Utah legal scholars, politicians say Trump can't end birthright citizenship with order

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  • OldSalt94 West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 3, 2018 8:49 a.m.

    Do I take the chance of offending the editorial staff at desnews or wait patiently while they decide the fate of a comment that literally was used by others, just in a different way.....
    Legal analysts will fight this till the cows come home. Politicians will blame each other no matter what. The interpretation of the U.S. Constitution has been challenged severely over the two centuries it has existed. Never was there as much riding on the people as there is today. Illegal is illegal. Legal entry should be upheld. Illegal entry should not be rewarded. The children born really have no choice, regardless of parentage. If migrants are here legally and have children we welcome them.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    Nov. 2, 2018 5:34 p.m.

    Misseleer71 - Nov. 2, 2018 3:14 a.m.

    Section 1 of Amendment 14 to the US Constitution says : "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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    The people not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States were/are diplomats and, then, members of Native American tribes. Everyone else, including illegal immigrants, are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Therefore this Section applies to them and their children.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2018 11:11 a.m.

    Same as it ever was.

    "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

    Who said this?
    And who does it sound like?

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2018 3:14 a.m.

    Birth right to everyone born in the USA is "not" in the Constitution therefore it is not a right or protected by the 14th/15th amendment. Read these amendments and it will prove the president is right again. And as the president says, the media is an enemy of the state by refusing to read the law and standing by an imaginary assumption by an imaginary judge(s) who doesn't believe in our Constitution and what it says.

    There is no such statement in the Constitution that says "all people born in the US get birthright citizenship". It doesn't exist and when are pepole going to stop believe all these fake media lies that have permeated and discrediting the americans and our Constitution .

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 1, 2018 1:00 p.m.

    Clearly "under the jurisdiction thereof" means something. If everyone present in the US is under the jurisdiction thereof, the words are meaningless, amounting to nothing more than "mere surplussage."

    Accepted rules of constitutional interpretation require courts not to assume Constitutional language is mere surplussage. Rather, courts should attempt to figure out what such language means and give effect to it. This typically involves examination of the plain language and an examination of what the drafters thought the language meant when they wrote it.

    What becomes abundantly and absolutely clear in reading up on the adoption of the 14th Amendment is that no Congressional drafter argued that those words enable or encourage "chain migration," "birth tourism," or a slow-motion invasion of the US.

    It'll now be up to the Supreme Court -- not desperate, vote-seeking leftist political hacks -- to engage in Constitutional interpretation to determine what the language really means.

    But, in the meantime, the Left should not be permitted to charge -- unchallenged -- the thoughtful discussion of the topic as "racism."

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 1, 2018 12:36 p.m.

    Re: "The term 'alien' is specifically used to denigrate and label someone as 'less than' and 'The Other'. "

    Uh, no.

    The term "alien" is used throughout US law and that of most other nations. It's a perfectly neutral word, meaning only that someone is not a citizen. There are legal aliens and illegal aliens, the difference being whether one's entry into or status within the country complies with the law, or not.

    My great-grandfather was an excludable alien under the Immigration Acts of 1882, 1891, and 1907. Since he entered and remained in the country from Mexico several times during the period of those laws, he was, in fact, an illegal alien. He's not "less than" us, though there's no denying his entries and residency in the US were, in fact, illegal.

    Fact is, the Orwellian left is merely attempting a Newspeak weaponization of the English language, suggesting that even discussing this topic suggests an impermissible animus against those illegally present in the US.

    Reality? There's no animus. We merely insist that both sides respect the Rule of Law, whatever SCOTUS, in the Constitutional exercise of its authority, determines that to be.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 1, 2018 11:37 a.m.

    Re: "The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the law for legal permanent residents, but it has never decided a citizenship case involving an illegal immigrant or a short-term visitor to the U.S."

    Exactly.

    Clearly, these self-appointed know-it-alls, shrilly suggesting that no one can even discuss any interpretation other than that of the desperately partisan open-borders crowd, either have no knowledge of the history of the 14th Amendment or standard principles of statutory and constitutional interpretation, or [more likely] they're consciously, disingenuously choosing to ignore the existence and original meaning of the "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" clause.

    Either way, now that the President has used hi bully pulpit to broach the topic, they'll certainly be overwhelmed by the vast majority of Real America -- who firmly believes that nothing in the Constitution requires the political suicide of the United States.

  • Edmunds Tucker St. George, UT
    Nov. 1, 2018 11:38 a.m.

    Lamanites gained citizenship about 1924. American Samoans are not citizens, today. They are all "nationals but not citizens of the United States at birth."
    Mendoza, Moises (October 11, 2014). "How a weird law gives one group American nationality but not citizenship". Public Radio International (PRI)] Those nationals — born on the 55,000-person US island territory in the South Pacific — receive US passports, can serve in the military and work and live on the mainland United States.
    "U.S. nationals born in American Samoa sue for citizenship". Associated Press. NBC News. March 28, 2018.
    8 U.S.C. § 1408; Tuaua v. United States, 788 F.3d 300 (D.C. Cir. 2015); 782 F.3d 9, 15 (D.C. Cir. 2015) ("The sole such statutory provision that presently confers United States nationality upon non-citizens is 8 U.S.C. § 1408."); Matter of Navas-Acosta, 23 I&N Dec. 586 (BIA 2003) (same); see also 8 U.S.C. § 1483 8 U.S.C. §§ 1501–1503; 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(5) ("Treatment of nationality claims").
    ^ "Local US Army recruiting station ranked #1 in the world – Samoa News"..
    For your next column, ask Your 'experts' about Samoa.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2018 4:49 a.m.

    "Trump told HBO's Axios in an interview released Tuesday that the White House counsel has advised him that there is legal standing to terminate birthright citizenship."

