WAS THE PRACTICE CONSTITUTIONAL TO BEGIN WITH?
by Sharon Rondeau
“Birthright citizenship” is the practice of bestowing American citizenship to any child born within the U.S. or its territories, regardless of the child’s parents’ status in the country. For decades, the children of illegal aliens who give birth anywhere in the country have been awarded U.S. citizenship, rendering them eligible for all of the accompanying benefits.
Trump has said that illegal aliens whose children are born in the U.S. are “not subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” a key clause of the 14th Amendment which has been interpreted by the federal government to encompass anyone born on U.S. soil with the exception of the offspring of foreign ambassadors.
Even those children have been provided Social Security numbers and U.S. birth certificates in recent years, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reported in 2011.
While left-leaning media quickly concluded that Trump would be exceeding his authority as president and commander-in-chief by ending birthright citizenship with an executive order, right-leaning media reported that such a move would be within constitutional bounds.
Of changing the policy, Trump told Axios journalists Jonathan Swan and Stef Kight that consultation with his legal advisers has convinced him that “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
In response, constitutional educator, author, attorney, U.S. Army veteran and radio host KrisAnne Hall drafted a proposed executive order titled, “Executive Order Enforcing the Constitution and the 14th Amendment to Limit Citizenship as Therein Defined.”
Hall believes that if enacted, her proposed EO “will force the Supreme Court to address this issue from more than just a political and popular perspective, but also from an historical, constitutional, and legal perspective: which should be the focus of all judicial opinions.”
Hall added a disclaimer stating that the proposed EO “is offered solely as a teaching tool and not to be used for any other purpose.”
The wording invokes Articles I, II and VI of the U.S. Constitution, the 14th Amendment, Federalist 78 of The Federalist Papers, and Founding Father and third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson.
Hall’s logo contains the slogan “Liberty First.” Her daily radio show can be heard here.
Two statements by Senator Howard:
1) “This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue natural law and national law a citizen of the United States.” Senator Howard, debates in Congress on the 14th Amendment
2) “A citizen of the United States is held by the courts to be a person who was born within the limits of the United States and subject to their laws.” Senator Howard, debates in Congress on the 14th Amendment
What was the “law of the land” prior to the debates in 1866?
Is “subject to their laws” the same as “subject to their jurisdiction”?