Donald Trump promised to scrap birthright citizenship on the 2016 campaign trail. He repeated this idea right before the 2018 midterms and suggested he would do it by executive order. Yet, the president never got around to doing it—until now.
The Hill reported last week that the president may issue an executive order eliminating birthright citizenship in his apparent last days in office. It’s a serious proposal as drafts exist of it and they have been reviewed by the Department of Justice. “Since taking office, President Trump has never shied away from using his lawful executive authority to advance bold policies and fulfill the promises he made to the American people, but I won’t speculate or comment on potential executive action,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told The Hill of the move [Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship, by Brett Samuels, The Hill, November 20, 2020].
This would be an incredible move if Trump executes it. VDARE.com has called for the elimination of birthright citizenship ever since we came online 20 years ago. “This perversion of American citizenship, commonly called ‘birthright citizenship,’ is the result of the federal government and judiciary's willful misinterpretation of the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Nathaniel Parker wrote for VDARE in 2001.
Now this idea may finally be accomplished. That doesn’t excuse Trump waiting until his last possible days to do this, however. He should’ve scrapped it in his first year of office. The administration did try to crack down on birth tourism in its last year, but Trump didn’t even mention the issue of birthright citizenship on the 2020 campaign trail. But it is better late than never.
This executive order will certainly be challenged in court if it’s issued. But the administration banks on this happening and wants a Supreme Court ruling on the matter. They hope the court would rule the 14th Amendment does not guarantee citizenship to anyone who happens to be born in America.
Whether the Supreme Court will rule in such a way is another issue. In any case, it’s a fight worth having and it needs to happen as soon as possible. We cannot solve our immigration crisis until we end birthright citizenship.
It’s not right if an pregnant illegal immigrant can cross the border, immediately give birth and her child be considered a full American citizen--as happened this week [An illegal immigrant just crossed the border and immediately had a baby. Congratulations to the taxpayers!, by Eddie Scarry, Washington Examiner, November 23, 2020]. The administration must do what they can to end this travesty.
Obviously, an incoming Biden Administration could reverse any Executive Order of Trump’s but this would at least force the Democrats to defend doing so—birthright citizenship is very unpopular with voters.
Also, the Democrats may decide to leave it up to the Courts—and they may decide against it, not least because of Trump’s appointments.