International, Politics

The Debate Over Birthright Citizenship

Dual Citizen Marcelo Nylund (c) Samuel Harasimowicz

Audio Script-Harasimowicz Birthright citizenship script

By Samuel Harasimowicz (SYRACUSE N.Y.)-Dual citizens are a major part of the United States, most people have several friends that are American but also have citizenship and loyalty to another nation. Marcelo Nylund is a Syracuse University student and dual citizen with Mexico, and he said that it’s something that he feels makes him unique.

“It it’s just something that make me unique in a way, because not many people know that about me because I don’t look like someone of Mexican decent.”

Many individuals become dual citizens through birth right citizenship, which is been a part of the American Constitution when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868. But on October 30th, President Donald Trump said he and his administration are working on an Executive Order to change the interpretation of the 14th Amendment. Syracuse Policy Studies major and host of the radio station Z-89’s political talk show, “Orange State” shared his initial reaction.

“It just, it doesn’t make sense because you literally cannot do that, you would need to have a whole state convention in order to add another amendment nullifying the 14th,” said Tibbetts.

What Tibbetts brings up is the fact the argument from the President is that the 14th Amendment was meant for the newly freed slave even though the interpretation has been for anyone born on U.S. soil is a citizen. “It’s been settled for decades, that if you’re born here you’re an American citizen due to the 14th Amendment and to try to make some case that it was only for newly freed slaves is stupid because then you could make the case for the 2nd Amendment and say that it’s only for state miltias and since we don’t have state militia’s anymore we shouldn’t have guns anymore since we don’t have muskets anymore, right,” said Tibbetts.

Tibbetts also believes this to be detrimental to the classic idea of the American Dream, “In that sense, taking away that right would do a lot to damage patriotism and damage pride in the country because so many people who see this country as rich with opportunity would be disenfranchised,” said Tibbetts.

Another reasoning behind the President’s proposal of this order is that the women who illegally cross the border to exploit the citizenship of their children, an idea that Maxwell School of Citizenship Professor Matthew Cleary disagrees with.

“The reasons that women do that are always varied and almost always less nefarious than the anti-immigration side would have you believe,” said Cleary.

The announcement from the President has caused waves from both sides of the aisle, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan even coming out against the proposal. As it stands the order has not been released although on November 9th the President said it’s still in the works and once it is put in action, the President expects it to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. In any case, this could change immigration, citizenship, and what it means to be American possibly forever.