Michael Maiello's picture

    Birthright Citizenship is Important

    I highly doubt that the President can use an executive order to nullify an amendment to the Constitution, but I do take seriously that Trump will attempt to end the notion that anybody born on American soil can lay a claim to citizenship. It's all about who challenges him and what the law allows, after all.

    The arguments against "anchor babies" is soundbite ready. As Trump puts it:

    "How ridiculous, 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. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous and it has to end."

    I can see this playing well with people who have decided to care about the issue and not drawing much opposition from others, who will never have to face the prospect of their children's citizenship being called into question.  Picking only on "illegal immigrants" has political advantages since it targets an unrepresented part of the population that seems removed from everyday American life.

    My fear here is that Trump will get away with this because so few Americans who can vote have anything to lose and, of course, it will please his base.

    But I think we do lose some things of enormous importance if we end universal birthright citizenship:

    • It weakens the notion that American rights are human rights.
    • It weakens the notion that human rights of inviolable.
    • It weakens the (already weak) notion that, at the very least, we have obligations to each other based on having been born here.

    Not to mention that it tortures logic.  If my parents are citizens of Guatemala but I am born in a hospital in Syosset, New York how is it any more "ridiculous" to label me "American" than it would be to label be "Guatemalan?"  If they're both equally ridiculous, just let me pick when I turn 18!

    Finally, while "slippery slope" arguments tend to be fallacies, I think it's justified to wonder just how far Trump will go, particularly if he weasels into a second term. If he undermines this basic notion of citizenship (you're of here if you're born here) what's next?




    So, what's he gonna do with Virginia Dare?

    Now, I realize she disappeared long before the states became united, but is his ridiculous executive order just from now and into the future, or will it be retroactive? Because you all came from somewhere else.  Or maybe it's just for Guatemalans. This makes no sense.

    I am of the opinion human rights are inviolable; it is more than mere notion.

    And, yes, I voted absentee ballot. Mailed it in a week ago.

    If Trump wins in 2020 with a larger number of the vote going to the “loser”, it will solidly the fact that the electoral college is worthless. The electoral college is a vestige of slavery that needs to be put to bed.


    Only Evil fears Children.. it cages them, starves them, sends armies against them, casts them out of their own home and from their mother’s arms. Trump is afraid of the children, because they carry God’s light and cast a beacon on his sins of greed, lust and power.

    comment at NYT, Gerry Austin TX


    Herod comes to mind.

    This is Mathew 25 brought to life

    not gonna fly with the courts. Is kabuki/kayfabe for the election to energize the base and trap Dems/liberals into reacting with open borders arguments. The more outrage liberals show about it the more they'll be doing just what Gingrich wants to see. See what American Dreamer and I have posted on this thread over here, plenty of people including on the more moderate right, voicing that the whole Caravan thing is classic Gingrich culture wars.

    See they got themselves a Judge Kavanaugh with culture wars but dangerously lost a lot of swing votes by doing that, they've got to do the Caravan/patriotism/citizen thing, rev up the angry liberals which revs up their own base.It's so blatant I will not think highly of anyone on the left who falls for the bait. I sure hope the national Dem party has planned for this so that candidates don't fall into what is obviously a trap to get over reaction.

    I am reminded how recently I've seen more than one of the best political operatives advise that it was crucial for this election that Dems shape up their immigration plans and messages about it. That's what they were seeing in the polls.

    Don't get me wrong, it's fine to talk about birthright citizenship in a calm rational way, as that needs to be part of discussion on formulating a national policy on immigration. So that immigration isn't always and forever a damn blunt political weapon, which is the case now because there are so many people who have passionate feelings about it that cross party lines. It's been like this for too long: need a few swing votes? Bringing up immigration in an outrageous, emotional way could save ya!

    "immigration isn't always and forever a damn blunt political weapon"

    Republicans crave blunt political weapons. (you didn't notice?)

    They won't surrender any of them by compromising with Democrats to reach solutions. It would be good government but suicide by primary. The GOP doesn't solve national issues and problems, they lie about them, distract with them, exacerbate them, stoke anger and fear with them,  exploit them. Election after election.

    so all the more important that Dems win back as much of Congress as they can by not taking the troll bait this week especially. One week of discipline, that's all that's needed from liberal outrage specialists.

    guy summing up the classic hits quite well:

    I think I'm with Josh Marshall on this -- I agree with you that he doesn't have the authority to do what he says, but given his position and the size of his podium, it can't be ignored either.

    What worries me most is that Trump's functionaries do as they're told.  They do blatantly illegal things and wait for the courts to reverse them.  But once you've separated a family at the border, a court can't really undo that.  Once you've denied someone entry to the country with a blanket travel ban, you can't go back and undo that. They can do a lot of rotten things to people before they are stopped.

    Of course his threat was particularly timed for election reasons as AA has pointed out.

    Sad. One thinks of The Ship of Fools. 1938, left Hamburg, got here. Prevented from disembarking in Miami so sailed back and into the camps.

    When will we ever learn?

    While it is true that you can't overturn an amendment with an executive order, my guess is that much of the population knows little about citizenship. For example, I keep hearing the argument that all the illegals should just go apply for citizenship.

    The lack of birthright citizenship was one of the key policies to maintain slavery -  the children of slaves could not become citizens and escape slavery.

