The 14th Amendment says:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
President Trump says he will issue an executive order abolishing the birthright of US citizenship for children born by illegal immigrants. That would be altering the 14th Amendment which makes no exception for the children that were born by illegal immigrants in this country.
Trump also says he will stop granting asylum to illegal immigrants.
Article 31 of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention, prohibits signatory nations from imposing penalties on refugees who entered illegally in search of asylum if they present themselves without delay.
Although the U.S. did not sign the original act, it did become a signatory to a 1967 Protocol.
If Trump issues his executive order on the birthright of children, expect immediate court challenges with the granting of temporary injunctions until the cases are finally settled by the Supreme Court.
Most legal scholars believe such an executive order violates the 14th Amendment. It would take an act of Congress or an amendment to the 14th Amendment for the denial of birthrights to children born by illegal immigrants.
It is doubtful that Congress would alter the 14th Amendment, but if it did, that too would be challenged in court. And an amendment to the 14th Amendment is not about to happen.
When Trump’s childbirth order hits the Supreme Court expect it to be struck down. I predict that Trump’s court appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will vote against his executive order.
Reports say Trump’s lawyers have advised him that he is within his right to issue an executive order abolishing the birthright of children born of illegal immigrants. That must be Rudy Giuliani who told Meet the Press on August 19 that “truth isn’t truth.”
While it sounds somewhat far-fetched, if Trump’s executive order is upheld, what would prevent him or a future president from altering the 1st Amendment by restricting free speech or controlling the press.
If Trump issues an order to stop granting asylum to illegal immigrants, that too will be quickly challenged in court. While that order may amount to violating international law, it is not altering our Constitution. The courts may nevertheless rule that the US is obligated to abide by the UN refugee convention.
What we have here is simply political posturing before the mid-term elections. When the dust settles several months from now, we may well find that it’s all much ado about nothing. Children born to illegal immigrants in this country will still be US citizens and asylum will still be granted to some illegal immigrants.
I’m with Trump on both counts, but my opinion does not count.