United States President Donald J. Trump has revived talk of abolishing birthright citizenship for Caribbean Americans and others.
Trump said he was “seriously” contemplating terminating American birthright citizenship a day after his administration unveiled rules that would permit the indefinite detention of migrant children with their families.
“We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship,” the president told reporters at the White House, slamming the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees the right to birthright US citizenship.
He described the 14th Amendment as “frankly ridiculous,” adding that it was “a magnet for illegal immigration.”
“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 for 85 years, with all of those benefits,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
But some Republican and Democratic legislators have rejected Trump’s notion.
“You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” said Paul Ryan, the former Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Sen. Kamala Harris, Caribbean American Democratic candidate, whose father is Jamaican-born, scoffed at Trump’s ideas, urging him, on Twitter, to “’seriously’ consider reading the Constitution.”
According to the 14th Amendment, “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.”
At a town hall meeting at Brooklyn College Tuesday night, Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke said she and her Democratic colleagues in the US House of Representatives and the Senate are doing everything in their power to fight the “racist and inhumane” immigration policies of the Trump administration.
“As we are all aware, this administration has attacked the hard-working immigrants in our communities here in Brooklyn and throughout our nation,” said Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.
“My Democratic colleagues and I in Congress value the contributions of the immigrant community to our economy, our community and our culture,” added Clarke, who hosted the town hall meeting, flanked by local elected officials, and immigration advocates and attorneys, among others. “And we have been working hard to protect immigrants from the administration’s attacks.”
Clarke noted that the Democratic-controlled House has passed her legislation, HR 6, the historic American Dream and Promise Act, which provides a pathway to citizenship for eligible “Dreamers”, who were under the age of 18 when they were brought to the US and have lived most of their lives in this country.
She said the US Congress is working very hard to hold the Trump administration accountable for “the atrocities it is responsible for at our Southern border,” stating that Congress has introduced H.R. 3525, the US Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act to establish procedures “that will ensure consistent and efficient medical screenings for all individuals stopped between ports of entry.”
In addition, Clarke said the US Legislature has introduced H.R.3731, the Strategic and Humane Southern Border Migrant Response Act “to demand that the administration respond to the migrant crisis at the border in a strategic and humane manner.”
Most recently, she said Congress introduced HR 3777, a bill to establish a National Commission to investigate the treatment of migrant families and children by the Trump administration.
“We are doing everything within our power to fight these racist and inhumane policies,” Clarke stressed. “Unfortunately, we are dealing with a Republican-led Senate that is in lock-step and is complicit with Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.”