Pregnant? Visiting the US? We Have a Cage For That

Even though it’s unconstitutional, Donald Trump is mulling over the possibility of issuing an executive order to eliminate birthright citizenship, effectively overturning the 14th Amendment. It would be negated by a court, but that takes time. In the meantime, countless families would be affected.

10 thoughts on “Pregnant? Visiting the US? We Have a Cage For That

  1. IIRC, “The Wealth of Nations” talks about transportation as a significant cost of manufacture and also discusses the great risk of shipping goods. In the 18th century, a storm at sea could send all your goods to the bottom of the ocean and ruin you. When reading “Wealth” now, the good student of politics and economy understands that the book must be evaluated from a 21st century perspective in which transportation is far less risky, so much so that people will laugh at the notion of being ruined by losing a shipment. “Didn’t you insure it? Why didn’t the ship have the weather forecasts?”
    The 14th Amendment came about because of the Dred Scott decision and partly (if not wholly) to address the issue of making sure no former slave (or child of former slaves) could be denied American citizenship. Back then, deporting someone was expensive and difficult. The infrastructure to restrict people wasn’t available. None of that is true now.
    Additionally, the economy has changed completely, as has social welfare. In 1824, social security did not exist. Medical care was leeches and washcloths. Economically and rationally, the 14th Amendment should be revamped.
    I would suggest that the issue be resolved as practically as possible. In a world where pregnant women can travel easily, even in late-stage pregnancy, citizenship should be conferred through parental citizenship.
    If you’re an Irish citizen and your spouse is a Hungarian citizen and your baby is born in the U.S. while you’re on a vacation, your baby isn’t an American citizen. If you want the baby to be an American citizen? Fine. Here’s the paperwork. When the baby turns 18, he or she can file paperwork to apply for citizenship through emigration like everyone else, but once your vacation to Disney World ends, back you go to Ireland or Hungary, with your baby.
    If you’re here illegally? Sorry. It’s called poisoned fruit from a poisoned tree. If I steal a car and use it to get to work, I don’t get to claim that because I’ve been a great driver and really like my job that I deserve to keep the car.
    Note: None of this would apply to refugees.
    And before lecturing me about how brutal and awful this is … take a look at Canada’s immigration website. If you’re over 40 and don’t work in the tech field or medicine? They don’t want you. It’s quite similar in many other countries.
    If people want to fight the “unfairness” of the idea of eliminating birthright citizenship, there’s a really easy fix: Head to the border. Offer to marry one of the people trying to get in. Hell, make a website specifically for that. Not fake marriages, either. Find someone who really wants in, arrange a meeting, see if there are any sparks. It’s hardly unlikely. Lots of people marry people from other countries.

    • I believe that there should not only be no taxation without representation, but no governance at all without representation.

      So I propose that in all regions of the earth where the US interferes with local governance, the citizens of such regions should be recognized as being subject to the jurisdiction of the United States (which, in fact, they are) and have all rights of citizenship.

      People should not have to migrate in order to gain recognition as citizens with human rights where they live under the jurisdiction of the US, in such as “liberational” occupations.

      “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.”— Fourteenth Amendment

      So: All people subject to the jurisdiction of the United States should be recognized as citizens of the United States.

      If it weren’t for interference by the US with the governance of other nations, these nations would not be such disaster areas that they would have their people fleeing for their lives without regard for artificial border lines imposed on the ground under the laws of an outlaw nation that denies them lawful representation.

      • > All people subject to the jurisdiction of the United States should be recognized as citizens of the United States.

        WOO HOOOOooooooOOOO! Love it.

      • This’ll put a little crimp on the endless undeclared imperial wars the assholes in charge love so much.

  2. Speaking of Trump, we now have a full-scale military force guarding our borders with deadly force to protect us from the horrors of mommies and babies fleeing the oppressive regimes we created.

    But I digress. If Trump actually managed to executive-order away the 14th Amendment, would that mean that Barron gets sent back to Slovenia? I mean, he doesn’t actually have that power – but as Glenn points up below, that’s never stopped anyone yet.

    Funny thing, the only thing Trump did to earn his citizenship was to be born here. That’s all any of us did. I wouldn’t object to making full citizenship something you had to earn rather than just being handed on the basis of who your parents are.

    How? Starship Troopers suggested that community service was a requirement. (Often misinterpreted as ‘military service’ – but that’s not actually what Heinlein had in mind.) Okay, military service, civil service, infrastructure upkeep ….

    Or how about we make everybody take the citizenship test like we do immigrants? Why should you be allowed to vote when you don’t actually understand the Constitution or how the government works in the first place?

    Nobody’s ever asked me whether I *agree* to live my life under the laws of this country, it’s just assumed. (this is actually good, it means I don’t have to lie… it’s other people who are the problem.) Maybe we need a real Oath of Citizenship – not the wishy-washy and corrupted PoA, but a real oath.

    DISCLAIMER: This is a philosophical piece, predicated on the assumption that it would be carried out in good faith, in a country without victimless crimes and an honest government. Until those criteria are met, it will remain a pipe dream. Pass me that pipe, will you?

    • Actually, Heinlein was once asked for an example in the book of how someone obtained the franchise (full citizenship) WITHOUT serving in the military in “Starship Troopers”? Heinlein couldn’t point to a single example.
      For Heinlein (who never saw combat; he was discharged for tuberculosis, IIRC), war was glorious and great and only real men could handle it and that meant they were the only ones who should be in charge.
      And not to stick up for Trump, but the only thing he did to earn his citizenship was to be born here? Not quite. He was born here to at least one parent who was a lawful citizen (just like his son Barron did it).
      I understand the humanitarian aspects, but I also understand that a lot of people break the rules because … well because they found it easier to do that. And we face the tragedy of the commons. Everyone skips the rules because, hey, only a chump waits in line when you can just cut right to the front. …

      • I didn’t see/hear that interview, but I did read the one where The Grandmaster said he was thinking more along the line of Switzerland (where everyone serves in the military and owns a gun) than a militaristic expansionist empire such as the US today.

        Remember that the very existence of the human race was at risk in the novel, so of course the entire planet was on a military footing at the time – much like the US in WWII.

        FWIW: My interpretation is “accepted canon” amongst fans:

        But if that reference detracts from my point, feel free to remove it and take my meaning from the rest of the post.

        However, I will stand by the ‘born here’ remark. I didn’t get to choose my parents, I didn’t even get to fill out a requisition form. Trump didn’t either. Some of my family arrived here before there was a naturalization process, does that mean I’m not a citizen? How is it that invaders get to decide who is or is not a citizen anyway? John Smith never went through Ellis Island.

        Trump’s daddy wouldn’t have been allowed in under Trump’s own proposals – not only was he still a minor, he did not speak English as Duh Don would require of immigrants. He might even have been a refugee!

  3. If only the Constitution had the authority of law (meaning that its violators could be found guilty of violations and serve time in prison as felons).

    But no, the Constitution lacks the authority of law and only proposes suggestions meekly, either to be defended or ignored, depending only upon the whim of the Constitutional officers, and without consequence.

  4. But Ted, think how many people can be productively employed guarding these dangerous aliens and – no doubt – prospective terrorists. What a boost to the economy !…


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