    It is clear that one of the major policy threads is to "whiten" the United States. He even expelling documented immigrants, violating international human rights by ignoring asylum claims, and shutting down immigration form various countries. These are all straight from the supremacy playbook, Unfortunately, he seems to be getting by with way too much because the Republicans are providing no oversight at all.

    [Deleted - not going to be a platform for Trump disinfo - Peter, if you want to post like a grownup, please do - otherwise I'm of the mind to just delete everything you submit, as it's going nowhere - PP]

    Repost this from the time just a couple months ago when Peter played "1984 Ministry of Truth employee, Republican Style."

    Recall FDR was a Democrat:

    The "America First' movement and the isolationist Republican Party led by Idaho Republican William Borah opposed sending Britain aircraft or weapons for defense. The right wing Republican isolationist  "MAGA" crowd of the 30's in America were FDR's major challenge in stopping Hitler.

    From the book Roosevelt's Second Act, by Richard Moe, on the Republican platform of 1940, and H. L. Mencken's evaluation of how weak and sleazy it was on helping the democracies. Note the Republican platform statement was copied almost word for word from an isolationist newspaper advertisement placed covertly by Nazi agents in US papers.

    GOP Platform, 1940:

    “We favor the extension of aid to all people fighting for liberty or whose liberty is threatened,” the final compromise read, “as long as such aid is not in violation of international law or inconsistent with the requirements of our national defense.”

    The acerbic Baltimore journalist H. L. Mencken observed that it was “so written that it will fit both the triumph of democracy and the collapse of democracy, and approve both the sending of arms to England and sending only flowers.” It would be revealed years later that the language had been lifted almost verbatim from an ad that had appeared in the New York Times and other papers over the names of isolationist congressmen, written and paid for by Nazi agents.

    Isolationist right wing America First marchers in NYC parading with American flags and swastikas. These are real "Nazi adorers". They are not FDR supporters.

    Make this go viral, problem of faux threatened executive order solved:

    Reasonable evidence to consider this a distraction. Papa Putin would disapprove, I suspect. https://t.co/JutTfaMj9L

    — Soli Sorokin (@SoliSorokin) October 30, 2018

    Edit to add context, above tweet is in response to this:


    P.S. Wasn't Ivanka basically selling birthright citizenship to the Chinese a while back as well? Am I remembering that correctly?

    Jared's sister selling visas to rich Chinese.

    There should be a Norwegian exception. Because really it's just the brown babies that don't deserve to be American.

    No one deserves it - we're so exceptional...

    y'all saw or heard this news, right?

    Ryan rejects Trump proposal to eliminate birthright citizenship

    @ TheHill.com, 7 hrs. ago.

    It was all just Trump as usual, part of Trump b.s.'ing in the Axios interview, that he "might" do it, like he usually does with reporter interviews, ends up yammering all kinds of outrageous and ridiculous stuff. It's one of his lesser favorite memes. With a quick google, I saw a citation him saying it in a campaign speech from 2015, came out on top of results. I think now: even less a planned poltical op than I suspected, just more b.s. ing when he gets to looking for approval. He may have even screwed up a more well-thought out immigration political op that was suggested to him, and did this instead, who knows with him.

    also see Donald Trump Launches Operation Midterms Diversion by John Cassidy @ NewYorker.com, Oct. 30

    Schumer & Pelosi , should take charge of Birthright Citizenship.

    We should speak with one voice. A sensible one.

    Lawrence Tribe e.g  should draft and Chuck and Nancy  issue  for the 6 pm News. Tuesday. 



    I emailed this same suggestion last night to  Schumer's regular contact.

    Lawfare has filed FOIA requests to access current D.O.J. opinions on topic (they have already gone over all the past, of course). I surmise this is to make sure that there is not anyone there on board with the wacko president:

    "What Does the Justice Department Think About Birthright Citizenship?," the latest from Scott R. Anderson and Benjamin Wittes: https://t.co/UtTfyIayU2

    — Lawfare (@lawfareblog) November 1, 2018


    Thanks for this!

    severe criticism of Jonathan Swan and Axios by Alex Shepard @ The New Republic for feeding the troll on this whole thing, even includes the implication that they did it for mercenary reasons, to pump their HBO show.


    As Splinter’s Libby Watson wrote on Tuesday, it was a moment that encapsulated a news outlet that privileged a smug sense of being “in the know” over meaningful reporting. 

    This snafu was very much on the brain of Reddit users when Swan’s bosses, Axios founders Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, did an AMA(Ask Me Anything) on the site on Thursday. Asked repeatedly about their organization’s commitment to access journalism, Allen and Vandehei got defensive.

    More on the same, and Swan mea culpas:

    .@jonathanvswan’s much-criticized reaction to TRUMP’s revelation about ending birthright citizenship was prompted by “authentic surprise,” he wrote to colleagues, adding “I wish I could redo that moment.” https://t.co/69LEBoQMau

    — Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) November 5, 2018

    Fear of what Trump might be able to do affects his ability to drive the media narrative to his own narcissist ends. This made me think about how we all need to think about how we are complicit, and that's why I am posting this interchange here:


    That said, if this guy has gone nihilist about the Trump coverage situation, I don't know what we can do to help:

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