    This means that Trump has retained an attorney to represent him in the White House who will tell him what he wants to hear, regardless of what the law actually says. In this case, the 14th Amendment clearly establishes the right to citizenship of a "natural born citizen." If Trump attempts to abrogate that absolute right with a mere Executive Order, the House of Representatives should roll out that impeachment carpet.

  • Silvex Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 10:12 p.m.

    @ Soon to be a Springville guy

    The Supreme court cannot remove the 14th Amendment. It would require a Constitutional Convention to do that. But they can interpret and apply it correctly, which would end birthright citizenship.

  • Harrison Bergeron Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 10:06 p.m.

    Mad Hatter: "No, the migrants coming from Central America…"

    My bad. I thought we were talking about birthright citizenship. That's the title of the article anyway. Were you talking about the Honduran caravans before? The rest of us were talking about people visiting or coming to America illegally and having a baby while they're here to subvert the immigration system.

    Regarding the Hondurans. They are not seeking asylum. Their first country of asylum would have been Guatemala. They will have had to travel through two countries - both of which speaking their native language - before reaching the United States. What we really have is a group of Hondurans seeking to bypass legal immigration steps and become illegal aliens in United States. They plan to claim asylum, get a court date, then never show up for it.

    Trump is not against legal immigration. He has been very consistent that immigration should be based on a merit system - not a lottery, sneaking across the border or a having a baby. It's actually extremely logical when you strip away all of the hyperbole and demagoguery. And there is nothing there about race or ethnicity.

  • Mad Hatter Santa Fe, NM
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:03 p.m.

    Harrison Bergeron - Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 2:23 p.m.

    "You are confusing racial and ethnic prejudice with opposition to ILLEGAL immigration . . ."

    No, the migrants coming from Central America will be assessed once they arrive at the border and request asylum. That's legal under American law. The opposition to their coming is racial and ethnic prejudice.

    Consider the chief architect on staff for Donald Trump's anti-immigrant policy. Steven Miller has been very upfront in his opposition to immigration from south of the American border, both legal and illegal. In fact, it has been noted in various news items that Miller wants to decrease legal immigration, however Trump was never opposed to unlimited immigration from Norway.

    Throughout our history we don't know who will rise to greatness out of the mass of immigrants who arrive on our nation's doorstep. That's what America is. That's what makes American great. That's what the dream of America has become for millions.

    There is no opposition to immigration reform if it is made fair and equitable for all seeking it and accepting our democratic values. But some do use a racial and ethnic test of who can come in.

  • Soon to be a Springville guy Parowan, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 6:01 p.m.

    It is a fact that President Trump can’t remove the 14th. AMMENDMENT!
    Buy he can cause it to be put before The Supreme Court where it will be removed.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 4:55 p.m.

    The President drawing attention to the preposterous nature of the 14th Amendment will hopefully precipitate a change either by Constitutional Amendment or Supreme Court ruling. It is absurd to the max that we have allowed this misguided policy to stand so long. Definitely time to change it.

  • Gus Talwynd Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 2:23 p.m.

    thinkr2 - Mendon, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:48 p.m.

    "Regarding legal immigrants vs. illegal aliens . . . "

    What's the difference between a "legal immigrant" and an "illegal alien"? Yes, there is the "one is legal and the other is illegal", but that is not the point of my comment. It is about how you refer to a person.

    We have "documented immigrants" and "undocumented immigrants". My great-great grandparents were "undocumented immigrants". They arrived by ship, no visa and no official papers (passport) of nationality. They arrived with a number of other immigrants and went through Ellis Island. They were "immigrants", not "aliens"

    The term "alien" is specifically used to denigrate and label someone as "less than" and "The Other". I am less bothered by the terms "legal" and "illegal", but I draw the line in dehumanizing a person with a word like "alien". To me an "alien" is something not human, not coming from Earth, not of this world.

    If we are going to have any meaningful discussion, be more respectful both of one another and those of whom we speak. Say "undocumented migrant" or "illegal migrant". Don't use the term "illegal alien". My great-great grandparents were not "aliens".

  • Harrison Bergeron Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 2:23 p.m.

    Mad Hatter: "Are you familiar with the treatment of the Irish in the 1840's and 1850's when they immigrated to the United States…?"

    You are confusing racial and ethnic prejudice with opposition to ILLEGAL immigration. Today, America is generous and bighearted to those who come in the front door. The discussion we are having now is whether a couple from anywhere in the world can come to America on vacation, have a baby and be granted automatic citizenship for that child. Or whether or not people can illegally sneak into our country, have a baby and be granted automatic citizenship for the baby, then put themselves in front of all of those standing in line and become citizens as well.

    This really has nothing to do with any prejudice against any race or ethnicity. It has to with twisting the words of the 14th Amendment from their original meaning, to a new meaning that capriciously confers citizenship to foreigners. When we actually start discussing the issue, most can plainly see the whole idea of birthright citizenship is completely absurd. And yet that is the status quo in America right now.

  • Middle of the road Mormon South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 2:18 p.m.

    When Trump makes these comments he exposes himself and his followers.

    Either they are extremely ignorant or they purposely ignore the US Constitution, previous SCOTUS rulings, and the plain and clear language present in the Amendment.

    I think it would be hilarious for him to sign it, and then have Kavanaugh and Gorsuch strike it down - but very likely that SCOTUS would not even choose to hear the case because it is ridiculous to begin with.

    Maybe Trump hopes to simply bring the issue out into the light of day. Perhaps we should be debating if we should amend our Constitution. There are those who legally enter our country while pregnant for the sole purpose of having a baby with dual citizenship. Then that child returns to the parent's home country. 20 years later when this person comes back we have no way of knowing if they are the same person or not. I think there could be merit in a thoughtful discussion/debate over whether this is something we keep doing or not.

