised him as much.  But McCarthy believes that “the President may not unilaterally change an understanding of the law that has been in effect for decades under a duly enacted federal law.”  We’ve seen how the courts have reacted to other things Trump has tried to do.  If he attempts this by executive order, we know that it will trigger an immediate injunction.  McCarthy agrees that the current understanding of birthright citizenship needs changing but says that to get through the courts, it must be done legislatively, and even then he gives it “a less than 50-50 chance.”

 

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/donald-trump-end-birthright-citizenship-by-executive-order/

 

Legal expert Jonathan Turley, in a piece for USA TODAY, notes that there are good-faith arguments on both sides of the birthright citizenship issue, and he looks forward to a clarification --- “a final and clear resolution.”  Again, it comes down to the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  It would seem this means that the amendment applies only to citizens and legal residents who are subject fully to the legal jurisdiction of the United States.

 

But when the amendment was first being debated on the floor of the Senate, there was considerable talk about what “jurisdiction” meant.  There are three possibilities; Turley’s article goes into detail.

 

Liberals are bringing up a case from 1898, The United States vs. Wong Kim Ark, in which the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that the “14th Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory...including all children here born of resident aliens.”  But the parents in that case were legal residents, who clearly were “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.  We’re talking about something else:  people here illegally or “tourists” here just long enough to give birth and collect the paperwork.

 

Turley points out that most countries, including our European allies, do not have birthright citizenship.  The most common rule is “right of blood,” not “right of the soil.”

 

As to whether or not an executive order from Trump is the best way to ignite some change, Turley agrees with McCarthy that with something this important, it would be better for Congress to do it.  “The use of an executive order rather than legislation or a constitutional amendment adds another controversial element to the combustive mix,” he says.  On the other hand, it would finally force the courts to clarify what it means to be a citizen of our country –- something of tremendous importance.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/10/30/donald-trump-birthright-citizenship-executive-order-court-14th-amendment-column/1818609002/

 

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Schiff can't keep hiding Ciaramella and the coup

The fight over "crying baby Trump"

The fight over "crying baby Trump"

Schiff can't keep hiding Ciaramella and the coup

Comments 26-50 of 65

  • steve dunklee

    10/31/2018 09:40 PM

    I forget the exact law, but it basically says if you are involved in a crime, you loose your rights. Both the mother and the Fetus are in the country illegally. Hiding your child in your womb is no different than swallowing condoms full of drugs. If a person is in the country legally and seeking citizenship and they give birth, when they become a citizen I believe their child should also become a citizen.

  • Nancy Slay

    10/31/2018 09:36 PM

    I grew up in El Paso TX in the 60s. There were always pregnant women coming across the border to have their babies. Once you allow this, the cycle will continue until someone (Trump) has the guts to take a stand.

  • Marianne Henderson

    10/31/2018 09:08 PM

    As a 69 yr old conservative Republican who has voted in every single election since I turned 21, an American citizen by birth of parents & Grandparents for generations who were American citizens also, I strongly feel that the law should be changed to be more specific & not allow foreigners to take advantage by coming here to birth their babies. No, no, no, that should not happen. The law should state that the parents also have (at least one parent) to be citizens, besides the birth being on American soil just as so many other countries laws state for their countries.

  • John Mathis

    10/31/2018 09:02 PM

    I applaud our President for taking action on the illegal birthright issue. It is about time we stop this outrageous practice in order to save our nation.

  • Bernadette Dillon

    10/31/2018 08:23 PM

    Good Evening and Happy Halloween. If you end birthright citizenship there is no reason for all these people to come here. You just cancelled their free get out of ICE jail. This will force them to come in the right way. Oh there will still be those coming here for Asylum and jobs but they will not get to stay. The laws have to be changed to say if you do not show up for your hearing you will be collected and sent home. If you come a second time we are going to tag you with tracker so we can track you to make sure you do not come back.

