Not content to tear other families apart with his unconstitutional immigration policies, Donald Trump's latest immigration threat might even affect his own family if he were to ever think through its implications. The former president's camp said on Tuesday that if re-elected in 2024, Donald Trump plans to end birthright citizenship via executive order on his first day in office.
Apparently, Trump feels that being born in the United States — a right that was established in the U.S. Constitution by the 14th Amendment — shouldn't be a given if the child's parents are not legal American citizens. However, Trump seems to have failed to consider the fact that his own Slovanian-American wife, Melania Trump, gave birth to their son Barron Trump before Melania was a naturalized citizen herself.
Trump is no stranger to moving the country backward by centuries-old legal precedent or selling out his family for political gain, but this feels low even by his rock-bottom standards.
The 14th Amendment says that citizenship must be granted to those “born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
The long-standing accepted understanding of this law is that the amendment should apply to all children born in the United States regardless of the parents' immigration status — a finding that's been upheld ever since an 1898 Supreme Court case dealing with a U.S. citizen whose parents were Chinese.
Now, according to Trump's campaign, his prospective day one executive order would “explain the clear meaning of the 14th Amendment,” suggesting that he does not believe children born to foreign nationals, even on U.S. soil, are subject to the country's federal jurisdiction as defined by the Constitution.
Trump's own son Barron was born on March 20, 2006; Melania Trump became a naturalized U.S. citizen later that year (although she did have an EB-1 work visa as of 2001, which was controversial in its own right). I know it's quite shocking to think that this former U.S. president may have not thought through a policy decision fully, and may even be guilty of a less-than-stellar parenting decision, but something tells me Donald Trump is in for an awkward conversation around the dinner table tonight.