Is the 14th Amendment in Jeopardy?

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,440
edited October 30 in News & Current Events

On July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified. The amendment grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" which included former slaves who had just been freed after the Civil War.

Fourteenth Amendment. Word Origin. noun. an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, defining national citizenship and forbidding the states to restrict the basic rights of citizens or other persons.

The actual words are:

"The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including former slaves—and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.”

More fear-mongering and playing to the base, President Trump threatens to do away with the 14th Amendment by Executive Order. Can he do this? Someone, please, educate the US President of his power. This is shameful leadership. America, correct your mistake and put a check on Trump. CM

Post edited by C_M_ on

Comments

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,885

    No, I don't think he can do this and I am a little taken back by the suggestion he made that he can. I understand and believe his motives are good, but no, he does not have the authority to do this.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,440

    @reformed said:
    No, I don't think he can do this and I am a little taken back by the suggestion he made that he can. I understand and believe his motives are good, but no, he does not have the authority to do this.

    You know it, I know it, and Trump knows it! This is a distraction away from the deficit (borrowing of $1.3 Trillion). CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,885

    @C_M_ said:

    @reformed said:
    No, I don't think he can do this and I am a little taken back by the suggestion he made that he can. I understand and believe his motives are good, but no, he does not have the authority to do this.

    You know it, I know it, and Trump knows it! This is a distraction away from the deficit (borrowing of $1.3 Trillion). CM

    No, I don't see the two being related. This is an obvious knee-jerk reaction to the caravan invasions.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,440

    In my opinion, AS MUCH AS it's unconstitutional by "Executive Order", to do away with "citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States", it appears the US will come close to doing away with "The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution than the Second Amendment. "Guns, butter, and bullets, America loves most over people. CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,885

    @C_M_ said:
    In my opinion, AS MUCH AS it's unconstitutional by "Executive Order", to do away with "citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States", it appears the US will come close to doing away with "The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution than the Second Amendment. "Guns, butter, and bullets, America loves most over people. CM

    neither should be done away with

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,187

    @C_M_ said:
    On July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified. The amendment grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" which included former slaves who had just been freed after the Civil War.

    The actual words are:

    "The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including former slaves—and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.”

    Careful, careful ... just looked up **the actual words" of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which reads as follows:

    Amendment XIV
    Section 1.
    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. ...

    Source: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv

    @C_M, your quote of "the actual words" appears to be quite different from what I found at the website linked above ... and in particular it is missing the rather important part which specifies to which "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" this amendment refers and applies!
    To whose false propaganda - "fake news information" - have you fallen victim?

    Trump's comment about right to citizenship by birth and the executive order mentioned have NOTHING to do with the 14th Amendment in the first place, as he is not really talking about persons born ... in the United States who are subject to the jurisdiction thereof but about persons who - due to their parents' status (!!!) -- are not really subject to the jurisdiction of the United States but of a different country or countries!

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,440

    You may be right on the quote, but why would anyone trust Trump's word on anything? He has an estrangement to the truth. CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,885

    @C_M_ said:
    You may be right on the quote, but why would anyone trust Trump's word on anything? He has an estrangement to the truth. CM

    Kinda like the Democrats.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,142

    @Wolfgang said:
    Careful, careful ... just looked up **the actual words" of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which reads as follows:

    Amendment XIV
    Section 1.
    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. ...

    Source: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv

    @C_M, your quote of "the actual words" appears to be quite different from what I found at the website linked above ... and in particular it is missing the rather important part which specifies to which "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" this amendment refers and applies!
    To whose false propaganda - "fake news information" - have you fallen victim?

    Trump's comment about right to citizenship by birth and the executive order mentioned have NOTHING to do with the 14th Amendment in the first place, as he is not really talking about persons born ... in the United States who are subject to the jurisdiction thereof but about persons who - due to their parents' status (!!!) -- are not really subject to the jurisdiction of the United States but of a different country or countries!

    I contend that the 14th Amendment IS in play in this matter, Wolfgang.

    In the 1890's case United States v. Wong Kim Ark, our Supreme Court issued a clear interpretation of the 14th Amendment's applicability in cases of children born in the US to residents of other nations. In its decision, the court said, (emphasis added)

    "The real object of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, in qualifying the words, "All persons born in the United States" by the addition "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," would appear to have been to exclude, by the fewest and fittest words (besides children of members of the Indian tribes, standing in a peculiar relation to the National Government, unknown to the common law), the two classes of cases -- children born of alien enemies in hostile occupation and children of diplomatic representatives of a foreign State -- both of which, as has already been shown, by the law of England and by our own law from the time of the first settlement of the English colonies in America, had been recognized exceptions to the fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the country."