  • Richard Delorme

    10/31/2018 08:12 PM

    Case law is very clear that not everyone born in the USA is a citizen. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) is generally regarded as the land mark case interpreting the 14th amendment. In is very clear that the case declared that all children of legal immigrants are US citizens under the 14th amendment, but what is often forgotten is that the majority opinion the court laid out four conditions that had to be met before birthright citizenship is affirmed.
    1) One must be born in the US and not in a region under the control of a foreign occupier. The occupation issue was in reference to a situation that arose during the War of 1812, children of British officials and settlers born in Maine claimed us citizenship. The Supreme Court ruled before the 14th amendment that the children of foreign occupiers could not claim citizenship: the court reaffirmed the earlier ruling and stated that the 14th amendment did not change this earlier ruling.
    2) You must be a permanent resident during your minority. Temporary visits out of the country do not count against ones permanents residence status, but long period or residence abroad would exclude one from claiming citizenship. The court excluded the children of tourist, students and anyone who's parents resided only temporarily in the US. Wong Kim Ark had visited China to bury his grandparents when he was 17, the court ruled that this did not exclude him from claiming permanent residence. A childhood friend of my mother was born in Detroit to Canadian parents who lived in the city, but because they spend three years (out of 18) in Winsor (across the river), she did qualify as a permanent residence and had to "immigrate" from Canada.
    3) Your PARENTS must be engaged in a LAWFUL business, which is not diplomatic. Children of diplomats are obvious exclusions; but the court ruled in the 1980's that a college friend of mine was not a citizen because his Iranian parents work for a UN agency. They did not have diplomatic immunity, but were employed in diplomatic activity.
    4) You cannot have sworn allegiance to a foreign power.

  • Jerry Korba

    10/31/2018 07:55 PM

    Congress is a disappointment for the most part ineffective group of people with self interest at the top of their list. Please do not disturb them for simple illegal immigration reform so that issues of this nature would not have be talked about. No, keep the do not disturb sign on the doors so lobbyist and big business can have the congressmen and women's full attention . The finale details need to be worked out to make sure the price of labor does not go up only the cost the taxpayer pays for their medical bills. Keep the labor cost down and the taxpayer can help with government programs. As a senior with limited income why not raise my taxes so I can struggle a bit more after all at age 70 all I want to do is get another job instead of taking it easy after 50 years of greeting the sunrise. Hell no, President Trump sign the executive order and as many as U need to get the do not disturb sign off those doors!!!!!!!

  • Michael Johnson

    10/31/2018 07:53 PM

    I think it is best that President Trump do it by executive order. It will immediately be challenged by a liberal court and then be ruled on by the Supreme Court much quicker. Who cares if it’s not popular, Trump haters are going to be haters. We need this law changed NOW.

  • John Niles

    10/31/2018 07:37 PM

    Still don't see how Trump or any other President can strike out an amendment by XO. If that is the case, how about abolishing the income tax? (16th amendment)
    On a somewhat related question, the 2nd amendment reads:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    So does this mean only those members of a "well regulated militia" (which I interpret to read something like the Reserves or National Guard, can own firearms?

  • Esther Patterson

    10/31/2018 06:56 PM

    It has never made sense that simply by setting foot on American soil and delivery of a baby would confer citizenship and create the conundrum that the ”Anchor Baby” situation has brought about. Congress needs to deal with this and soon. I believe that it will simplify the immigration issues. No other country allows this overreach and we should not either.

  • Steve Scott

    10/31/2018 06:46 PM

    I agree that it's best for Congress to make the change via legislation. Problem we have now is that the Dems are in the obstruction business, and I don't think the law would pass. Let's wait for the mid-term results and see if we have enough republicans in the House and Senate to take up this business, among many others, and move our country forward.

  • mike Malloy

    10/31/2018 06:42 PM

    Mike the obvious reason why people have anchor babies is so that THEY can stay in the US with their citizen child. A law should be passed making it a crime to come here illegally and have a child to avoid removal. Those found violating the law would be offered two options: they can voluntarily return to their native countries or live in Roosevelt camps (detention centers) with their citizen child until the child is 18. At that point the parents are deported. If they choose they can make arrangements so that the child can live with a legal resident of the US. The child will be transported to school daily and at age 10 can leave the camp escorted. This would put the brakes on anchor babies.

  • Deb Lundquist

    10/31/2018 06:33 PM

    I agree that just because a baby is born here, but the parents do not reside here, the baby does not deserve citizenship. I believe that if the parents want the child to have citizenship, the parents should receive it first and should learn to speak English before they receive said citizenship. Otherwise, we are giving away our rights, which our ancestors fought so hard for, away to people who do not respect them. We are giving away our country to people who want to change and destroy it. Whether Trump does it by Executive Order and Congress catches up or not, I don't care, it just needs to stop! An amendment written to allow slaves to become citizens does not apply to today's world.

  • Antonio Fernandez

    10/31/2018 05:56 PM

    As Cuban refugee who arrived in the United States legally with my wife and child and was blessed with another child while going with the Residency and Citizenship procedures I would have to agree only if it protectes people that were in the U.S. legally.

