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In a grotesque attempt to excite his nationalist base before the mid-terms elections, President Trump has promised to end birthright citizenship, which is clearly provided by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The simple notion that anyone born in the United States is a United States citizen has been established law for well over 100 years. Nearly all constitutional scholars believe that eliminating birthright citizenship requires an act of Congress or constitutional amendment.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1868, states explicitly: “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.” It was part of the effort to ensure equality for former slaves after the end of the Civil War.

In 1898, the Supreme Court endorsed a plain reading of that language, saying that a child born in the United States to Chinese immigrants was in fact a US citizen. (US v Wong Kim Ark).

The revocation of birthright citizenship would create a permanent class of stateless people living in the United States. It would be a national tragedy. We at ILG hope that the Courts will block this cruel, unconstitutional and misguided policy maneuver.

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