    That is, the Court said those excluded by the amendment's clause to which you direct attention are 1) children born to persons from hostile nation occupiers, and 2) children of ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives. Undocumented persons - including "members" of the caravan that is slowly dissolving as time and the miles pass - do not qualify in either of those categories.

    In its decision, the Court also said, (emphasis added)

    "The foregoing considerations and authorities irresistibly lead us to these conclusions: the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes. The Amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born, within the territory of the United States, of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States. Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin's Case, 7 Rep. 6a, "strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject;" and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, "if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle." It can hardly be denied that an alien is completely subject to the political jurisdiction of the country in which he resides -- seeing that, as said by Mr. Webster, when Secretary of State, in his Report to the President on Thrasher's Case in 1851, and since repeated by this court, independently of a residence with intention to continue such residence; independently of any domiciliation; independently of the taking of any oath of allegiance or of renouncing any former allegiance, it is well known that, by the public law, an alien, or a stranger [p694] born, for so long a time as he continues within the dominions of a foreign government, owes obedience to the laws of that government, and may be punished for treason, or other crimes, as a native-born subject might be, unless his case is varied by some treaty stipulations....

    "To hold that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution excludes from citizenship the children, born in the United States, of citizens or subjects of other countries would be to deny citizenship to thousands of persons of English, Scotch, Irish, German, or other European parentage who have always been considered and treated as citizens of the United States."

    In my view, that Supreme Court ruling makes clear that the 14th Amendment IS applicable to the case of undocumented persons.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,885

    I rarely agree with the liberals here, but yes, the 14th Amendment prohibits the POTUS from doing this whether he thinks so or not.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,440

    @reformed said:
    I rarely agree with the liberals here, but yes, the 14th Amendment prohibits the POTUS from doing this whether he thinks so or not.

    If you would stop labeling people you would agree a whole lot more. CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,885

    @C_M_ said:

    @reformed said:
    I rarely agree with the liberals here, but yes, the 14th Amendment prohibits the POTUS from doing this whether he thinks so or not.

    If you would stop labeling people you would agree a whole lot more. CM

    Oh no, that is definitely not true. Labels don't determine whether or not I agree with a concept or idea.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,187

    @Bill_Coley said:

    "To hold that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution excludes from citizenship the children, born in the United States, of citizens or subjects of other countries would be to deny citizenship to thousands of persons of English, Scotch, Irish, German, or other European parentage who have always been considered and treated as citizens of the United States."

    This comment makes actually no sense and confuses a few things (and yes, I do think court rulings can be non-sense and should never replace or even take the place of law).
    First, it talks about (a) children born of citizens or subjects of other countries, then (b) claims that these parents of English, Scotch, Irish, German and other European parentage were citizens of the United States ???
    Seems that the court FORMER (before the people immigrated into the United States and THEN became citizens of the United States. Children born to them in the United States were therefore NOT children of citizens of other countries, but children of US citizens and thus by birth US citizens in accordance with the 14th Amendment.

    However, citizens of other countries entering the US as tourists or illegally as whatever remain citizens of other countries and subjects of the other country of which they are citizens. (Note the difference to the situation mentioned above in the court commentary !!) A child born to them while the parents are visiting or illegally living in the US does actually NOT provide for the child to have US citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

    Sure, this misinterpretation, misuse and misapplication of the 14th Amendment has been in practice for many decades and has been exploited more and more in recent decades ... and has been a big part of more recent migration problems.

    I know of a German couple, citizens and residents of Germany, who sent the pregnant wife to the USA to live with some friends and give birth to the child in the US and thus automatically gain US citizenship, a few weeks after the child was born and paper work done, the couple with child returned to Germany. Some years later, they actually "used" the US citizenship of their child to ease their own way into the US to get legal residency, etc. Are you trying to tell me that the 14th Amendment with its clarifying and defining clause "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was meant to provide for what this couple did? Their allegiance was certainly not to the US, they also were not subjects of the US at the time of the birth of the child, etc.

    In my view, that Supreme Court ruling makes clear that the 14th Amendment IS applicable to the case of undocumented persons.

