The administration is taking aim at a key clause of the 14th Amendment, writes Becoming American Initiative Director Linda Chavez in The Bulwark.
President Trump’s latest threat to the Constitution should come as no surprise. Despite the clear wording of the 14thAmendment that “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 president and his allies on the anti-immigrant right would deny citizenship to millions of Americans born here. The president falsely claims that the United States is unique in granting birthright citizenship. In fact, 30 other countries, including most in the Western Hemisphere, grant citizenship by birth. The practice in America dates back to colonial times, when English common law recognized that all persons born on British soil were British subjects. Nonetheless, the president and some others on the right, would like to rewrite American history in their effort to deny citizenship to the children of immigrants (those who came here legally as well as illegally) who, in this era, happen to be of Latino, Asian, and African ancestry. It is hard not to conclude that this is but one more battle to redefine America in racial terms as a white, Anglo-Saxon nation.
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