HERE WE GO: Sen. Graham To Introduce Legislation To End Birthright Citizenship

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced on Tuesday that he will introduce legislation that would end birthright citizenship.

Graham’s announcement comes after President Donald Trump revealed in a recent interview that he was planning to use an executive order to end birthright citizenship.

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“Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship. I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform — and at the same time — the elimination of birthright citizenship,” Graham wrote.

He fired off two additional tweets:

This is a major issue, and has already resulted in liberals threatening lawsuits and to challenge the executive order before the Supreme Court.

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Congress is out of session until Nov. 13, so the only thing that might happen before the Nov. 6 midterm elections is that the president will sign an executive order.

Getting the measure passed in Congress may prove to be difficult, especially given the partisan divides.

The South Carolina Republican’s legislation to amend the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution would require two-thirds majorities in Congress and it must be ratified by three-quarters of the states.

Graham’s proposed measure is in response to Trump announcing on Monday to Axios on HBO that he would pursue an executive order to outlaw birthright citizenship just before the midterms.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t. You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order…We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States…with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

As detailed by The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, his executive order will undoubtedly be challenged by the lower courts and more than likely make its way to the Supreme Court — which currently has a 5-4 conservative slant.

The issue at hand is the interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which states:

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.

The key phrase here is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

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Here’s what Ilya Shapiro of CATO Institute points out:

That phrase was originally written to exclude the children of Native American tribes from American citizenship – since those children were subject to the jurisdiction of Native American governance – as well as the children of foreign diplomats and soldiers from abroad fighting on American land. The amendment was specifically written in order to guarantee the citizenship of freed slaves and their children, in order to abrogate the Supreme Court’s despicable Dred Scott ruling. Senator Jacob Howard (R-MI) explained the purpose of the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” provision:

“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.”

In 1884, the Supreme Court ruled that a Native American born under the jurisdiction of a Native American tribe could not unilaterally make himself a United States citizen, since “no one can become a citizen of a nation without its consent.” In 1898, the Supreme Court ruled that Wong Kim Ark, a child born in the United States to legal resident Chinese immigrants, was included in the birthright citizenship provided by the 14th Amendment. In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled that for a state to deny public benefits to the child of illegal immigrants would be illegal; Justice William Brennan wrote in a footnote, “[N]o plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”

The Supreme Court has never fully ruled on whether the 14th Amendment protects the children of illegal immigrants who come to the U.S.

So, the question is: if an illegal alien gives birth to their child in the U.S., does the Constitution allow for the child to be a legal American citizen?

A number of conservatives argue “no,” and that the child should not automatically be an American citizen and allowed to stay in the country.

There will undoubtedly be a major fight over ending birthright citizenship.

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