By Bob Bennett
In the August 21st Wall Street Journal, the lead editorial rips the idea of ending “birthright citizenship,” which Donald Trump put forth in his immigration policy paper. The editorial debunks the idea held by many experts that the 14th Amendment has been misinterpreted, allowing enormous numbers of illegal aliens to give birth on our shores to instant citizens. This allows a baby thus born to be an anchor for the rest of the family to remain.
It also allowed the drug lord, el Chapo to dispatch a pregnant wife northward to deposit her spawn on American soil, to eventually establish an American branch of his drug empire. Thus do the forces of evil deal with a weak, misguided nation.
These were surely not the intents of the 14th Amendment’s framers.
The Journal cites the fact that in 1868 the U.S. adopted the 14th Amendment to overturn the 1857 Dred Scott decision. The editorialists “forgot” to mention the minor, intervening events of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. The truth is, the 14th was adopted to ensure citizenship of the freed slaves. The sly comparison of them to illegal aliens is unsavory, to say the least.
The WSJ named eight other candidates who, it claims, have adopted Trump’s position on birthright citizenship, calling that a contribution to Hillary Clinton’s campaign—once again wielding the canard that offending illegals is throwing away the Hispanic vote:
“Scott Walker came out against birthright citizenship at the Iowa state fair. So have Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal (a birthright citizen himself). Even Jeb Bush called for a crackdown on abuses by parents producing “anchor babies.” The Jindal comparison is another false one: his parents entered America legally.
Equally false is the Journal’s implication that Ted Cruz just recently clambered aboard a boxcar on the Trump Train. But that’s to be expected from the sister news outlet of Fox News, which has been marginalizing Cruz, a true conservative, for years.
Cruz hasn’t gotten the white-hot media coverage that Donald Trump has, but he’s consistently fought Senate RINOs over illegal immigration issues—particularly the Senate’s illegal funding of Obama’s illegal 2014 amnesty of 4 million. Last September, he called “for a Senate vote on a House-passed bill that would freeze the executive order Obama issued in June 2012,” called DACA, which gave amnesty to 1.1 million people.
NumbersUSA, in a report updated June 28, 2012, shows Cruz calling for ending birthright citizenship, along with a number of other initiatives in Trump’s recent policy paper, including mandating E-Verify, defunding sanctuary cities and ending chain migration.
The 14th Amendment says, “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 Journal claims “jurisdiction” “defines the territory where force of law applies, and to whom,” and that includes “almost everyone within US borders regardless of their home country and the circumstance of their birth.”
That “does not include foreign diplomats,” the Journal continues, who “enjoy sovereign immunity, and foreign military invaders.”
Millions of people streaming across our border in the dead of night, and thousands of unaccompanied minors, who did the same, could certainly be called “invaders,” particularly when they murder Americans after getting here.
How are they under U.S. jurisdiction if our govt. doesn’t even know they are here, and their presence is unauthorized? The editorial claims, absurdly, that if we follow Trump’s logic—then illegals could not be convicted of crimes because they’re not US citizens.
Say what? In any country on the planet a tourist committing murder is tried under that country’s laws. But America and Canada are the only two nations who bestow citizenship on their children, who may incidentally be born here. Paying sales tax, sometimes being held responsible for crimes and their babies getting citizenship are the only laws they seem subject to.
They’re breaking a host of others, beginning with their illegal presence on our soil, working, using false ID and stolen social security numbers—not to mention almost 3 million other crimes, according to the GAO. They can be viewed at the link just below.
American Thinker reports that:
“From 2003 through 2009. Per the GAO, criminal aliens committed 25,064 [murders]. That means they committed 22% to 37% of all murders in the U.S., while being only 3.52% to 8.25% of the population.” So much for the lie that illegals are less prone to crime than the rest of us.
But those numbers reflect only convictions, and illegal aliens are far less likely to be prosecuted for crimes than American citizens.
According to a report from the Center for Immigration studies: in 2013, 36,007 criminal aliens being processed for deportation were released from ICE custody while awaiting the final disposition of their cases and 68,000 other criminal aliens weren’t even charged. Stats in other years were similar.
Obama’s 2012 DACA amnesty has even been used to absolve criminal aliens already imprisoned, according to the report:
“ICE officers have testified in federal court that some arrested aliens have claimed to be eligible for DACA knowing that they likely will be released from custody and from immigration charges without verification of their claims.”
That’s being under American jurisdiction?
The editorial goes on to suggest that maybe the candidates should push for a constitutional amendment, to change the 14th, which would require a 2/3 majority of both houses and ratification by 38 states—a lengthy process.
But Trump believes it could be done if Congress passed a new statute, clarifying the 14th.
Constitutional lawyer, Mark Levin, on his radio show August 19th agreed: a constitutional amendment is not required. In an interview of Professor Edward Erler of the Claremont Institute, an expert on the 14th Amendment, they agreed that Congress is expressly authorized by Section 5 of the amendment to enforce the amendment through appropriate legislation:
Section 5: The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
In an article in National Review, Professor Erler wrote:
“A correct understanding of the intent of the framers of the 14th Amendment and legislation passed by Congress in the late 19th century and in 1923 extending citizenship to American Indians provide ample proof that Congress has constitutional power to define who is within the “jurisdiction of the United States” and therefore eligible for citizenship. Simple legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president would be constitutional under the 14th Amendment.”
Erler said it is an error to interpret being in a country as being under its jurisdiction. The true intent of the clause was that jurisdiction is based upon allegiance, not location:
“Today, we somehow have come to believe that anyone born within the geographical limits of the U.S. is automatically subject to its jurisdiction; but this renders the jurisdiction clause utterly superfluous. If this had been the intention of the framers of the 14th Amendment, presumably they would have said simply that all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. are thereby citizens.
“During debate over the amendment, Senator Jacob Howard, the author of the citizenship clause, attempted to assure skeptical colleagues that the language was not intended to make Indians citizens of the United States. Indians, Howard conceded, were born within the nation’s geographical limits, but … they were not subject to its jurisdiction because they owed allegiance to their tribes and not to the U.S.
“Jurisdiction understood as allegiance, Senator Howard explained, excludes not only Indians but “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” Thus, “subject to the jurisdiction” does not simply mean, as is commonly thought today, subject to American laws or courts. It means owing exclusive political allegiance to the U.S.”
In spite of WSJ claims that most “immigrate to join and contribute to US society,” we’ve all been treated to television coverage of Mexican children in American schools clearly demonstrating allegiance to Mexico by celebrating Cinco de Mayo, even going to court to prevent American students from wearing T-shirts bearing the American flag on that day.
The fact that the court ruled in the Mexicans’ favor doesn’t speak well for a nation ruled by the judiciary; it’s only a cut better than being ruled by a dictatorial president.
“Furthermore, Professor Erler continues, “there has never been an explicit holding by the Supreme Court that the children of illegal aliens are automatically accorded birthright citizenship. In the case of Wong Kim Ark (1898) the Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. of legal aliens was entitled to “birthright citizenship” under the 14th Amendment.”
The Wall Street Journal’s empathy for Mexican illegals does not extend to Mexicans who seek to come here legally—some 4.4 million of them. They’ve been waiting up to 15 years to realize the American dream. By the time they get here, that dream will have become a nightmare, if we continue to listen to our politicians and our media, who are clearly bent on America’s national suicide.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.