Trump Wants to End Birthright Citizenship

[Content Note: Nativism.]

Section One of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: "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."

It is this part of the Constitution that establishes birthright citizenship — that is, a person born in the United States is automatically a citizen.

There are good reasons for this clause, chief among them that it serves as a preventative against racialized citizenship.

Naturally, that's what many conservatives hate about it, which is why they disgorge vile nativist narratives using obscene phrases like "anchor babies" and "chain migration."

Donald Trump has always used nativism, starting with his birther campaign against President Barack Obama, to cultivate his deplorable following. Leading into the midterms, he's activating them with a steady stream of nativist trash, the latest of which is telling the water-carrying outlet Axios that he intends to rescind birthright citizenship with an executive order.

Said Trump: "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."

He went on to say: "It's in the process. It'll happen...with an executive order."

The president is not empowered to override a Constitutional amendment with an executive order. Because it seems like such a reach, many people are reacting by dismissing the news out of hand as patently ludicrous.

However: Trump's attack on the 14th Amendment is not coming out of left field. It's coming following nearly two years of: 1. Stacking the judiciary so that any challenges made to such wild executive overreach will have a strong chance of being decided by courts disposed to uphold and enable the administration's authoritarianism; and 2. Escalating attacks on immigrants, including naturalized citizens.

On Twitter, I have possted a long thread detailing the Trump Regime's attacks on documented immigrants. This latest grotesquery did not come out of nowhere.

And while it's absolutely true, as many folks have observed, that Trump's threat to birthright citizenship has been made to shore up the Republican base before the midterms, it would be foolish to believe that's the only reason he made this threat.

Trump doesn't believe in much, but he does believe in white supremacy, nativism, and fealty to him. Trust that this is not merely a talking point to get out the vote for him. It's a real objective.

We misunderstand that reality at our own peril.

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