Connolly: Constitution trumps proposal to end birthright citizenship

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President Trump has suggested he may end birthright citizenship with an executive order, and now Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he  will introduce legislation to do just that. But Northern Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly (D) says the Constitution trumps their plans.

Connolly sent the following message, along with a copy of the U.S. Constitution, to Trump:

“Mr. President, your new Executive Order ending citizenship for children born in the US is patently unconstitutional. I am sending you a copy of the Constitution. Knowing your aversion to reading, I have highlighted the 14th amendment for your convenience. We abide by this sacred text in America.”

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment 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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Trump has long complained about the Constitutional provision that grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States, including those born on American soil to non-citizens. Most legal scholars say Trump is on shaky ground, citing the same provision Connolly highlighted.

But Trump and Graham show no signs of retreating from their position.

“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 said in a string of tweets.

Trump has said that “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,” the New York Times reported. But a 2010 study from the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that supports immigration restrictions, showed that 30 countries offered birthright citizenship.


About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.