  • Guy Hicklin

    10/31/2018 05:46 PM

    Whether or not Trump has the legal authority to do this with executive order is moot. No one else will do anything about it. His effort will at least precipitate action.

  • mike Malloy

    10/31/2018 05:39 PM

    Mike the obvious reason why people have anchor babies is so that THEY can stay in the US with their citizen child. A law should be passed making it a crime to come here illegally and have a child to avoid removal. Those found violating the law would be offered two options: they can voluntarily return to their native countries or live in Roosevelt camps (detention centers) with their citizen child until the child is 18. At that point the parents are deported. If they choose they can make arrangements so that the child can live with a legal resident of the US. The child will be transported to school daily and at age 10 can leave the camp escorted. This would put the brakes on anchor babies.

  • Most Rev. Archbishop Gregori

    10/31/2018 05:09 PM

    Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says, in part:
    “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 main purpose of Section 1 was to extend citizenship to freed slaves.
    This Section does not provide that illegals who invade our Country and give birth to a baby here are automatically the parents of a US citizen.
    The key words are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”: An illegal alien who invades our Country is in the same status as the children of foreign diplomats who are born on American soil, that child, though born in the U.S are NOT granted U.S. birthright citizenship because they are “subject to the jurisdiction” of their parent's home country. Likewise, the children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant (alien) are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the home country their parents left.
    So the 14th Amendment does NOT confer citizenship on babies of illegals born here – just as it does not confer citizenship on the babies of foreign diplomats stationed here.
    Pursuant to Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 4, US Constitution, Congress may make laws deciding how people become naturalized citizens.
    But Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship status on babies born here of illegal aliens.

  • Dennis Woodman

    10/31/2018 05:04 PM

    Re: Birthright
    My mother and her five brothers became citizens by way of birthright. Both parents were immigrants and neither achieved citizenship. Her father was born in Japan and Congress denied citizenship to him. Her mother was unable to demonstrate reading and writing proficiency in English, which was required then (still now?). Her mother was subjected to a deportation hearing during WWII, as an Austrian national. Had not her 5 sons all been in the military and she was vouched for by her civics teacher, my parents would have never met. While kids of illegals or those born in transient birthing centers are not as compelling, to reverse this practice takes us far from what our country should stand for.

  • Carol Lee Pattridge

    10/31/2018 05:00 PM

    These are the words to a song sung by Gene Autry in his movie Bells of Capistrano in 1942 I think they fit our world today.
    Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You

    Last night, as I lay a sleeping,
    A wonderful dream came to me.
    I saw Uncle Sammy weeping
    For his children from over the sea;
    They had come to him, friendless and starving,
    When from tyrant's oppression they fled,
    But now they abuse and revile him,
    Till at last in just anger he said:
    If you don't like your Uncle Sammy,
    Then go back to your home o'er the sea,
    To the land from where you came,
    Whatever be its name,
    But don't be ungrateful to me!
    If you don't like the stars in Old Glory,
    If you don't like the Red, White and Blue,
    Then don't act like the cur in the story,
    Don't bite the hand that's feeding you!
    You recall the day you landed,
    How I welcomed you to my shore?
    When you came here empty handed,
    And allegiance forever you swore?
    I gathered you close to my bosom,
    Of food and of clothes you got both,
    So, when in trouble, I need you,
    You will have to remember your oath:
    If you don't like your Uncle Sammy,
    Then go back to your home o'er the sea,
    To the land from where you came,
    Whatever be its name,
    But don't be ungrateful to me!
    If you don't like the stars in Old Glory,
    If you don't like the Red, White and Blue,
    Then don't act like the cur in the story,
    Don't bite the hand that's feeding you!

  • Terry VanHouten

    10/31/2018 04:23 PM

    The illustration of an American couple traveling in France and happening to be there at the time of the birth of their child does not make that child a French citizen is as clear as it can be. Being "under the jurisdiction" would only apply to citizens of that country where you are a legal citizen. If nothing else at least the law needs to be applied to those children born here after a certain specified date to illegals and possibly grandfather those born here prior to that date? The change does not necessarily need to be applied retroactively as to deport those already accepted as legal citizens. The idea is to fix a problem going forward. We cannot un-abort all the innocent lives that have been lost in this country but we can make a change so that it doesn't continue.

  • Elizabeth Slack

    10/31/2018 04:16 PM

    Dear Mike,

    What is at stake is the value of the vote.