    See above ...

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,142

    @Wolfgang said:
    This comment makes actually no sense and confuses a few things (and yes, I do think court rulings can be non-sense and should never replace or even take the place of law).

    Nonsensical Supreme Court rulings? I can think of some. But that's my personal partisan view. Others, in their personal partisan views, judge to be nonsensical rulings I endorse. That's the nature of a nation whose population is more than one.

    In our system, the Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of laws, and hence its rulings many times result in laws' being vacated. You're of course welcome to disapprove of that approach to the role of the courts, but in our system that IS the approach.

    First, it talks about (a) children born of citizens or subjects of other countries, then (b) claims that these parents of English, Scotch, Irish, German and other European parentage were citizens of the United States ???

    I think you're mis-reading the comment to which you're responding. The Court's ruling did NOT declare that the parents of European immigrants were US citizens. Instead, it declared that the children born to those European parents while on US soil were US citizens. Follow the thought of the paragraph to which you replied: (emphasis and brackets added)

    "To hold that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution excludes from citizenship the children, born in the United States, of citizens or subjects of other countries would be to deny citizenship to thousands of persons [of English, Scotch, Irish, German, or other European parentage] who have always been considered and treated as citizens of the United States."

    The clause "of English, Scotch, Irish... parentage" defines/modifies the reference to the children born on US soil.

    Seems that the court FORMER (before the people immigrated into the United States and THEN became citizens of the United States. Children born to them in the United States were therefore NOT children of citizens of other countries, but children of US citizens and thus by birth US citizens in accordance with the 14th Amendment.

    I don't know how birthright citizenship functions when parents have no intention or desire for US citizenship for their newborns.

    However, citizens of other countries entering the US as tourists or illegally as whatever remain citizens of other countries and subjects of the other country of which they are citizens. (Note the difference to the situation mentioned above in the court commentary !!) A child born to them while the parents are visiting or illegally living in the US does actually NOT provide for the child to have US citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

    You're welcome to your interpretation of our 14th Amendment, but our Supreme Court clearly disagreed with your view. Between your view and our Supreme Court's view, the Court's view is more likely to prevail in actual US practice.

    I know of a German couple, citizens and residents of Germany, who sent the pregnant wife to the USA to live with some friends and give birth to the child in the US and thus automatically gain US citizenship, a few weeks after the child was born and paper work done, the couple with child returned to Germany. Some years later, they actually "used" the US citizenship of their child to ease their own way into the US to get legal residency, etc. Are you trying to tell me that the 14th Amendment with its clarifying and defining clause "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was meant to provide for what this couple did? Their allegiance was certainly not to the US, they also were not subjects of the US at the time of the birth of the child, etc.

    I'm "trying to tell" you what our Supreme Court has ruled, and that you are free to agree or disagree with the Court's rulings.

    As for the couple whose actions you report, I suppose that were we to reject every person who has in some way misused his or her American citizenship, we'd have a citizenry comprised of about a third to a quarter as many people as we do today.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,187
    edited November 7

    @Bill_Coley said:

    I know of a German couple, citizens and residents of Germany, who sent the pregnant wife to the USA to live with some friends and give birth to the child in the US and thus automatically gain US citizenship, a few weeks after the child was born and paper work done, the couple with child returned to Germany. Some years later, they actually "used" the US citizenship of their child to ease their own way into the US to get legal residency, etc. Are you trying to tell me that the 14th Amendment with its clarifying and defining clause "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was meant to provide for what this couple did? Their allegiance was certainly not to the US, they also were not subjects of the US at the time of the birth of the child, etc.

    I'm "trying to tell" you what our Supreme Court has ruled, and that you are free to agree or disagree with the Court's rulings.

    And I am only showing you a very simple example of how the 14th amendment initially was obviously not meant to be interpreted.

    Why would the amendment exclude children of diplomat citizens of other countries from US citizenship when born in the US, but include children of non-diplomat citizens of other countries who have no allegiance to the US nor are under the jurisdiction of the US; etc ???

    As for the couple whose actions you report, I suppose that were we to reject every person who has in some way misused his or her American citizenship, we'd have a citizenry comprised of about a third to a quarter as many people as we do today.

    I doubt it would be that many .... furthermore, the matter is not about rejecting persons who have citizenship but about getting back to the obvious initial intent of the 14th amendment and NO LONGER actually promote such misuse.

    Post edited by Wolfgang on
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