things that matter

Here’s Why Trump Is Wrong When He Says He Can Get Rid Of Birthright Citizenship With An Executive Order

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Donald Trump announced that he wants to get rid of birthright citizenship, a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to babies born in the U.S. The 14th Amendment also dictates the way state representation is decided via population totals. The president’s threat against the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship is not new. He has spoken out against it for years, which he refers to it as “chain migration” and “anchor babies.” But first, here’s an explainer about what the 14th Amendment is all about.

The U.S. Constitution states that under the 14th Amendment, all people born or naturalized in the United States are citizens.

In 1868, the 14th Amendment was ratified in the constitution, and while it’s an extensive and detailed law that includes five sections, the gist is:

“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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The last part is particularly interesting because it says: “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” This means that it’s the job of Congress to make sure that the law is protected, and that the people are protected under it as well.

In an interview with Axios, Trump incorrectly said: “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. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

There are 30 countries, including Canada and Mexico, that have the same law giving citizenship to all people born in that country.

Trump said that he could revoke the 14th Amendment exclusively by signing an Executive Order, but that is wrong.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said in the interview, adding that. You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.” He ended by saying: “It’s in the process. It’ll happen with an executive order.”

The president fails to comprehend that his signature cannot modify the constitution simply because he is the president.  If that were the case, the constitution could be changed at any moment by any president.

Instead, an amendment needs to be proposed by two-thirds of the Congress or by a constitutional convention by two-thirds of state legislatures.

After a couple of months of announcing his presidential run he said, in 2015, that he would look into whether or not the 14 Amendment applied to children he called “anchor babies.”

Trump has spent his presidency furthering an anti-immigrant agenda by applying travel bans to predominately Muslim countries, attempting to block DACA, threatening to revoke asylum laws and revamping ICE protocol. Each time he has attempted to implement laws against these groups, lawyers have continuously brought lawsuits against him, and won.

“Birthright citizenship is a fundamental right cherished by Americans since the abolition of slavery,” The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement. “Immigrants and their children make this nation great.  We should celebrate our nation’s diversity, and not demonize our citizens.  We won’t hesitate to legally act if President Trump attempts to undermine our Constitution and the right of citizens born in the United States.”

Political pundits and immigration activists say the latest announcement is a distraction as midterm elections draw closer.

While Axios says that these words by Trump is his “most dramatic move yet” against the 14th Amendment, we know he cannot do this.

Trump has spoken out many times against immigrants including the recent caravan of refugees from Central America. The caravan is still hundreds of miles away from the U.S. and are walking to the border. They are expected to arrive to the U.S. and legally ask for asylum in about a month, long after the midterm elections.

The president’s rhetoric has been blamed for fueling extremists, such as the recent explosive devices sent by a Florida man, and the Pittsburgh killing of 11 Jewish individuals by a white nationalist.

The president has yet to comment further about his attempt to veto a constitutional law, which would be unconstitutional.


READ: The Trump Administration Is Quietly Trying To Undo The Flores Agreement To Indefinitely Detain Children

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Ben & Jerry's Joined The Resistance With Their Resist Pecan Ice Cream Featuring A Latina Artist

things that matter

Ben & Jerry’s Joined The Resistance With Their Resist Pecan Ice Cream Featuring A Latina Artist

favianna1 / Instagram

Ever wonder what resisting the Trump administration tastes like? Well, it’s sort of like chocolate, pecans, and walnuts. Not bad, right? Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with artist Favianna Rodriguez to bring this flavor to millions of Americans seeking justice in these scary times.

Ben & Jerry’s have just released a new ice cream called Pecan Resist and the cover art was created by artist Favianna Rodriguez.

CREDIT: favianna1 / Instagram

In a press release, Ben & Jerry’s CEO and founders said that they released this new ice cream as a “movement to lick injustice and champion those fighting to create a more just and equitable nation for us all.” They also said that it was created “with the intention to resist the current administration’s regressive agenda, celebrating the activists who are continuing to resist oppression, harmful environmental practices and injustice.”

Rodriguez says she’s proud that her work will inspire others and help fund social justice organizations.

CREDIT: favianna1 / Instagram

“I love to inspire the next generation of artists,” Rodriguez wrote on her Instagram. “When I was a kid, I rarely saw images of myself across media and in museums, and that’s exactly WHY I became an artist. That’s why I advocate for art programs for kids, especially kids of color. Here is a girl I met yesterday at the Ben & Jerry’s block party for the release of #pecanresist. I encouraged her mom to let her daughter do ALL the art she could imagine, and her mom thanked me for the advice. Yay!”

The Peruvian-American artist, who is based in the Bay Area, said her artwork was more than just creating a cool image for the brand, but rather it also tells a story.

“I believe in the power of stories, of narrative, so I was deeply interested in the story we were attempting to create,” Rodriguez said in a press release. “I felt strongly that we should lead with messages that are about the world we want to see. This moment is about women, about including people of color, and immigrants, and Muslims, and fighting for the environment. That means creating a welcoming, inclusive, and just society.”

Ben & Jerry’s will also donate  $25,000 to four organizations as part of this resistance campaign.

CREDIT: favianna1 / Instagram

According to Forbes, those organizations include Color Of Change, “which designs campaign to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back and champions solutions that move everyone forward,” as well Honor the Earth, “which works on issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice with Indigenous communities; Women’s March, “which is committed to harnessing the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change” and Neta, “one of the fastest-growing independent media platforms led by people of color along the Texas-Mexico border. ”


READ: 8 Texan Artists Take On Identity And Politics In New Exhibit

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