    All that being said - I totally disagree with Trump's approach.

  • Mad Hatter Santa Fe, NM
    Oct. 31, 2018 2:06 p.m.

    thinkr2 - Mendon, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:07 p.m.

    "Subject to the jurisdiction" also refers to the willingness of the person to obey the laws of the country."

    This is a confusing interpretation of a very clear statement. If the meaning of "subject to the jurisdiction" implied "willingness" then are American citizens who break the law NOT "subject to the jurisdiction"? Those who break the law are still subject to those laws, so I don't get your point.

    You have "subject to . . . " meaning "under the authority of" and "Jurisdiction" which implies "a region under a specific governmental authority". So how did you get to "willing" to abide by the laws of a jurisdiction?

    "The photos I have seen of the "caravan" making its way through BOTH of the first two countries it came to show that it is mostly made up of military-aged men."

    Where did you see these photos and when did you see them? The source you cite is very important so they can be checked and validated. You don't object to that do you? Most other photos of the refugees as they arrived in Mexico were of women and children and nothing like you describe.

    Did you notice what national flags they were carrying? Please clarify.

  • bjeanb Orem, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 2:03 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see how Mia Love responds to this.

  • bjeanb Orem, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:58 p.m.

    Conservative values—not worship of a man who would be king. His appeal to the masses is disheartening.

  • thinkr2 Mendon, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:48 p.m.

    Regarding legal immigrants vs. illegal aliens, the precedent usually quoted is the footnote in Justice Brennan’s opinion in Plyler v. Doe, 1982, where he quoted an opinion in a book written by a Patent Office lawyer, NOT a court decision by a judge or panel of judges.

    It wasn’t even worth putting in the decision itself! A precedent based on a private opinion by an individual with no authority is bad precedent.

  • Joe Leaphorn Scottsdale, AZ
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:35 p.m.

    NeifyT - Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 5:14 p.m.

    "Trump might feel that now that he has padded "conservatives" into the Supreme Court; that they might rule in favor of such a policy. But, I don't see that as very likely even if all 9 supreme court justices were "conservative."

    Donald Trump may be a Republican, but he's no way a conservative. It's not a liberal either. His only ideology is himself and what is good for himself. It appears that Trump has essentially purged the Republican Party of conservative values and replaced it with the Cult of Trump. Many "conservative Republicans" have become Trump Republicans.

    Conservatives live off precedent and slow change. Nothing radical. Nothing that "violates" the Constitution. They interpret the Constitution as they believe it was originally intended and believe in a "static" Constitution rather than the "dynamic" Constitution of political liberals. They are loath to change anything about the Constitution and accept it as it is, warts and all.

    If Trump Republicas in Congress decided to act like real conservatives, Trump would be frustrated in his attempts to Executive Order everything he wants. They would stop him in an instant.

  • Chris Cannon Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:30 p.m.

    Pres. Trump’s Ex Order WILL be litigated.
    And this is GOOD for those of us care about immigrants and how they come and live with us and, perhaps, become Americans like us.
    Or at least learn the best of our system, i.e., the rule of law, and return to their home countries with higher expectations of governance.
    There is a huge difference between this executive order and Obamas’ DACA, which was essentially the bill I had originally introduced In Congress, but which clearly usurped the law making role of the legislative branch. But I t didn’t need to change the constitution.
    Several commentators on this story have pointed out that as an interpretation by the Supreme Court, birthright citizenship can only be changed by the Court or by constitutional amendment.
    The president is not contemplating that.
    I hope he is instigating a real debate between the opposing parties: xenophobics/labor/minorities and people who believe in opportunity and and sharing the blessings we inherited.
    That debate has to deal with the broader issues of the illegal population already in America and the flow of future immigrants.
    Wouldn’t clarity of law be wonderful!

  • Mad Hatter Santa Fe, NM
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:27 p.m.

    RiDal - Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:50 a.m.

    Are you familiar with the treatment of the Irish in the 1840's and 1850's when they immigrated to the United States and the discrimination and nativist anger that raged in this country at the time? If many of the Americans at the time had their way, they would have put these people back on the ships they arrived on and made them go back to starving Ireland to die. The Irish were the scum of the earth to these Americans, worse than African-American slaves.

    There's no problem clarifying the meaning of the 14th Amendment as it applies to the birthright claims of children born in the United States of undocumented immigrants, refugees, and foreign tourists on a valid Visa, as an example. We cannot have this discussion, however, in a tribal, partisan environment. It would be like discussing the granting of citizenship to the babies of Irish immigrants in the mid-1800's.

    We have a long history of anti-immigrant fervor in this country, one group coming and shutting the door on the next, but it requires a bi-partisan effort with a non-partisan Court. It's all about doing the right thing. The bottom line is we benefit from all who settle here.

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:20 p.m.

    I'd be curious to know Rep. Love's response to her GOP colleague Mark Sanford's statement today that children born in the US to Haitian citizens do not qualify for US citizenship under the 14th Amendment because the parents weren't slaves.

    Since at least Sanford will be gone come January, I guess she can try to avoid him until then to escape any professional awkwardness.

    The number of lawmakers who've followed Trump's lead and suddenly "discovered" this great oversight in the Constitution, in the face of decades of judicial interpretation to the contrary, is disturbing.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:17 p.m.

    Everyone knows that President Trump can't change the Constitution with an Executive Order, but what he can do is forward the narrative and push the issue. We all know that the 14th amendment has been abused and that this interpretation didn't start until the 1960's. If Congress would do the work and will of the people, they would produce a Constitutional amendment to fix the 14th just like congresses of the past have done. (repealing the prohibition of alcohol). But since immigration is more about having a political agenda and big money for both sides, this will never get fixed. I applaud President Trump for trying to push the system which is exactly why he won and why I voted for him and will gladly vote for him in 2020.

