Appended in 1868, following the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows in part 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”. Initially written into the US Constitution to expand citizenship to newly freed slaves and their children, thereby making any future attempts at slavery illegal, the Fourteenth Amendment has taken on a new meaning in recent time.
Often euphemized as birthright citizenship, in present day the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment allows for children born of immigrants, whether legal or otherwise, to be born legal citizens of the United States; which thus establishes their eligibility for every benefit and aide children born to American citizens are potentially eligible to receive. This tolerant immigration policy has created enormous incentive for illegal immigration as evidenced by the caravan currently marching through Mexico in hopes of breaking through the US border. The caravan is known to contain previously deported illegal aliens forced to leave behind children, citizens only by birthright. As the rapidly shrinking, yet still massive, caravan of hopeful illegal Mexican immigrants nears the United States border President Trump seeks an end to the so called birth tourism and the subsequent abuse of the immigration system. As the President has stated, birthright citizenship is not a common policy on a world-wide scale, especially not with the benefits the US allows to its birthright citizens.
The question now is whether the President will be able to end the policy of birthright citizenship. President Trump has claimed an ability to do so with an executive order; which, if possible, would likely mean a definite end to birth citizenship. Some say another amendment would be necessary to change the birthright policy. Highly controversial and of much debate amongst legal scholars, opinions as to the constitutionality of such an order seem to depend upon interpretation of the phrase “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” within the amendment. Is this to say citizenship applies to those born to citizens or legal immigrants, and thus subject to the jurisdiction of the US, or simply any person on US soil and thereby subject to jurisdiction?
In the meantime, US Border Control is alerting citizens residing near the border of the possible presence of armed civilians on or around their property. Additionally, the Pentagon has announced the deployment of over 5,000 troops to the border to combat attempts at entrance into the US as the Mexican caravan draws closer. These actions along with President Trumps proposals on immigration are being heavily contested by Democrats, with an additional fervor as midterm voting takes place. Though the Republican Party has stated its intent with the announcement of a possible executive order, the Democratic Party is still adamant in their accusations against President Trump of fear mongering and creating distractions in attempt maintain party dominance following the midterm elections.