News analysis: Trump hopes to end birthright citizenship

In the first two years of his presidency, President Donald Trump has been known for his controversial tweets and policies. However, one of his recent tweets was met with backlash from other Republicans like the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan. However, this is not only sparking a national debate about the Constitution and law, but has also affected the lives of many Lincoln students, immigrants and their children.

President Trump tweeted on Oct. 31 that “So-called Birthright Citizenship, which costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens, will be ended one way or the other. It is not covered by the 14th amendment because of the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof.’ Many legal scholars agree…”

Section one of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution states that citizenship is granted to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” and that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

It is said in section five of the Amendment that “the provisions of this article” should only be enforced by Congress, meaning that only Congress has the power to change this or any of the other Constitutional Amendments.

However, the President has argued that he has authority to end “birthright citizenship” through an executive order.

“It’s in a process, it will happen,” said Trump in his interview with CNN.

“An executive order could specify to federal agencies that the children of non-citizens are not citizens,” wrote a former spokesman for Mr. Trump, Michael Anton, in an editorial for the Washington Post.

The President also claimed in his interview with CNN that the US is “the only country in the world” that grants citizenship to all people born in the country whether their parents are official citizens or not. However, more than thirty countries, including Canada, Mexico, and Cuba also offer citizenship to all people born in their country regardless of their parents’ citizenship.

Trump said in a tweet that his reasons for ending birthright citizenship are “closing the immigration loopholes and securing our border security.” While President Trump is worrying about national security, there are exceptions to the 14th Amendment that will likely protect the US from potential threat. If the child is born to a foreign diplomat, a member of a hostile occupying force or a tribal family which owes direct allegiance to its tribe, they are denied a US passport, according to the Washington Post.

Lincoln’s Arabic teacher Ruqayya Jarad disagrees with President Trump and thinks that ending birthright citizenship will result in “increasing the number of undocumented immigrants” instead of securing the border.

“People are escaping from bad lives or struggle or challenge; they will [immigrate], so whether we are giving them the right to be here or not, they will cross the [border],” said Jarad.

“By not giving them the citizenship we are increasing the number of the undocumented [people] in our country, we are putting our kids at risk, they will not have access to education because they will be afraid of deportation, they will not have access to health care or health insurance, so we are [marginalizing] these kids and we are [putting] them in danger,” Jarad added.

“The majority of terrorists in the US are white men, not the stereotypes that many people portray of terrorism. Terrorism is not Islamic people, terrorism is fear-ridden people driven by hate,” said senior Daisy Mulligan, one of the leaders of the Native American Student Union at Lincoln. Mulligan was referring to the mass shootings that have happened in the past two years.

President Trump believes that the language in the 14th Amendment is unclear and that what ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ really means has not been clarified. Vice President Mike Pence explained to Politico on Oct. 30 that it has not been clarified whether it refers to legal or illegal immigrants.

In reaction to President Trump’s comments, retiring Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan said that “the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process [to change it].”

Senior Ashok Kaushik, one of the leaders of Lincoln’s Conservative Student Union, agrees. “Even if the president disagrees with the Constitution, he has an oath to uphold and defend it,” said Kaushik.

“I think that [after] taking out part of the Amendments, people would start to respect [the Constitution] less, because if you change one then you can change them all,” said junior Alexa Marandas. “It could potentially [make the US safer]… I feel like the people that do end up on this side and are naturalized here could potentially be dangerous,” she added.

“I think it’s ridiculous [to end birthright citizenship], especially since the majority of the United States population would have gotten their citizenship [through birthright citizenship],” said Mulligan. “Immigrants from mainly European countries came here, took land, and proclaimed themselves and their children citizens. Meanwhile First Nation peoples weren’t even considered citizens until about the 1900s,” she continued.

On June 2nd, 1924, Congress granted citizenship to all Native Americans.

Conservatives in the United States have been divided on this issue. The Republican Senate candidate for New Jersey, Bob Hugin, said in a tweet that Trump would be “wrong to end birthright citizenship,” and that “we are a nation of immigrants made better by the diversity of its people.”

Meanwhile, Tea Party associate and political activist Amy Kremer spoke out in support of Trump. “We finally have a president that is willing to tackle our illegal immigration problems,” she tweeted.