  • peabody Steamboat Springs, CO
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:08 p.m.

    Just more from Trump just to rile up his base. In no way can he by executive order change the 14th amendment.

  • thinkr2 Mendon, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:07 p.m.

    2. The photos I have seen of the "caravan" making its way through BOTH of the first two countries it came to show that it is mostly made up of military-aged men. There are a few camp followers (including wives and children) following this invading army, just like there have been camp followers of virtually every army since the dawn of time. Even the Mormon Battalion had them.

    This army is flying flags of other nations and occasionally burning an American flag. They are loudly proclaiming their intention to break American immigration law. They have already broken Mexican immigration law. They are also breaking international law by NOT stopping in the first or even second country outside their own in spite of Mexico offering them incredibly generous terms.

    Members of invading armies are not eligible for citizenship, nor are their offspring. Both of my Honduran friends want these caravans kept out. They came legally and don't want people coming illegally.

  • thinkr2 Mendon, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:59 p.m.

    Two observations:

    1. The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction" does not ONLY mean that the local or national government has the ability to put you in jail. That governmental power has nothing to do with the issue. "Subject to the jurisdiction" also refers to the willingness of the person to obey the laws of the country.

    Just putting a person in jail does not make them willing to submit to the jurisdiction of the government. In fact, being in jail is indicative of their own refusal to be "subject to the jurisdiction" of our country. Entering the country illegally is also evidence that they are unwilling to be subject to our laws.

    THAT is the aspect of the phrase that is important.

    I guess I have to put the second one in another comment.

  • Janet Pete Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:59 p.m.

    If only Justice Scalia were around to set this guy straight. However Donald Trump finds inadequate the Constitution to do whatever he wants on whim, Justice Scalia would at least let Trump's advisors and friends know what is and what is not. A conservative, originalist interpretation is not anything like a "Trump interpretation" considering Trump ever read the Constitution in its entirely. Maybe he read a Reader's Digest version condensed into an executive summary missing large segments of important text?

    All this aside, Trump is back at the in the news, embroiled in another controversy, ready to do his shtick at another rally for the faithful. If he had his way, he would make every network carry his rallies in real time and in full so his message would be forced on everyone with a television. It's like he's back on 'The Apprentice' fighting for ratings.

    Trump knows what he's doing even though he often acts like he doesn't. It a tactic to confuse and frustrate people until they give up. He's the nuisance vacuum cleaner salesman come to the door, spreading dirt and filth on you new carpet, and leaves after unsuccessfully trying to vacuum the debris up. It's your problem.

  • Jim Chee Lahaina, HI
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:42 p.m.

    This was just another glop of chicken innards that Donald Trump threw against the wall to see if it would stick. The past week has been bad for the Dear Leader, three horrific attacks and Trump lost the headlines in the news media. So he tries different things to get back into the spotlight. His signature attempts at inducing fear in his base has not been that successful.

    Sending the military to the border to stop refugees seeking safety not scheduled to arrive for several weeks at the border is a bust, and then they line up and apply for asylum like everyone else. The Fox News attacks of being a "violent mob" and "carrying unspeakable diseases" eradicated 35 years ago have failed.

    The election being about Donald Trump has eroded and many in contested elections don't want him anywhere near them. And the rallies have become controversial with accusations of incitement and adding to the divisiveness even though that's what Trump wants. But they're not playing that well on television.

    Now he speaks of changing the Constitution by Executive Order and even his Republican friends in Congress aren't buying it. So much for distractions. Even the Mueller smear has fallen on deaf ears.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:36 p.m.

    Furry1993--

    Illegal immigrants are subject to US law regarding criminal behavior. But can they be drafted? Do they vote? There are a number of laws that they are not subject to, nor qualify for. They likewise may not qualify for their children born within the US to be citizens. These children's parents are still citizens of another country, who are here illegally.

    I am not a fan of Trump. I voted 3rd party in the last election. However, I am trying to see all sides of this issue.

    In my opinion, I feel the borders must be secured to ensure criminals and terrorists cannot more easily slip in and cause problems. Think of the human trafficking issue--that alone is reason enough to build a wall and/or secure the border. Sex trafficking is evil. We should do something about that.

    Next, I feel our immigration laws must be rewritten to allow for more immigrants that we choose to accept and need. I believe America has a Divine role in the world--that of spreading freedom and opportunity. America is a light on a hill.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 11:43 a.m.

    @David - Oct. 31, 2018 8:53 a.m.

    So the question remains--are illegal immigrants subject to the laws of their native country? If so, do their children, if born in the US, fall under the 14th Amendment?

    -----

    Illegal immigrants are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States in addition to being subject to laws promulgated by their native country. Contrary to what happens to those who have diplomatic immunity, illegal immigrants are subject to US laws. They can be arrested, charged, tried, convicted, imprisoned, etc., and cannot claim immunity from US laws. That means the 14th Amendment provision granting citizenship to anyone born in the US also applies to their children born in the US.

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 10:45 a.m.

    Trump supporters be careful what you wish for. If The 14th Amendment can be changed by presidential fiat to apply only to some groups, what is to stop that process from creeping to include other undesirables as well? If citizenship is not determined by birth, then by what? Could citizenship be limited to Republicans, or Democrats, or Christians, or billionaires? Which of you did anything beyond being born here to become a citizen? What are your qualifications? Of course, naturalized citizens aren't included in those questions, because they had to jump through various hoops and pass an exam. The rest of us were simply geographically fortunate.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 10:15 a.m.