    My parents fled from Hungary at the time of the Nazi occupation. We were among the sea of refugees. We lived in Pakistan during the years of waiting for immigration into the United States or Canada. Canada accepted my parents first. Later, I immigrated to the United States. I weep every time I consider the American blood which was shed for my freedom.

    I value my vote as sacred. Is my vote protected by the equal protection clause?

    Sincerely,

    Elizabeth Slack

  • Rosalie Gilliland

    10/31/2018 04:06 PM

    This issue is a quagmire. The 14th Amendment has been abused to the point that unlawful use of the Amendment has become the norm. But if President Trump were to attempt to alter it via executive order, I fear the pushback from the left would result in rioting and injury all across the country. It's infuriating that millions of people who have no right to be here - except by distorting our laws, are taking jobs needed by citizens, and costing taxpayers billions in govt issued benefits. Something has to change, but I really fear for our President if he tries to shut down this free ride.

  • Bill Nailor

    10/31/2018 03:54 PM

    Mike,
    I've been getting your Newsletter via email for several months and I have to ask why you include obnoxious photos that seem to have no bearing on the topic you are presenting. Why do you include these in your messages? Here is an example that I've copied and pasted into this comment.... Well, it appears that they are links to ads for various "health" products that the web developer is smart enough to not allow them to be copied and pasted. And I imagine that they are smart enough to know if I was to try to forward it back to you as an example so they can block you from receiving it. The pictures border on being pornographic! I am sure you don't know that they are being sent out and I even more sure that you don't want them sent out. You need to have a friend in another state setup receiving your news letters so he can verify what I am seeing. As I said I know that you don't want this stuff on your newsletter or on your website.
    Much Love in Christ,
    Bill Nailor

  • Linda Pratt

    10/31/2018 03:36 PM

    Why are liberals so quick to fight against repairing our immigration system? Do they really think the borders should be open without consequence? And why can't birthright citizenship stop on the day the executive order is made and the ink dries? This one area will solve a lot of problems with our system. If you can't gain citizenship by just being born here you can't expect all the benefits of the citizens of this nation through your children. The incentives for staying here illegally are waning. Maybe Congress will step up and do their job if they think president Trump will issue an executive order or perhaps this will solve a problem Congress doesn't want to mess with. Isn't this why former president Obama was able to give us DACA? President Trump should go for a compromise: Dreamers up till December 31, 2018 get citizenship in exchange for discontinuing birthright citizenship starting January 1, 2019.

  • Dan Lach

    10/31/2018 03:35 PM

    Dear Mike,
    As always, your analysis is useful to understanding what is really going on.
    The 14th Amendment was never intended to confer birth right citizenship the way it was abused today.
    I think the President should immediately write the executive order AND get Congress to get off their dead political elite worthless butts and resolve this problem once and for all. This issue is one of the key magnets for illegal aliens to enter the country illegally cause once they get the baby citizenship then the chain follows. This is wrong and circumvents, totally, the lawful immigration process.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:  “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.”

 

Seems simple enough.  Most Americans, upon reading this amendment, no doubt assume that it implies “birthright citizenship,” the tradition we’ve had that simply being born in this country automatically makes one a citizen, case closed.  Most of us don’t know the larger historical context and reasoning associated with its creation and also wrongly assume that most other nations deal with citizenship in just this way.  President Trump’s readiness to look at the issue of birthright citizenship in light of its flagrant abuse is a good thing –- it is not about race –- and we should examine it ourselves with the help of some of our favorite legal minds, who turn out to be of very similar mindset here.


Commentary continues below advertisement


This affects the status of about 300,000 children born here every year.  Before we get started, it seems to me that there are actually two questions before us.  First, was the amendment really intended to cover everyone who is born here, under every circumstance, as it’s being interpreted in practice today?  And, second, if it’s being wrongly interpreted, is it advisable for President Trump to correct this by executive order so that people here illegally and those who come here just to give birth cannot get citizenship for their children this way?

 

Fortunately, the 14th Amendment has quite a rich backstory, coming as it did in the days of Reconstruction after the Civil War, when the question was, “How do we make citizens of former slaves?”  To greatly condense this history lesson, the 13th Amendment freed the slaves; the 14th Amendment made them U.S. citizens.  Little did legislators in the 1860s think that in another century and a half, just because of the 14th Amendment, pregnant Chinese and Russian women would be hopping planes to come to America and have their babies here, just for the birth certificate.  (Especially the part about the planes, but I digress.)  It seems obvious that they’d be saying, “No, no!  That’s not what we meant at all!”

