Friday, 16 November, 2018

Paul Ryan 'Knows Nothing' About 14th Amendment, Trump Says

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Southern Illinois Airport in Murphysboro Ill Trump wants to end birthright citizenship in the U.S.
Glenn Montgomery | 01 November, 2018, 09:12

The extraordinary rebuke from Trump came one day after Ryan pushed back on the president's remarks on the issue, saying "you can not end birthright citizenship with an executive order".

Ryan shot down Trump's idea to eliminate birthright citizenship through an executive order. "That's what it costs ― billions". The Pew Research Center found in 2016 that such births were on the decline and that in 2014, babies born to undocumented immigrants on US soil accounted for 7 percent of births that year.

"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment".

Ryan, who is retiring from Congress after this term, said Tuesday that Trump "obviously" could not end birthright citizenship through executive action, and legal scholars are divided on whether even Congress can do it by legislation.

Trump doubled down on his commitment to upending the 14th Amendment to the riled-up crowd chanting, "USA!"

Asked about the legality of such an executive order, Trump said, "They're saying I can do it just with an executive order". "We will get rid of all of this".

Trump also went far off track in asserting that the U.S.is the only country that automatically grants citizenship to anyone born in the country.

Legal scholars have had much to say about the 14th Amendment over the years, including U.S. Court of Appeals Judge James Ho-who, in 2011, declared, "Opponents of illegal immigration can not claim to champion the rule of law and then, in the same breath, propose policies that violate our Constitution". But whether the President follows through on his threat or not, the issue joins a string of actions meant to thrust the matter of immigration into the front of voters' minds as they head to polls next week.

The Supreme Court has not ruled specifically on the issue of whether illegal immigrants can be denied birthright citizenship. "At its core, birthright citizenship is what our 14th Amendment is all about".

Trump, as well as those who support abolishing birthright citizenship, believe that the line "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" means that only parents who are subject to USA jurisdiction (a.k.a. citizens) will pass on birthright citizenship to their children. However, despite having a comfortable majority in the House over the past two years - which the Democrats hope to reverse in next week's midterm elections - Ryan has done little to advance Trump's immigration agenda.

In morning tweets, Trump said he would end the 150-year-old practice "one way or the other", seeming to leave the door open to either congressional action or a constitutional amendment, which many legal scholars say would be necessary to achieve his aims. Responding to critics on Wednesday, he said that birthright citizenship will be abolished "one way or another".

Reid said Wednesday that he changed his stance on birthright citizenship after a talk with his wife, who reminded him that her father was an immigrant. An 1898 Supreme Court decision held that the US -born son of legal Chinese immigrants was a citizen under the 14th Amendment; a footnote in a 1982 decision suggests there should be no difference for children of foreign-born parents whether they are in the USA legally or illegally.

And Peter J. Spiro, a law professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, told the Times, "The conventional understanding is absolutely clear that children born in the United States are citizens of the United States, with the insignificant exception of the children of diplomats". And 84 years later in its 1982 ruling in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that even if one enters the USA illegally, they were within US jurisdiction-which means that any of their US -born children enjoy 14th Amendment protections. The debate hinged on the question of what it means to be "subject to the jurisdiction thereof", which the court in Wong Kim Ark read to mean people required to obey U.S. law.

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