President Donald Trump said he's considering issuing an executive order to end birthright citizenship in the U.S. Trump told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan on Monday that he had discussed with his lawyers ending this tradition—which grants citizenship to children born on U.S. soil even if their parents are not citizens, per the 14th Amendment—and plans to proceed despite constitutional concerns.
"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," said Trump. "It's in the process. It'll happen … with an executive order."
Constitutional law professors and pundits seem to agree that this would be illegal.
This proposed executive order would be unconstitutional. A federal statute relying upon Congress's Section V power might present an interesting issue, but an EO doesn't. https://t.co/Pd1p3yuuyH
— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) October 30, 2018
It also provides good evidence for the wisdom of orginalist interpretations of the Constitution, suggests Case Western Reserve University law professor and The Volokh Conspiracy blogger Jonathan Adler.
This proposed EO is a good reason to be happy President Trump has nominated judges who believe the original public meaning of the Constitution controls. The originalist arguments against this proposal are quite strong. See, e.g., https://t.co/HQg1aB3rsm https://t.co/Pd1p3yuuyH
— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) October 30, 2018
And here's University of Texas professor and Lawfare blogger Steve Vladeck:
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) October 30, 2018
Meanwhile, immigration and Trump administration reporters have been cautioning against making too much of the president's comments or reporting on them without proper context—such as that Trump's claims we're the only country with birthright citizenship are untrue, or that we've been here before.
Be smart: Trump saying he's going to do sth isn't indication of when/if it'll actually happen. An EO like this would need serious review not just from WH Counsel but DOJ/DHS/etc; no sign any of that's happened.(So "Trump to terminate" is rill misleading.) https://t.co/nzqK1pe8bP
— Dara Lind (@DLind) October 30, 2018
Guys. Trump can't terminate amendments via executive order. To respond as if he's ending birthright citizenship because he told an outlet he is ending birthright citizenship is to allow him to be our assignment editor. It's an obvious stunt
— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 30, 2018
What Trump floated to Axios is the holy grail of immigration restrictionists. The expression of deep, long-term demographic and political anxieties. It would be patently unconstitutional. Read this excellent @DLind explainer, written after Anton op-ed https://t.co/9mzfLCSrKe
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) October 30, 2018
For reference, even Trump appointee to the 5th Circuit Jim Ho says this would be unconstitutional: https://t.co/fOUqw1srOC 2/
— Michael Li (@mcpli) October 30, 2018
Read more about Trump's animosity toward birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment in Damon Root's 2015 feature "Trump vs. the Constitution," in which Root notes that "the text and history of the 14th Amendment are clear: If a child is born on U.S. soil, and that child's parents don't happen to be diplomats, foreign ministers, or invading foreign troops, then that child is a U.S. citizen by virtue of birth."
Migrant caravan inspires more Mexican border militarization. Thousands more troops will be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border, the Pentagon announced yesterday. An additional 5,200 troops will join the nearly 3,000 National Guard members already there. Buzzfeed points out "that is more than are currently deployed to Iraq and Syria" and "about half the US military presence of 15,000 in Afghanistan."
More importantly, it's more than double the number of people traveling north through Mexico to seek asylum here. Many have characterized Trump's fearmongering about migrant caravan "invaders" as a midterm election ploy. It also seems to be a step toward ongoing militarization of the U.S. border and possible preparations for building Trump's promised wall. Those deployed will include members of the Army Corps of Engineers who will help with construction projects, according to a Pentagon press conference. They and other newly-deployed military members will be stationed in southern Arizona, California, and Texas.
Conservative media has mostly been happy to parrot the president's characterization of the caravan. But a few prominent pundits haven't been playing along. On Sunday, Bill Kristol condemned "Fox News and parts of … right-wing media" for "their coverage of the caravan and the dangers of these immigrants" and for being "obsessed" with George Soros. And here's Fox's Shep Smith:
Shep Smith on the migrant caravan: "There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There is nothing at all to worry about." pic.twitter.com/4dLmPuZem0
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 29, 2018
• Many who are anti-"political correctness" are also pro-censorship:
Why we shouldn't take much comfort in polls showing broad opposition to "political correctness." Many who oppose PC also favor extensive censorship of speech. post inspired in part by great work by @emilyekins & @AlexNowrasteh of @CatoInstitute. https://t.co/oVRqXTHL1G
— Ilya Somin (@IlyaSomin) October 13, 2018
• WordPress becomes the next target of folks who think they can actually police all online speech.
— (@lilsarg) October 29, 2018
• Protecting and serving:
NYPD cop put an 11 year old in a chokehold, lied about it under oath. No punishment, he now makes $163,000 patrolling Yankee Stadium while posting racist memes on Facebook. https://t.co/Yzl622oaUD pic.twitter.com/M4G51lnUK4
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) October 29, 2018
• From TechCrunch:
A U.S. government network was infected with malware thanks to one employee's "extensive history" of watching porn on his work computer, investigators have found
• "We have now reached the point where tech is one of the worst covered subject areas by the U.S. and also British media," suggests economist Tyler Cowen.
• Are we in a new era of political violence? Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie discuss.
• Drudge lashes out at Fox:
A segment on Fox News this morning where hosts laughed and joked their way through a discussion on political impact of terror was bizarre. Not even 48 hours since blood flowed at synagogue? Check your soul in the makeup chair!
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) October 29, 2018