 

So, was the amendment intended to grant citizenship to all who are fortunate enough to be born here?  The one little part that’s open to interpretation is the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  Law professor John Eastman said in a New York Times op-ed in 2015 that this phrase was understood at the time of adoption to mean “not owing allegiance to any other sovereign.”  Former slaves had lived their entire lives in America and did not owe allegiance to another nation.  To cite a modern example, if the child of an American couple is born in France, the baby is still an American citizen.  Conversely, a child born in America to foreign diplomats is not an American citizen.


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Would modern courts interpret the word “jurisdiction” the way the originators of the amendment intended?  As Andrew C. McCarthy says in NATIONAL REVIEW, the context now is so different and the issue of immigration so politicized that it’s easy to imagine the courts taking a whole different route with the term “jurisdiction.”  (Note:  this is why it’s so important to have constructionist judges.)  But even assuming that the amendment wasn’t intended to grant birthright citizenship, is our practice of granting it merely an “executive policy” that the President has the power to change by executive order?  McCarthy says he doesn’t think so.

 

The problem is, in 1952, Congress enacted a statute, Section 1401 of the immigration and naturalization code (Title 8, U.S. Code), that codifies the amendment, using that same word, “jurisdiction.”  Thus, the courts of today could choose to focus more on what the word meant in 1952.  And why did Congress even pass this law, given that they didn’t need to because there was already a constitutional amendment stating the same thing?  McCarthy sees it as “a strong expression of Congress’ intent to exercise its constitutional authority to set the terms of citizenship.”   And if Congress thought that its law was inconsistent with the practice of conferring birthright citizenship, it could have amended the law at some point, but it never has.

 

The President can always go ahead and interpret “jurisdiction” the way he wants and wait for the chance that Congress or the courts would say otherwise.  His lawyers may have advised him as much.  But McCarthy believes that “the President may not unilaterally change an understanding of the law that has been in effect for decades under a duly enacted federal law.”  We’ve seen how the courts have reacted to other things Trump has tried to do.  If he attempts this by executive order, we know that it will trigger an immediate injunction.  McCarthy agrees that the current understanding of birthright citizenship needs changing but says that to get through the courts, it must be done legislatively, and even then he gives it “a less than 50-50 chance.”

 

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/donald-trump-end-birthright-citizenship-by-executive-order/

 

Legal expert Jonathan Turley, in a piece for USA TODAY, notes that there are good-faith arguments on both sides of the birthright citizenship issue, and he looks forward to a clarification --- “a final and clear resolution.”  Again, it comes down to the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  It would seem this means that the amendment applies only to citizens and legal residents who are subject fully to the legal jurisdiction of the United States.

 

But when the amendment was first being debated on the floor of the Senate, there was considerable talk about what “jurisdiction” meant.  There are three possibilities; Turley’s article goes into detail.

 

Liberals are bringing up a case from 1898, The United States vs. Wong Kim Ark, in which the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that the “14th Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory...including all children here born of resident aliens.”  But the parents in that case were legal residents, who clearly were “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.  We’re talking about something else:  people here illegally or “tourists” here just long enough to give birth and collect the paperwork.

 

Turley points out that most countries, including our European allies, do not have birthright citizenship.  The most common rule is “right of blood,” not “right of the soil.”

 

As to whether or not an executive order from Trump is the best way to ignite some change, Turley agrees with McCarthy that with something this important, it would be better for Congress to do it.  “The use of an executive order rather than legislation or a constitutional amendment adds another controversial element to the combustive mix,” he says.  On the other hand, it would finally force the courts to clarify what it means to be a citizen of our country –- something of tremendous importance.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/10/30/donald-trump-birthright-citizenship-executive-order-court-14th-amendment-column/1818609002/

 

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Comments 26-50 of 65

  • steve dunklee

    10/31/2018 09:40 PM

    I forget the exact law, but it basically says if you are involved in a crime, you loose your rights. Both the mother and the Fetus are in the country illegally. Hiding your child in your womb is no different than swallowing condoms full of drugs. If a person is in the country legally and seeking citizenship and they give birth, when they become a citizen I believe their child should also become a citizen.

  • Nancy Slay

    10/31/2018 09:36 PM

    I grew up in El Paso TX in the 60s. There were always pregnant women coming across the border to have their babies. Once you allow this, the cycle will continue until someone (Trump) has the guts to take a stand.

