Opinion: Trump in Campaign Ad Vows to End Birthright Citizenship, 'Hey, DJT, Leave Them Kids Alone'

(Stacie Scott/The Gazette via AP)

Former President Donald Trump is repeating a previous campaign promise in his quest to retake the White House. On Tuesday, Trump released a campaign video that said that he would end birthright citizenship for children he referred to as “anchor babies” from parents he called “illegal immigrants.” Trump also calls the practice “birth tourism.” The former President indicated he would accomplish this by executive order, on “day one.” In the video, Trump says:

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As part of my plan to secure the border, on day one of my new term in office I will sign an executive order making clear to federal agencies that under the correct interpretation of the law going forward the future children of illegal aliens will not receive automatic U.S. citizenship.

Trump laments that these American-born children will qualify for “taxpayer-funded” benefits and the right to vote. Okay, Sir, but they will be tax-paying American citizens, too. Trump just warned us that people could end up with… rights. Sound the alarm! People born here would have “rights” if we don’t stop them!

I do not believe that citizenship is an issue to be addressed via executive order, as it sits well outside the purview of the president’s authority. As far as my knowledge goes, American citizenship is a constitutional issue, namely stemming from the 14th Amendment. Of course, interpretations, and sometimes unfortunate ones, are in the scope of the high courts.

Plus, of all the issues the American public is concerned with ahead of the 2024 presidential election, I’m not convinced that considering American-born children to not be citizens is a priority. While readers may not agree with my take, if you hear anything hear this: President Ronald Reagan would not have supported this policy. He did the exact opposite of telling immigrants that their children would never be Americans. He went further, even, making many of those people lifelong Republican voters. I’m not wrong about that part.

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As I see it, Trump is now running on a platform of “Making Americans Not Americans, Again.”

With that last word, “again,” I intended to direct way back to when this issue truly commenced in this nation, the Dred Scott case. It was that case, overturned by the codifications in the 13th and 14th Amendments, that sparked the practice of people born in the U.S. being citizens. Trump’s rhetoric will undoubtedly be ridiculed by the left with hyperbole about how we’re going back to Dred Scott and slavery. And, they will only be partially wrong. We’re turning the pages back to the worst Supreme Court decision ever made… and by executive order, at that. Like it or not, the basis for rehashing this issue brings us right back to the American Civil War. Coming off Memorial Day weekend, let me remind you that war was an awful, bloody chapter in our history. Some things are best left untouched. American citizenship might be one of ’em.

My mom was a Cuban immigrant, not “illegal” though. But, I gotta’ tell you it wouldn’t make a difference to me if she was; I don’t care by what means I was born into the greatest country on Earth, just that I was. Trying to imagine myself as American-born just to end up a Cuban national makes me want to vomit. I can’t imagine not having the rights guaranteed to us in the Constitution. I can’t imagine potentially being deported to Cuba. What? Me? Free Speech is practically my favorite thing, ever.

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I wouldn’t go. I would punch someone and run away, that’s what. I believe that natural law sometimes has to dominate over man-made constructs of authority. Moral law, you may call it. So, no, the policy Trump is promoting wouldn’t have impacted me, but it could have if some circumstances were different. And, in that case… I’m not going quietly into some socialist goodnight. And, for what? Your campaign fodder? Spare me.

My final point is one I have made before: not every immigrant commonly referred to as “illegal” has broken any laws. Presenting at the port of entry and making an asylum claim isn’t an illegal act. If we ever want to fix the broken immigration system, and hopefully in a functional manner, first we have to admit that what we sometimes deem as “illegal” is often a facet of the system, as designed. There are many valid opinions, even divergent ones, on the immigration system and related migrant crises of South America and the Greater Antilles. You’re allowed to have an opinion because this is America, dammit!

What we shouldn’t aim to do is make citizenship a matter of executive whim. What we shouldn’t do is punish American children by denying them the other rights the Constitution should ascribe to them, as being naturally born does. What we shouldn’t do is set up first-generation Americans, not unlike myself, to be deported. (What the c**p am I supposed to do in Cuba?! Become a rebel and end up in some gulag?!)

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Sensible policy solutions are welcome. Messing with little kids isn’t my idea of one. Hey, DJT, Leave Them Kids Alone!

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