President Trump has made headlines once again by saying that he would seek to end birthright citizenship for children born in the United States to parents who are noncitizens. Birthright citizenship means that any individual who is born on American soil automatically becomes a citizen of the United States of America at birth.
The 14th Amendment of birthright citizenship can sometimes be put together with the 13th and 15th Amendments as they are called the Reconstruction Amendments which were put in place to help make African Americans become citizens. The 13th Amendment is the abolishment of slavery and the 15th Amendment is the right to vote for every citizen. President Trump believes that he can end birthright citizenship simply with an executive order.
President Trump has stated, “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits.” However, he had made a false claim as more than 30 countries including Canada and Mexico have similar policies. After President Trump announced that he would vow to end birthright citizenship, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan dismissed President Trump’s claims saying, “Well, you obviously cannot do that.”
President Trump believes that he can pass the end to birthright citizenship through an executive order. He has also stated, “I think it says very loud and clear in the constitution that you don’t have to go through the process of whatever they’re talking about. And by the way, this is not a constitutional amendment.” Birthright citizenship is part of the Constitution as it 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.”
President Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship would target children of immigrants who came through the border illegally. Even as the head of the Executive Branch of government, President Trump has no authority to end birthright citizenship through an executive order as there will be consequences.
As President Trump continues to encourage fear across the country, he does not seem to be aware of what the limitations of his authority are. Emory University student Justin Kim has said, “President Trump is trying to further fuel his base supporters by stirring up controversy. In a time when the President and the parties should work together to find solutions that are agreeable, his usual method of inciting fear and making nonsensical statements further contribute to the political divide that is growing.”
In a time when the country should be coming together to make it a better place for everyone, President Trump seems to be widening the gap between the political parties.
Jennie Kim, Grade 11
Immaculate Heart High School