  • Marianne Henderson

    10/31/2018 09:08 PM

    As a 69 yr old conservative Republican who has voted in every single election since I turned 21, an American citizen by birth of parents & Grandparents for generations who were American citizens also, I strongly feel that the law should be changed to be more specific & not allow foreigners to take advantage by coming here to birth their babies. No, no, no, that should not happen. The law should state that the parents also have (at least one parent) to be citizens, besides the birth being on American soil just as so many other countries laws state for their countries.

  • John Mathis

    10/31/2018 09:02 PM

    I applaud our President for taking action on the illegal birthright issue. It is about time we stop this outrageous practice in order to save our nation.

  • Bernadette Dillon

    10/31/2018 08:23 PM

    Good Evening and Happy Halloween. If you end birthright citizenship there is no reason for all these people to come here. You just cancelled their free get out of ICE jail. This will force them to come in the right way. Oh there will still be those coming here for Asylum and jobs but they will not get to stay. The laws have to be changed to say if you do not show up for your hearing you will be collected and sent home. If you come a second time we are going to tag you with tracker so we can track you to make sure you do not come back.

  • Richard Delorme

    10/31/2018 08:12 PM

    Case law is very clear that not everyone born in the USA is a citizen. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) is generally regarded as the land mark case interpreting the 14th amendment. In is very clear that the case declared that all children of legal immigrants are US citizens under the 14th amendment, but what is often forgotten is that the majority opinion the court laid out four conditions that had to be met before birthright citizenship is affirmed.
    1) One must be born in the US and not in a region under the control of a foreign occupier. The occupation issue was in reference to a situation that arose during the War of 1812, children of British officials and settlers born in Maine claimed us citizenship. The Supreme Court ruled before the 14th amendment that the children of foreign occupiers could not claim citizenship: the court reaffirmed the earlier ruling and stated that the 14th amendment did not change this earlier ruling.
    2) You must be a permanent resident during your minority. Temporary visits out of the country do not count against ones permanents residence status, but long period or residence abroad would exclude one from claiming citizenship. The court excluded the children of tourist, students and anyone who's parents resided only temporarily in the US. Wong Kim Ark had visited China to bury his grandparents when he was 17, the court ruled that this did not exclude him from claiming permanent residence. A childhood friend of my mother was born in Detroit to Canadian parents who lived in the city, but because they spend three years (out of 18) in Winsor (across the river), she did qualify as a permanent residence and had to "immigrate" from Canada.
    3) Your PARENTS must be engaged in a LAWFUL business, which is not diplomatic. Children of diplomats are obvious exclusions; but the court ruled in the 1980's that a college friend of mine was not a citizen because his Iranian parents work for a UN agency. They did not have diplomatic immunity, but were employed in diplomatic activity.
    4) You cannot have sworn allegiance to a foreign power.

  • Jerry Korba

    10/31/2018 07:55 PM

    Congress is a disappointment for the most part ineffective group of people with self interest at the top of their list. Please do not disturb them for simple illegal immigration reform so that issues of this nature would not have be talked about. No, keep the do not disturb sign on the doors so lobbyist and big business can have the congressmen and women's full attention . The finale details need to be worked out to make sure the price of labor does not go up only the cost the taxpayer pays for their medical bills. Keep the labor cost down and the taxpayer can help with government programs. As a senior with limited income why not raise my taxes so I can struggle a bit more after all at age 70 all I want to do is get another job instead of taking it easy after 50 years of greeting the sunrise. Hell no, President Trump sign the executive order and as many as U need to get the do not disturb sign off those doors!!!!!!!

  • Michael Johnson

    10/31/2018 07:53 PM

    I think it is best that President Trump do it by executive order. It will immediately be challenged by a liberal court and then be ruled on by the Supreme Court much quicker. Who cares if it’s not popular, Trump haters are going to be haters. We need this law changed NOW.

  • John Niles

    10/31/2018 07:37 PM

    Still don't see how Trump or any other President can strike out an amendment by XO. If that is the case, how about abolishing the income tax? (16th amendment)
    On a somewhat related question, the 2nd amendment reads:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    So does this mean only those members of a "well regulated militia" (which I interpret to read something like the Reserves or National Guard, can own firearms?

  • Esther Patterson

    10/31/2018 06:56 PM

    It has never made sense that simply by setting foot on American soil and delivery of a baby would confer citizenship and create the conundrum that the ”Anchor Baby” situation has brought about. Congress needs to deal with this and soon. I believe that it will simplify the immigration issues. No other country allows this overreach and we should not either.

