Among the reasons Donald Trump is president is that his natural political instincts are superior to those of any other current figure.
As campaign 2018 entered its final week, Trump seized upon and elevated the single issue that most energizes his populist base and most convulses our media elite.
Warning of an “invasion,” he pointed to the migrant caravan that had come out of Honduras and was wending its way through Mexico. He then threatened to issue an executive order ending birthright citizenship.
As other caravans began to assemble in Central America, Trump said he would send, first 5,200 and then 15,000, troops to the border.
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This ignited the predictable hysteria of the media elite who decried his “racism,” his “lying” and his “attack on the 14th Amendment.” Trump, they railed, is sending more troops to the Mexican border than we have in Syria or Iraq.
True. But to most Americans, the fate and future of the republic is more likely to be determined on the U.S.-Mexican border than on the border between Syria and Iraq.
Moreover, in challenging birthright citizenship, Trump has some constitutional history on his side.
The 14th Amendment, approved in 1868, was crafted to overturn the Dred Scott decision of 1857 and to guarantee citizenship and equal rights under law to freed slaves and their children.
Did it guarantee that everyone born on U.S. soil is a U.S. citizen?
No. In the 1884 Elk v. Wilkins decision, the Supreme Court ruled that John Elk, a Winnebago Indian born on a reservation, had not denied his constitutional right to vote, as he was not a U.S. citizen.
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