    @SC Matt and @Alfred,

    Regarding the 1898. I note the article mentioned such rulings as well. Prior to reading the article, I never heard of that at all (I certainly don't study every court case; especially not ones over 100 years ago). And hence my comment was based on my understanding of the constitution's intent of "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" -- unfortunately pared down to fit the character limitation on this forum. Also, unfortunately the first comment; so I couldn't even adjust my response to other comments.

    I did wonder exactly why such rulings on diplomats (I get why not armies); and yet again no ruling that I know of has addressed illegal immigration which is what this push seems to be about.

    Thankfully other posters on here did what the journalist failed to do; and gave a sound reasoning why the courts ruled diplomats are not counted.

    But, that still doesn't address the illegal immigrants. I do note that the "laws" for immigrating to the US were a lot less strict 120 years ago. Thus they didn't have the problem of "illegal" immigration; as they were trying to get even more people to immigrate here. Currently, the US policy is to allow very few to come.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    Oct. 31, 2018 10:15 a.m.

    kreese - Ivins, UT
    ---
    American Indians (Native Americans) didn't gain citizenship until 1924. The 14th amendment (1868) was meant to "repeal" the Dred Scott decision.
    ---

    Some Native Americans were considered part of sovereign nations, such that Treaties with those nations were concluded, and the members of the tribe were part of those sovereign nations.

    Because of this, the phrase ' subject to the jurisdiction thereof', and the sovereignty of the tribal lands, the court did take the position that Native Americans were outside the " subject to the jurisdiction thereof" limitation.

    Hence, Congress acting in accordance with the Constitutional authority to control immigration/naturalization, essentially 'naturalized' Native Americans en mass legislatively.

    Some conservatives don't seem to read the Constitution, or just selectively, but they also don't read the various Supreme Court cases which have clarified or found application of the Constitution.

    In the 1866 era there had been a movement of anti-immigrant call the Native American Party,
    aka the Know Nothing Party, much like the current Republican Party in its view of immigrants as being somehow an evil force.

  • dordrecht Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 9:50 a.m.

    Yuge amounts of money have never impressed the Constitution.

  • sman columbia, MS
    Oct. 31, 2018 9:50 a.m.

    How do you come up with 130 years. There wasn't any immigration into the US from 1921 to the 1960's. The 14th amendment was intended for freed slaves not a free meal ticket for anyone who wants to cross the border.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 9:46 a.m.

    Maybe we should be reasonable, bipartisn, and just agree to the Democrats' plan for clarifying the 14th Amendment.
    Reid’s proposal, 1993, was to try to clarify the Fourteenth Amendment by Act of Congress.

    TITLE X—CITIZENSHIP 4 SEC. 1001. BASIS OF CITIZENSHIP CLARIFIED. In the exercise of its powers under section of the Fourteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Congress has determined and hereby declares that any person born after the date of enactment of this title to a mother who is neither a citizen of the United States nor admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and which person is a national or citizen of another country of which either of his or her natural parents is a national or citizen, or is entitled upon application to become a national or citizen of such country, shall be considered as born subject to the jurisdiction of that foreign country and not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States within the meaning of section 1 of such Article and shall therefore not be a citizen of the United States or of any State solely by reason of physical presence within the United States at the moment of birth.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 9:44 a.m.

    If Republicans had a record to run on they would but all they have is stoking fears/hatreds and gimmicks.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 9:35 a.m.

    If one looks at a map of the countries that offer birthright citizenship (jus soli) you'd get almost every country in the western hemisphere, and only a few more elsewhere.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 9:32 a.m.

    @RedRockUte,

    Thanks for your description. I noted in the article it said that courts had previously ruled children of diplomats were not citizens, long long ago. But, the article did not explain why the court may have ruled that way.

    With current interpretations I would have thought that even they could have been; so I was left wondering why not.

    Your description makes perfect sense. I have heard of "diplomatic immunity" but only in TV shows, so I had never thought about how true that may be (I don't believe everything said on a TV show) or how that may affect other things (such as the 14th amendment).

    ---

    I had previously thought that the extra clause "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was for categorizing babies born to US citizens who are out of the country (such as in the military, or on vacation). Your description though makes more sense.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:53 a.m.

    I believe context of the 14th Amendment was post-Civil War and was enacted to ensure slaves born in the US were actually citizens. It is valuable to note that Native American Indians were not covered by the 14th Amendment as they are citizens of their respective tribal nations, so deference and respect was afforded those nations--ie, American Indians were not automatically granted citizenship.

    So the question remains--are illegal immigrants subject to the laws of their native country? If so, do their children, if born in the US, fall under the 14th Amendment? African Americans were enslaved and brought to the US under terrible circumstances, and were granted citizenship under the 14th Amendment. But does the 14th Amendment apply to the children born to illegal immigrants? The 14th Amendment does not address this under its original text. This is where Trump's Justice Department could offer clarity. Certainly the question will end up before the Supreme Court.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:50 a.m.

    @Blue: "What do you think the arguments would be from Trump supporters if the prevailing optics regarding immigrants giving birth in the US was of Swedes? "

    Good question:
    Well, I am of Irish descent. I like the Irish. But if I knew of any illegal entrants from Ireland, I would report them and hope they were immediately deported.
    It has nothing to do with specific countries. It has to do with the rule of law.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States..."

    We have to wonder why all that explanatory language did not make it into the 14th Amendment!? If that is really what was intended, the wording would have been ratified, right?

    And the fact that this wording was not ratified is evidence of ultimate "intent" for what did end up in the 14th Amendment.

    That's one argument...

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:41 a.m.

    This would require a repeal of the 14th Amendment Section 1. Otherwise, it can't be done.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:36 a.m.

