President Trump announced Tuesday he plans to sign an executive order ending birthright citizenship for the U.S.-born children of illegal alien parents, a move that immediately launched another heated debate on immigration.
Trump accounted this intention in an interview with "Axios on HBO" lamenting how illegal immigrants use this loophole to gain a legal foothold in the U.S. by saying "a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States ... with all of those benefits." He derided this policy as "ridiculous" and adamantly professed his intention to destroy it.
The Axios article about the interview itself notes how between 1980 and 2006,
...the number of births to unauthorized immigrants — which opponents of birthright citizenship call "anchor babies" — skyrocketed to a peak of 370,000, according to a 2016 study by Pew Research..."
The debate over this proposed Executive Order will likely launch a massive legal battle with no clear predictable outcome. However, some, including former national security advisor Michael Anton, argue that Trump has a solid case. In a segment with Fox News with Tucker Carlson, Anton stated:
"... there’s a clause in the middle of the amendment that people ignore or they misinterpret – subject to the jurisdiction thereof... What they are saying is, if you are born on U.S. soil subject to the jurisdiction of the United States – meaning you’re the child of citizens or the child of legal immigrants, then you are entitled to citizenship...If you are here illegally, if you owe allegiance to a foreign nation, if you’re the citizen of a foreign country, that clause does not apply to you.”
Between photos of illegal immigration and amnesty advocacy groups waving the Mexican flag on college campuses, or of people in migrant caravans showing disdain for American laws (and the flag, which has been shown defaced with a swastika while being burned), there clearly is a case that many of those who migrate to the U.S. have no intention of becoming Americans themselves, but want to benefit from the prosperity of the American economic zone. Having a child born in the U.S., however, can help many removable illegal aliens avoid deportation.
When clearly many groups seeking to immigrate illegally have no intention to assimilate to American values or culture, many Americans, including President Trump, see that as an attack on American sovereignty and identity. Either America is a nation of settlers and pioneers united by a common set of ideals and an adherence to the rule of law, or it will become a mere mass migration zone with no borders at all -- and no coherent meaning.