The citizenship clause means what it says

By | October 30, 2018

Garrett Epps writes:

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties,” James Madison wrote in 1785. President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that he plans to move from experimentation on liberty into widespread application of the tyrant’s playbook.

In an interview with Axios on HBO, Trump confirmed what had been suspected since last summer: He is planning an executive order that would try to change the meaning of the Constitution as it has been applied for the past 150 years—and declare open season on millions of native-born Americans.

The order would apparently instruct federal agencies to refuse to recognize the citizenship of children born in the United States if their parents are not citizens. The Axios report was unclear on whether the order would target only American-born children of undocumented immigrants, children of foreigners visiting the U.S. on nonpermanent visas—or the children of any noncitizen.

No matter which of these options Trump pursues, the news is very somber. A nation that can rid itself of groups it dislikes has journeyed far down the road to authoritarian rule. [Continue reading…]

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