    Elwood P. Suggins - BEAVERTON, OR
    ---
    His executive order would only instruct the executive branch in how to execute the constitution properly. The constitution already DOES NOT ALLOW citizenship simply by birth. It never has. This element of the constitution has simply never been challenged... until now.
    ---

    In 1898 the Supreme Court decided in the case of US v Wong Kim Ark, that in fact 'just being born' in the US was the criteria for 'birth' citizenship, with the exception of those persons in the US of a recognized diplomatic delegation. Such persons are 'subject to a foreign power'. Unless an alien visitor is specially recognized as a diplomat, the alien is subject to the US and it's laws.

    This is pure show on the part of Trump to whip up fervor in the Right. The clams that the Caravan is some sort of 'invasion', hasn't gotten enough traction, the domestic, that is citizens, engaging terrorism has taken more media time, and so, Trump is giving the faithful a bone to chew.

    Trump is one of those late night TV ads, where the catchline "Wait there's more..." attempts to capture or retain viewers who are likely to nod off into slumber.

  • kreese Ivins, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:33 a.m.

    American Indians (Native Americans) didn't gain citizenship until 1924. The 14th amendment (1868) was meant to "repeal" the Dred Scott decision.

    Many years ago, most of the babies born in the county hospitals San Diego were born to mothers who came across the border for the purpose of having anchor babies.

    This should have been fixed years ago but for the reason one side wants cheap labor, and the other side wants voters.

  • itswhatithink West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:26 a.m.

    So MIA Love is having issues with this. Interesting since she is an anchor baby and her parents were not US citizens, and couldn’t be, until they had a child.

  • tahnl Francis, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 7:53 a.m.

    The IRS certainly taxes the income of 'accidental' Americans who were born in the US with foreign parents and returned to the parents home countries. It is upwards of $5k to 'renounce' US citizenship. US is only 1 of 2 countries that tax their citizens on worldwide income. Sounds like a money maker for the US.

  • tesuji Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 7:43 a.m.

    Maybe this is a pre-election ploy by Trump, as the article implies.

    Or maybe we have an American president who dosen't understand the Constitution or the basics of how American government works.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 7:38 a.m.

    What do you think the arguments would be from Trump supporters if the prevailing optics regarding immigrants giving birth in the US was of Swedes?

    I rest my case.

  • KHS UK, 00
    Oct. 31, 2018 7:24 a.m.

    Reading other discussions, there is an argument for not granting citizenship to just anyone born I. Us. It is a matter for SCOUS to decide. It depends on how the wordering of the 14th amendment defines "under jurisdiction" . Whether a citizen of another country can. Be consider under jurisdiction. Remember it was written to give slaves citizenship. And the thinking of what was meant to do is part of the determination on how we endure it.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 6:53 a.m.

    Of course Trump actually can end birthright citizenship with an EO. It will simply then be decided by the courts.
    The courts will look at the intent of the wording.
    Jacob Howard, senator from Michigan and close friend of Abraham Lincoln, was the author of the Amendment. Here is what he had to say about anchor babies/birthright citizenship in 1866:
    quote:
    "Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 6:41 a.m.

    It will worked if he is crowned national Monarch and controller of the source of all news all the time. Praise the Donald and bestow him ultimate power so he can write an order and amend the Constitution.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Oct. 31, 2018 6:39 a.m.

    James Howard, author of the 14th amendment, described it's intent during debate as follows:

    "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons."

    Why is this such a difficult question?

  • jalapenochomper Albuquerque, NM
    Oct. 31, 2018 6:21 a.m.

    I am one that generally supports Trump, even though I am often baffled by the battles he chooses and the timing. This is an example. I work with people across the country and across political spectrum. This one is a loser. Even Trump is enough political realist I hope he lets it die.

    On the other hand, Trump is much more strategic than the press credits him; one almost wonders if he is sending a sure loser on the fast track to the Supreme Court to help legitimize his new justice. I do not think even Trump is that strategic - and it still does not explain the timing seven days before the election.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 4:50 a.m.

    So what we are saying is 130 years of precedent is wrong. That somehow today we now have enlightenment of the "intent" of these men, better then people who were contemporaries of the writers of this amendment?

    That somehow at that time there was no "issue" of immigration to the US in the late 1800s? That despite this not saying so, this legislation was targeted only to freed slaves? That these writers were unaware of the people flooding into the country from other parts of the world? They weren't aware of the 28 million people who immigrated to the country in the late 1880 to 1920 period? They had no idea these people were coming largely from looked down upon southern Europe? The were unclear about the Chinese Exclusion act of 1882?

    I think some need to learn the context of the times a bit better... because it just wasn't that simple.

    I am personally not for automatic citizenship of people here illegally.... but a Trump "order" is not the way to amend this process and law.

  • Mad Hatter Santa Fe, NM
    Oct. 31, 2018 3:08 a.m.

    Vermonter - Plymouth, MI
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:36 p.m.

    "Time to have the president and the Judiciary do their jobs. Heaven knows Congress won’t. Let the chips fall where they may. Time for POTUS and SCOTUS to at least give us some clarity on this issue."

    Maybe while we're on the subject of changing the Constitution by Executive Order, Donald Trump should consider eliminating the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, too. Many fringe conservatives would go for that, and with Brett Kavanaugh owing him bigly, he'll have at least one vote on the Supreme Court.

    This is so much nonsense. Trump likes stirring the pot and getting people talking about him. That's all he wants, to be the center of whatever controversy is polluting the air. He doesn't care that nothing will come of it. He only wants attention. The past week has taken up too much of the news media and Trump wants it back. He can't spread his message if we're focused on tragedies he doesn't really care about. At least he didn't go to Pittsburgh and toss out paper towels.

    Tomorrow he'll be back on the rally trail spewing invective and inciting his faithful to seize the day and vote for him through the surrogates running for office.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:11 a.m.

