14th Amendment – Intent and Trump

The past few days have had the mainstream media in an uproar over President Donald Trump’s announcement that he intends to use an executive order to stop anchor babies. For example, check out this headline from the #1 Trump-hating media CNN:

Trump claims he can defy Constitution and end birthright citizenship

NBC News ran this story:

Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship via executive order is as unconstitutional as it is transparent

Trending: They Were Weeping Their Abortions, Not Shouting Them

CBS This Morning ran:

Trump faces criticism, legal challenges for plan to end birthright citizenship

ABC News ran:

Trump birthright threat ‘just more of the same,’ Pelosi says

MSNBC ran:

Trump’s birthright plan vs. the U.S. Constitution: Here’s who wins

For years, illegal aliens and America’s liberals have abused the 14th Amendment to gain permanent residency in the United States by giving birth to a child here in America. This amendment was passed by Congress on June 13, 1866 and was ratified by the States on July 9, 1868.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads:

“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 reason behind Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was to guarantee US citizenship to the tens of thousands of slaves that had been freed after the ending of the Civil War on May 9, 1865. There was a lot of controversy at the time of whether or not freed slaves should be granted US citizenship. This also had to do with granting them the right to vote, something Democrats of the South were adamantly against. The Democrats at the time, were the ones that fought to keep slaves and then to deny them citizenship and the right to vote.

The question being asked now is whether or not President Trump can overturn part of the 14th Amendment or not. Some conservatives believe that the 14th Amendment was intended for legal immigrants, NOT illegal immigrants.

At the time, the slaves had been brought to the United States legally.

I want to clarify who slaves really were. Most Americans, especially black Americans believe that all of the slaves were blacks that had originally been brought to the US from Africa or were born here, but that’s not entirely true.

Tens of thousands of Irish left Ireland for the United States because of conditions in Ireland at the time. The Great Famine, also know at the Great Hunger or Potato Famine, had devastated much of Ireland from 1845 to 1852, causing thousands of Irish to emigrate to the United States. In many areas, these Irish immigrants were enslaved, much like the blacks in the South. When the Civil War ended and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was finally enforced, it not only freed the blacks but it also freed the Irish slaves.

When the 14th Amendment was passed by Congress and ratified by the States, it had nothing to do with illegal immigration and had everything to do with legal immigration and the freed slaves.

Can Trump legally block Section 1 of the 14th Amendment? Probably not. What needs to happen is for Congress to amend the 14th Amendment to refer to legal immigrants or legal foreigners working in the US under a legal visa. The problem with this is that there are not enough votes to pass something like this and it is doubtful enough states would ratify an amendment to the 14th Amendment.

That leaves it up to the US Supreme Court to rule on the intent of the 14th Amendment and whether or not it applies to those who come to the US illegally.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

David Jolly
R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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