Donald Trump’s hostility to US citizen children of undocumented immigrants
IN AN EFFORT to curb illegal immigration, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced his plan, if he is elected, to eliminate this birthright citizenship to children of the undocumented immigrants.
Is this plan an effective solution to resolving the broken US immigration system? Why is it that other Republican candidates do not support Trump’s proposal?
Karen entered the United States on a fiancé visa. Her US citizen fiancé George knew that Karen was a victim of a sexual offense and became pregnant prior to entering the US as a fiancée.
Six months after her arrival in the United States, Karen gave birth to Mariel. Meanwhile, Karen and George had a falling out and never got married.
Mariel is a US citizen by birth while her mother has an expired fiancée visa and is now an undocumented immigrant. Having heard of the proposed elimination of the birthright citizenship, Mariel, who is now in high school is wondering if she will be “deported” and divested of her US citizenship should Trump succeed in getting elected President. What is the likelihood that the birthright citizenship will be eliminated?
Unlike in the Philippines where citizenship is determined by the citizenship of the parents, the United States follow the jus soli principle of citizenship. This means that any individual born in American soil is a US citizen at birth irrespective of the nationality of the parents. This birthright citizenship is not a legal principle but a constitutional right enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.
This birthright was historically intended by the framers of the Constitution to place citizenship status above prejudices based on the fundamental belief that each person is born equal regardless of color, creed or social status.
The 14th Amendment withstood many challenges in judicial courts and in Congress. Now that it is being mentioned again, it is not clear how this elimination of birthright citizenship is going to take place. In fact, Trump has not specifically stated in detail which proposal he is going to make.
One of the proposals being floated is that both parents must be citizens or legal residents at the time of each child’s birth. The other extremely cruel proposal is that all US citizen children of immigrants should retroactively prove that they were entitled to their citizenship by proving the legal status of their parents.
Mariel’s fear of being divested of her US citizenship will, in all probability, not be a reality. It is election season and it is not unusual that this birthright citizenship is an issue that is being brought up but there are high legal hurdles that will need to be accomplished before that even happens.
A constitutional amendment, for example, requires the vote of two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of all the states. With the views on immigration as polarized as it is, getting the two-thirds majority in Congress will be an impossible task. Much less will it be any easier to get three-fourths of the states to approve a constitutional amendment.
(The author may be reached at [email protected], facebook.com/tancincolaw, www.tancinco.com or  721-1963.)
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