    Re i m LDS 2

    Yes the Supreme Court could widen the existing exception to illegals I suppose. But keep in mind that this exception is 2 sided.

    One side is children born here are not citizens. The other side is these people would not be subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

    In other words if they break our laws, They can not be held accountable. They can not be arrested or convicted for crimes committed.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:56 a.m.

    What does 'subject to the jurisdiction' mean? For example ambassadors serving in foreign embassies located in the United States are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. They can not be arrested or imprisoned by us. They are not subject to any of our laws.

  • Laurent Lechifflart , 00
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:13 a.m.

    Trumpist logic, The 2nd Amendment shouldn't be questioned because it is God given... but there is no problem terminating the 14th Amendment through an executive order. I am a little lost there. Could there be a list or something?

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2018 10:47 p.m.

    Holy Cow, fellow posters...Do you not see this for what it is?

    Of course, Trump cannot change our constitutition with the the stroke of a pen! But he can easily win votes with such rhetoric. We should call out these charades for what they are. Instead, many of my fellow posters here are debating the “consitutionality” of this supposed move. Please! Trump is energizing his voting base, nothing more.

  • Harrison Bergeron Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:57 p.m.

    "But constitutional scholar and University of Utah law professor Wayne McCormack said neither Congress nor the president can change the meaning of the Constitution. Interpretation of the Constitution rests with the Supreme Court."

    This is absolutely correct.

    "However, he said, if the president wants to get the Supreme Court to reverse previous rulings on birthright citizenship, signing an order that would face legal challenges would be a way to go about it."

    And so is this. The problem is that the constitution has been interpreted INCORRECTLY. The founders of the 14th Amendment never intended for it to apply to illegal aliens or birth tourists. In other words, the courts have overstepped their bounds and unilaterally amended the 14th amendment to conform to their own biases. There is ample evidence to support the original meaning of the 14th Amendment for the Supreme Court to consider.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:40 p.m.

    Alfred-
    "The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the 14th Amendment does not apply to children of diplomats, ministers, consuls, etc., born in the US. As foreign nationals here on the business of their governments, the parents and children owe their allegiance to their home country.

    SCOTUS could well rule in favor of a presidential Executive Order under the same allegiance concept to children born in the US to illegals."

    That's an interesting concept. So what would be the thinking? Undocumented immigrants would be declared to have some kind of diplomatic, ministerial, or consular status, and be considered here on their countries' business?

    Even so, that wouldn't contradict birthright citizenship, it would just widen an existing exception to it. But it is an interesting legal play. I'm intrigued by it.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:36 p.m.

    Tired of the banter. Trump should roll the dice, issue the EO, have a Federal Judge somewhere (likely in California or Hawaii) put a stay on it and forward it to SCOTUS.

    This was never the intent of those who approved the 14th Amendment in the 1860s. But, the Judiciary has become politicized beginning with FDR, culminating In Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing.

    Time to have the president and the Judiciary do their jobs. Heaven knows Congress won’t.

    Let the chips fall where they may. Time for POTUS and SCOTUS to at least give us some clarity on this issue.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:21 p.m.

    Congress needs to do a Constitutional Amendment. The worry about Dems getting in is they won't be willing to do this. Or, will some Republicans like Mia Love. Our country and the world have changed a lot since the days of slavery. It is no longer in the best interest of our national security or our country to automatically grant citizenship to babies born to non-citizens. Maybe 30 other countries do this as well but that doesn't mean it is a good thing. Most of the world doesn't grant automatic birth citizenship. They are probably right not the 30 that do.

  • SC Matt Saline, MI
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:20 p.m.

    @Alfred:

    "SCOTUS could well rule in favor of a presidential Executive Order under the same allegiance concept to children born in the US to illegals."

    Yes, they could have..... when they decided the case 120 years ago.

    Your *exact* argument was used by those who claimed that Wong Kim Ark was not a US citizen, even though he was born on US soil, because his parents were citizens of China, and therefore he "owed allegiance" to the Chinese emperor.

    And that argument lost at the USSC in a 6-2 opinion.

    But, as indicated, that ship sailed 120 years ago. It's the law. It's been tested. Attempt to change the Constitution if you think it's a bad law.

    This is civics 101.

  • Liberal On Planet Zion SLC, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:13 p.m.

    Another ploy and con by the Distractor and Chief. Red meat for the low information base! Anything to keep the focus off the facts. Especially the latest regarding Bowers and Sayoc. Possibly the self-proclaimed constitutional scholars care to explain in detail how this action would not be a clear violation of the 14th Amendment. Cannot wait to read the regurgitated, Faux News, wingnut talking points. Country before party comrades!

  • SC Matt Saline, MI
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:12 p.m.

    @NeifyT:

    "My reading of the Constitution is that yes, simply being born within the US qualifies for citizenship. That has been the interpretation for a long time, but no court (that I know of) has actually ruled that interpretation as being correct."

    The USSC in 1898 gave three (well, four, but one has since been made invalid) exceptions to explain who is *not* "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

    Children of diplomats / foreign rulers, children born on a foreign vessel, and children born to a member of an invading army. These are those who *aren't* US citizens, even if born on US soil, or within US territorial waters.

    The 1898 ruling was reaffirmed in 1982 in the case Plyler V. Doe. Although a 5-4 decision, that was in regards to public education for the children of illegal aliens. Even the dissenters in that case agreed that illegal immigrants were "subject to the jurisdiction" of the US.

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:02 p.m.

    @furymouse:
    "Good to know the GOP/Republicans don't care about the constitution. That helps with president Trumps attacks on the first amendment."

    Trump is simply following the example of a former president who wrote Executive Orders... Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).

  • Alfred Springville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:54 p.m.

