The front-running Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, outlined in detail his plan to end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, and also decided to go after the 14th amendment.
The 14th amendment grants citizenship to anyone who is born into the United States, and this has been a huge issue over the years because women come over to this country just to give birth. Trump is focusing in on this part of the issue, saying he wants to stop the pregnant women from illegal crossing into America for the sole purpose of giving birth to the anchor baby. The term “anchor baby” comes from this concept that when a woman does something like this, that baby becomes the anchor, and it makes it nearly improbable that the parents will be deported because that child is considered a US citizen. There has been abuse of the 14th amendment by illegals for years, and Trump said the 14th amendment is the “biggest magnet for illegal immigration” in this country. Trump also said that he has talked to his lawyers and believes the 14th amendment could be overturned in a court challenge.
Within hours of Trump releasing his detailed plans, the GOP hopefuls started to spit fire back at Trump, most of them believing a change to the amendment is wrong and not likely to ever happen. Law professors claim that amending the Constitution is a very serious issue, in fact probably the most serious issue a lawmaker can do, which means that it’s a very tedious and long process, and this is why it’s so unlikely to ever change. Changing the Constitution in any manner requires two-thirds of Congress to vote for it, and then it has to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. A constitutional convention could also take place, but 34 states at least would need to convene to vote on the amendment, which then would require 38 states to ratify it to happen. So basically, it is a very long process that would take years, and most people and states have to agree to the change, which is also why such a thing is so unlikely to ever happen.
Since Trump came onto the scene, he has made illegal immigration his target, suggesting multiple solutions to fix the problems, which is way more than any Democrat or Republican has done in a long time. Trump also said a wall along the border would significantly decrease the amount of illegals coming into this country, but the birthright citizenship is the biggest problem, and it needs to be fixed. Gov. Scott Walker did agree with Trump on the issue that birthright citizenship needed to finally end, but did not agree that the ones who are already here should just be deported back to Mexico.
The 14th amendment was already in the Supreme Court back in 1898, when a court ruled that a San-Francisco-born person named Wong Kim Ark was a citizen, even though the parents were Chinese descent living in the United States. Dr. Ben Carson has also come out to say that it does not make sense to allow the anchor babies to stay in the United States, and even Lindsey Graham said that the birthright citizenship issue needs to be talked about and addressed at some point. One of the most outspoken opponents has been Senator Ted Cruz, because not only is he a former Supreme Court lawyer, but he was born in Canada to an American-born mother and his father was a Cuban-immigrant. However, Cruz also said that he supported changing birthright citizenship, although in 2011 he said it would be a mistake to challenge the amendment.
Much like other issues Trump brings up, it has divided the GOP, some say the GOP could be in trouble because there are quite a few that seem to be at least in part agreeing with Trump on the birthright citizenship issue. The question is whether Americans believe in anchor babies or not, considering these babies and the illegal parents are costing American a fortune. While a change to the birthright citizenship is far off, it’s even further off getting the states and Congress to agree to deport those already here, so Trump is going to have a lot of people to convince about this issue. Even if Trump did win the presidential election in 2016, it’s unlikely there would be enough support from both sides to ever see the change, even though many agree, it really is the best way to stop illegal aliens from coming into this country.