  • Steve Scott

    10/31/2018 06:46 PM

    I agree that it's best for Congress to make the change via legislation. Problem we have now is that the Dems are in the obstruction business, and I don't think the law would pass. Let's wait for the mid-term results and see if we have enough republicans in the House and Senate to take up this business, among many others, and move our country forward.

  • mike Malloy

    10/31/2018 06:42 PM

    Mike the obvious reason why people have anchor babies is so that THEY can stay in the US with their citizen child. A law should be passed making it a crime to come here illegally and have a child to avoid removal. Those found violating the law would be offered two options: they can voluntarily return to their native countries or live in Roosevelt camps (detention centers) with their citizen child until the child is 18. At that point the parents are deported. If they choose they can make arrangements so that the child can live with a legal resident of the US. The child will be transported to school daily and at age 10 can leave the camp escorted. This would put the brakes on anchor babies.

  • Deb Lundquist

    10/31/2018 06:33 PM

    I agree that just because a baby is born here, but the parents do not reside here, the baby does not deserve citizenship. I believe that if the parents want the child to have citizenship, the parents should receive it first and should learn to speak English before they receive said citizenship. Otherwise, we are giving away our rights, which our ancestors fought so hard for, away to people who do not respect them. We are giving away our country to people who want to change and destroy it. Whether Trump does it by Executive Order and Congress catches up or not, I don't care, it just needs to stop! An amendment written to allow slaves to become citizens does not apply to today's world.

  • Antonio Fernandez

    10/31/2018 05:56 PM

    As Cuban refugee who arrived in the United States legally with my wife and child and was blessed with another child while going with the Residency and Citizenship procedures I would have to agree only if it protectes people that were in the U.S. legally.

  • Guy Hicklin

    10/31/2018 05:46 PM

    Whether or not Trump has the legal authority to do this with executive order is moot. No one else will do anything about it. His effort will at least precipitate action.

  • mike Malloy

    10/31/2018 05:39 PM

    Mike the obvious reason why people have anchor babies is so that THEY can stay in the US with their citizen child. A law should be passed making it a crime to come here illegally and have a child to avoid removal. Those found violating the law would be offered two options: they can voluntarily return to their native countries or live in Roosevelt camps (detention centers) with their citizen child until the child is 18. At that point the parents are deported. If they choose they can make arrangements so that the child can live with a legal resident of the US. The child will be transported to school daily and at age 10 can leave the camp escorted. This would put the brakes on anchor babies.

  • Most Rev. Archbishop Gregori

    10/31/2018 05:09 PM

    Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says, in part:
    “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 main purpose of Section 1 was to extend citizenship to freed slaves.
    This Section does not provide that illegals who invade our Country and give birth to a baby here are automatically the parents of a US citizen.
    The key words are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”: An illegal alien who invades our Country is in the same status as the children of foreign diplomats who are born on American soil, that child, though born in the U.S are NOT granted U.S. birthright citizenship because they are “subject to the jurisdiction” of their parent's home country. Likewise, the children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant (alien) are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the home country their parents left.
    So the 14th Amendment does NOT confer citizenship on babies of illegals born here – just as it does not confer citizenship on the babies of foreign diplomats stationed here.
    Pursuant to Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 4, US Constitution, Congress may make laws deciding how people become naturalized citizens.
    But Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship status on babies born here of illegal aliens.

  • Dennis Woodman

    10/31/2018 05:04 PM

    Re: Birthright
    My mother and her five brothers became citizens by way of birthright. Both parents were immigrants and neither achieved citizenship. Her father was born in Japan and Congress denied citizenship to him. Her mother was unable to demonstrate reading and writing proficiency in English, which was required then (still now?). Her mother was subjected to a deportation hearing during WWII, as an Austrian national. Had not her 5 sons all been in the military and she was vouched for by her civics teacher, my parents would have never met. While kids of illegals or those born in transient birthing centers are not as compelling, to reverse this practice takes us far from what our country should stand for.

