More Misinformation from the Media:
America is a nation of immigrants and a welcoming land of opportunity. This increases the nation’s strength and stature. . . . Trump has said the 14th Amendment’s provision of citizenship to those born in the U.S. should not be denied to children of immigrants without documents. That echoes his selective application of religious freedom. Those who treasure the Constitution should reject a candidate who would pick and choose who receives its protections. – The Times Recommends: Hillary Clinton, the Only Choice for President, The Seattle Times, 10/7/16.
Fact Check: Pro-immigration propaganda almost always uses manipulative clichés and words to short circuit thinking—and this editorial is no exception. “Nation of Immigrants” is a prime example. Its common usage in the media goes far beyond the idea that immigration is one facet–among many others—of our national heritage. Rather, that usage is the brazen suggestion that immigration trumps every other consideration of what we are. And the more of it the better.
Thus, when someone suggests that excessive levels of immigration are endangering our national cohesion, depressing workers’ wages, and overburdening our infrastructure and resources, we’re not supposed to concern ourselves unduly. After all, we’re a nation of immigrants, and woe to anyone who suggests that there might be limits on the numbers we welcome “to our land of opportunity.” We are not supposed to consider—in this feel-good exercise—what impact a limitless flow of immigration might have on opportunities for native-born Americans and immigrants who have already settled here. Ignoring such concerns hardly promotes “the nation’s strength and stature.”
Contrary to the Times’ editorial it is hardly self-evident that the 14th Amendment guarantees birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens—the proper term for people who lack legal documents because they are breaking our laws. The amendment states for people born on U.S. soil are citizens, if also they are also under U.S. jurisdiction. This means more than simply being subject to U.S. laws, rather—as the authors of the amendment intended—jurisdiction refers to allegiance to the U.S.
The authors of the amendment specifically excluded members of Indian tribes from the scope of the amendment because at that time those tribes were regarded as nations separate from the U.S. Two Supreme Court rulings upheld this interpretation. A later one, however, found that children of legal immigrants, if born here, were citizens.
That latter finding helped to give rise to birthright citizenship. Even so, it does not imply that illegal immigrants, people who live here in defiance of our laws, are under our jurisdiction by way of allegiance. Accordingly, a number of legal scholars believe that ending birthright citizenship could be done by an act of Congress without violating the Constitution.
The mention of “religious freedom” in the editorial seems to refer to President-elect Trump’s comments about limiting Muslim immigration. It is an article of faith among immigration advocates that the Constitution forbids religious discrimination as to whom we shall admit as immigrants. Such thinking displays a woeful misunderstanding of the Constitution, which primarily concerns itself with the rights of American citizens. It does not grant foreigners equal opportunity to come here. It is a settled principle in U.S. law that the president and Congress can exclude classes of immigrants on grounds they deem fit.
If the editors of the Times really treasure the Constitution, they might take time to read it and find out what it really means.