    @NeifyT:
    "My reading of the Constitution is that yes, simply being born within the US qualifies for citizenship."

    The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the 14th Amendment does not apply to children of diplomats, ministers, consuls, etc., born in the US. As foreign nationals here on the business of their governments, the parents and children owe their allegiance to their home country.

    SCOTUS could well rule in favor of a presidential Executive Order under the same allegiance concept to children born in the US to illegals.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:16 p.m.

    At least we are talking about it and maybe we can get it fixed

  • Let's Agree to Disagree Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 7:52 p.m.

    Birth right citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants or visitors has only been a thing in recent decades. Originally the 14 amendment was not interpreted or applied as such.

    When it did start, the change was administrative. I don't see why it can't be changed back just as easily.

  • furymouse Draper, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 7:45 p.m.

    Good to know the GOP/Republicans don't care about the constitution. That helps with president Trumps attacks on the first amendment.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 6:54 p.m.

    By the way,

    I can see Trump fanning some flames about dual citizenship. If a person born here is a citizen, the executive can (and has) force that individual to claim which country they are a citizen of.

    That has been relaxed quite a bit so politicians could continue to get political donations from the dual Canadian and Israeli citizens, but lots of precedent there.

    Also, the fast-track to citizenship for parents of a citizen could also be greatly affected by executive action.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 6:38 p.m.

    The part of the 14th amendment that pertains to birthright, was written to assure that slaves and their children were given citizenship. It's been argued in the past that it no longer applies.

    Let the Supreme Court decide.

  • drich Green River, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2018 6:20 p.m.

    I have two granddaughters who born in Australia and they are American citizens not Australia citizens. They can apply for citizenship when they turn eighteen under certain criteria.

    Paul Ryan is wrong....he needs to read the constitution. Instead of listening to his college professors ideas.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 6:22 p.m.

    So much for Trump's claims that he supports the constitution. And his followers as well. Let the spin begin.

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 6:16 p.m.

    I might add that Trump comes from a different world than the elites. He comes from the private sector where they say, "People who say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."

    ...said no bureaucrat ever.

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 6:10 p.m.

    So, we've had this problem for decades, and whenever it is brought up the congressmen just stare at their shoes and wait for someone to change the subject. Along comes Trump and suddenly those same congressmen become critics. Now that's rich!

    Trump is forcing the issue here, and all those experts in the swamp are making fools of themselves.

    He probably can't make the change, but he can get the courts involved and embarrass all sorts of politicians in the process.

    And when Trump says we are the only country, those who correct them are about as important as the grammar police on the Internet.

    The president is talking to REAL people here. Directly. And his foes still don't get it.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 6:03 p.m.

    So the legal experts say Trump doesn't have the authority to do this per the Constitution? Where was the outcry and where were all of the legal scholars when Obama created new immigration laws known as DAPA and DACA? DAPA has already been ruled unconstitutional and DACA will be ruled likewise very soon. The media double standard has gotten to be mind numbing.

  • JaneB Wilsonville, OR
    Oct. 30, 2018 5:55 p.m.

    White House counsel who? Who told Trump this? Most likely, no one. He lies so much that I can't take anything he says seriously.

    He threw it out there, and suddenly . . . squirrel! . . . everyone is distracted yet again.

    I really wish the media would learn not to take the bait so easily.

  • Elwood P. Suggins BEAVERTON, OR
    Oct. 30, 2018 5:49 p.m.

    His executive order would only instruct the executive branch in how to execute the constitution properly. The constitution already DOES NOT ALLOW citizenship simply by birth. It never has. This element of the constitution has simply never been challenged... until now.

  • LoveLondon Murray, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 5:40 p.m.

    Trump can't issue an executive order and end birthright citizenship, but it's about time that Congress acted and end birthright citizenship. Canada and the U.S. are the only developed countries in the world that still offer birthright citizenship to everyone whether they are legally or illegally in the country. No European country offers this "benefit."

    Someone born in the U.S should only get U.S. citizenship if one of the parents is a U.S. citizen.

  • RedRockUte St George, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 5:31 p.m.

    Legislation such as proposed by Lee would still likely be unconstitutional. The Fourteenth Amendment says what it says, and if you want it to say something else, it needs to be amended. Good luck with that.

    As for the meaning of "subject to the jurisdiction", jurisdiction is defined as the power, right, and authority to interpret and apply the law. An illegal immigrant (or even a foreign citizen visiting) is definitely subject to the law here. If they commit a crime, they can be arrested, tried, convicted, and incarcerated just like a citizen can. Often times, if the crime is small, they are often just depored, but for serious crimes such as rape or murder, they can and do go to prison.

    An example of someone not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States would be a foreign diplomat with diplomatic immunity. No matter what they do, the worst that can happen to them is to be expelled. So, under the Fourteenth Amendment, a child of a foreign diplomat born here would not need to be granted citizenship.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 5:14 p.m.

    Of course he can't change the US Constitution with the stroke of a pen.

    At most he could do, is set a policy to not have birth certificates drawn up for children of parents who do not show that they are US citizens.

    And such a policy would be hit immediately with so many lawsuits it would make a person's head spin. Even faster than the ban on people coming from certain countries hit the courts.

    What it might do, however, is ensure the courts would have to take up the cause of the debate that has been around for a very long time; and rule one way or the other: whether or not simply being born within the boundaries of the United States qualifies for citizenship.

    My reading of the Constitution is that yes, simply being born within the US qualifies for citizenship. That has been the interpretation for a long time, but no court (that I know of) has actually ruled that interpretation as being correct.

    Trump might feel that now that he has padded "conservatives" into the Supreme Court; that they might rule in favor of such a policy. But, I don't see that as very likely even if all 9 supreme court justices were "conservative."