Trump and the 14th Amendment

In theory, Congress can override the 14th Amendment, but the odds are slim:

In simple odds, the chance of any constitutional amendment being repealed would be roughly the same as a person living to 80 years old being struck by lightning during their lifetime, according to National Weather Service data. And for the Second Amendment, which was rooted in the English Declaration of Rights a century before the Bill of Rights was ratified, the odds would likely be steeper.

In recent years, three other amendments have been subject of repeal talk: the 17th Amendment (the direct election of Senators), the 16th Amendment (the federal income tax), and the 22nd Amendment (presidential term limits). None of that talk came close to fruition.

Changing the Constitution is a huge undertaking.

It’s pretty much pointless to debate the 14th Amendment, because the odds of getting the necessary votes to void an amendment are close to zero, and it’s a virtual certainty courts will annul Trump’s proposed executive order. This is especially so given Roberts’ party line defection on Obamacare, so Trump cannot count on Republican-appointed justices to accede to his demands.

Past congregational efforts to curtail birthright citizenship have failed:

In response to public reaction against immigration[116] and fears that U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants could serve as links to permit legal residency and eventual citizenship for family members who would otherwise be ineligible to remain in the country, bills have been introduced from time to time in Congress which have challenged the conventional interpretation of the Citizenship Clause and have sought (thus far unsuccessfully) to actively and explicitly deny citizenship at birth to U.S.-born children of foreign visitors or illegal aliens.[196] As one example among many, the “Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009″—introduced in the House of Representatives of the 111th Congress as H.R. 1868, by Representative Nathan Deal of Georgia—was an attempt to exclude U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants from being considered subject to the jurisdiction of the United States for purposes of the Citizenship Clause.[197] A similar proposal—named the “Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011″—was introduced in the House as H.R. 140 in the (112th) Congress on January 5, 2011 by Representative Steve King of Iowa,[198] and in the Senate as S. 723 on April 5, 2011 by Senator David Vitter of Louisiana.[199] Neither bill was discussed in Congress prior to the end of the session.

The belief that immigrants can be converted into loyal Conservative voters can explain GOP support for birthright citizenship, such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who criticized Trump’s proposal as unconstitutional.

Although proponents argue that the 14th Amendment, in no uncertain terms, automatically grants citizenship (in invoking US v Wong Kim Ark ), valid arguments can be made for ending birthright citizenship, or at least limiting it significantly.

There is the issue of historical context and original intent.

Regarding Native Americans, decedents of slaves, and Chinese, these are populations that existed in the Untied States for a long time and there was very little immigration, but the thousands of illegals who are entering America every year are not being subjected against their will in the same way blacks were, and this influx and leniency given rise to what is called ‘birth tourism.’

1850, there were only 4,000 Chinese in the US, or about 0.017 percent of the total US population at the time. By comparison, 17% of the US population is Hispanic.

According to Pew Research, about 275,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2014, or about 7% of the 4 million births in the U.S. that year.

It’s evident that this is a much higher occurrence now than 150 years ago:

In 1898, when United States v. Wong Kim Ark was ruled, it was inconceivable that there would be so many immigrants and that immigrants and their decedents would comprise as large of a percentage of the overall U.S. population as they do now.

Headlines like this Trump Praises Guestworkers in Michigan Speech don’t give me much confidence either in Trump’s ability or willingness to do much about it.