CAPAC Members Condemn Trump Proposal to End Birthright Citizenship

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In 1898, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wong Kim Ark, who was born in California to Chinese immigrants.

WASHINGTON — Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) and CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on Oct. 30 released the following statements in response to President Trump’s plan to use an executive order to end the 14th Amendment’s promise of birthright citizenship:

“With one statement, Donald Trump displayed the bigotry and the ignorance that have made his presidency so dangerous,” said Chu. “I implore the president to read the case U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. In this case, despite the Chinese Exclusion Act being in place, the Supreme Court upheld birthright citizenship for an individual who was born to immigrants. ‘All persons’ means ‘All persons.’ The Constitution’s meaning could not be more clear. And the Supreme Court has agreed, ruling multiple times to uphold birthright citizenship.

“But Trump’s action isn’t about what’s good or moral or legal or even effective. It’s just President Trump’s latest attempt to fuel anger in order to win votes. I can imagine no lower aspiration in government. What he wants is a debate on who does and does not belong here, because he knows xenophobia helps him win elections. But xenophobia also creates tension and increases the risk of violence.

“Like all prejudice, this proposal is not rooted in logic or reality, but that does not make it any less dangerous.”

“President Trump should take a high school government class before so confidently claiming he can eliminate the 14th Amendment though executive action,” said Jayapal. “Constitutional scholars and even members of his own party agree – this simply isn’t possible. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to fan the flames of anti-immigrant rhetoric, sow division and distract voters from this administration’s very real infringements against working families.

“To Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and anyone looking to encroach on basic citizenship rights legislatively: we will fight tooth and nail against any kind of regressive action, in the streets, in Congress and beyond. Our country’s fabric is stronger because of the protections provided in the 14th Amendment. These efforts are nothing more than attempts to harm children who are just as American as any other child born in the United States of America.”

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC issued the following statement:

“Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC embraces the diversity that immigration has brought to our country, and our community knows full well the importance of birthright citizenship specifically: in 1898 the Supreme Court declared in the case of U.S. vs. Wong Kim Ark that the son of Chinese nationals — who themselves were forbidden under the Chinese Exclusion Act from ever becoming U.S. citizens — should not be deprived of birthright citizenship himself. This ruling has contributed to the makeup of our country and has made our nation what it is today.

“We are disgusted that President Trump is further inciting his base against immigrants by trying to end birthright citizenship. In the wake of several hate crimes in the last week, the president has chosen to double down on his policy attacks against a huge portion of the American public. While this may just be a political ploy, it is so dangerous an idea as to warrant a response.

“From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the current Muslim ban and repeated attacks on immigrants, the attempt to end birthright citizenship is a core part of a white nationalist agenda to define citizenship as white and cast out all people of color. If his vision were to be realized, millions of Americans could be stripped of citizenship. This move clearly shows that no immigrant — regardless of immigration status, party affiliation, or country of origin — is safe from this administration’s heinous, bigoted agenda.

“Trump cannot circumvent the 14th Amendment. We as Americans will defend our rights when they are under attack from the White House. Though the president lacks the authority to follow through on his threat, we urge our congressional leaders to reject Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda and protect our families and communities.”

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