  • Carol Lee Pattridge

    10/31/2018 05:00 PM

    These are the words to a song sung by Gene Autry in his movie Bells of Capistrano in 1942 I think they fit our world today.
    Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You

    Last night, as I lay a sleeping,
    A wonderful dream came to me.
    I saw Uncle Sammy weeping
    For his children from over the sea;
    They had come to him, friendless and starving,
    When from tyrant's oppression they fled,
    But now they abuse and revile him,
    Till at last in just anger he said:
    If you don't like your Uncle Sammy,
    Then go back to your home o'er the sea,
    To the land from where you came,
    Whatever be its name,
    But don't be ungrateful to me!
    If you don't like the stars in Old Glory,
    If you don't like the Red, White and Blue,
    Then don't act like the cur in the story,
    Don't bite the hand that's feeding you!
    You recall the day you landed,
    How I welcomed you to my shore?
    When you came here empty handed,
    And allegiance forever you swore?
    I gathered you close to my bosom,
    Of food and of clothes you got both,
    So, when in trouble, I need you,
    You will have to remember your oath:
    If you don't like your Uncle Sammy,
    Then go back to your home o'er the sea,
    To the land from where you came,
    Whatever be its name,
    But don't be ungrateful to me!
    If you don't like the stars in Old Glory,
    If you don't like the Red, White and Blue,
    Then don't act like the cur in the story,
    Don't bite the hand that's feeding you!

  • Terry VanHouten

    10/31/2018 04:23 PM

    The illustration of an American couple traveling in France and happening to be there at the time of the birth of their child does not make that child a French citizen is as clear as it can be. Being "under the jurisdiction" would only apply to citizens of that country where you are a legal citizen. If nothing else at least the law needs to be applied to those children born here after a certain specified date to illegals and possibly grandfather those born here prior to that date? The change does not necessarily need to be applied retroactively as to deport those already accepted as legal citizens. The idea is to fix a problem going forward. We cannot un-abort all the innocent lives that have been lost in this country but we can make a change so that it doesn't continue.

  • Elizabeth Slack

    10/31/2018 04:16 PM

    Dear Mike,

    What is at stake is the value of the vote.

    My parents fled from Hungary at the time of the Nazi occupation. We were among the sea of refugees. We lived in Pakistan during the years of waiting for immigration into the United States or Canada. Canada accepted my parents first. Later, I immigrated to the United States. I weep every time I consider the American blood which was shed for my freedom.

    I value my vote as sacred. Is my vote protected by the equal protection clause?

    Sincerely,

    Elizabeth Slack

  • Rosalie Gilliland

    10/31/2018 04:06 PM

    This issue is a quagmire. The 14th Amendment has been abused to the point that unlawful use of the Amendment has become the norm. But if President Trump were to attempt to alter it via executive order, I fear the pushback from the left would result in rioting and injury all across the country. It's infuriating that millions of people who have no right to be here - except by distorting our laws, are taking jobs needed by citizens, and costing taxpayers billions in govt issued benefits. Something has to change, but I really fear for our President if he tries to shut down this free ride.

  • Bill Nailor

    10/31/2018 03:54 PM

    Mike,
    I've been getting your Newsletter via email for several months and I have to ask why you include obnoxious photos that seem to have no bearing on the topic you are presenting. Why do you include these in your messages? Here is an example that I've copied and pasted into this comment.... Well, it appears that they are links to ads for various "health" products that the web developer is smart enough to not allow them to be copied and pasted. And I imagine that they are smart enough to know if I was to try to forward it back to you as an example so they can block you from receiving it. The pictures border on being pornographic! I am sure you don't know that they are being sent out and I even more sure that you don't want them sent out. You need to have a friend in another state setup receiving your news letters so he can verify what I am seeing. As I said I know that you don't want this stuff on your newsletter or on your website.
    Much Love in Christ,
    Bill Nailor

  • Linda Pratt

    10/31/2018 03:36 PM

    Why are liberals so quick to fight against repairing our immigration system? Do they really think the borders should be open without consequence? And why can't birthright citizenship stop on the day the executive order is made and the ink dries? This one area will solve a lot of problems with our system. If you can't gain citizenship by just being born here you can't expect all the benefits of the citizens of this nation through your children. The incentives for staying here illegally are waning. Maybe Congress will step up and do their job if they think president Trump will issue an executive order or perhaps this will solve a problem Congress doesn't want to mess with. Isn't this why former president Obama was able to give us DACA? President Trump should go for a compromise: Dreamers up till December 31, 2018 get citizenship in exchange for discontinuing birthright citizenship starting January 1, 2019.

  • Dan Lach

    10/31/2018 03:35 PM

    Dear Mike,
    As always, your analysis is useful to understanding what is really going on.
    The 14th Amendment was never intended to confer birth right citizenship the way it was abused today.
    I think the President should immediately write the executive order AND get Congress to get off their dead political elite worthless butts and resolve this problem once and for all. This issue is one of the key magnets for illegal aliens to enter the country illegally cause once they get the baby citizenship then the chain follows. This is wrong and circumvents, totally, the lawful immigration process.