How to justify the transition from our original immigration, or if you will, our naturalization standards to this present day system of whoever, however and whatever? Since 1790, our immigrant requirements of “free white persons” of “good moral character” have now stooped to the granting of citizenship to those born in America of parents who knowingly broke the law when illegally entering our country. Who would, for whatever the reason or purpose, consider rewarding the law breaker with such a prized grant? Still, this supposedly is what a Constitutional Amendment permits!
Throughout the last century and to the present, this American location for birth was taken as a matter of fact. Yet, however well intentioned this open door policy may have been, generous hearts can only cover so many shortfalls. Especially so when all the negative expenses exact a financial drain upon local communities.
This issue finally surfaced when Donald Trump correctly stated that this rewarding of American citizenship to the newly born children of illegal parents is not mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment.
This practice has been condoned for nearly as long, and is equally incorrect, as is our notion that America is a “democracy.” Both these errors came into being during our previous century without much notice. That is until Mr. Trump finally addressed this particular usurpation.
In particular, the amendment states in part, “ALL PERSONS BORN or naturalized IN THE UNITED STATES, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, ARE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES…” The capitalized words, while clearly stated, were kidnapped for their literal meaning alone. In no way was this grant intended beyond its specified reconstruction period. Also, my capitalization is for easier continuity of reading.
Unfounded judicial interpretations have hijacked these words, while at the same time, also reducing our national borders to that of mere obstacles or nuisances. What has been removed from any recall are the original intentions from the amendment’s framers, in association with the demanding needs from those unsettled times. As with any historical or legal document, the reasons prompting its writing must remain relevant so that a proper implementation will remain true to its original calling.
What prompted this Amendment’s creation will open eyes since contrary to its present day usage, the Fourteenth was expressly written for addressing the issues and needs arising at the end of the Civil War.
In Chapter VIII of Raoul Berger’s Selected Writings on the Constitution, Mr. Berger compiles quote after quote from those who wrote, and argued for and against the Fourteenth. We of the twenty first century essentially believe what we are told yet our modern day message is disjointed from the Amendment’s original intent.
Berger’s highly documented research offers an exact accounting of the purpose and need for both the Fourteenth and Fifteenth’s writing. Over time, so much has been dismissed and/or revised that today, those freedom enriching words have blossomed into a free-for-all citizenship race; which poses an unlikely reason for a Constitutional Amendment.
Just for starters, lost from those tumultuous times came Lincoln’s plans for the “separation of the races” through an overseas colonization. This is just one example of what has been whitewashed with the passing of a century plus. Today, Lincoln is remembered for “freeing the slaves.” Quite a different remembrance.
Back in the day, both the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Amendments were classed under the banner of “reconstruction amendments.” In other words, useful and intended for implementation during a certain time period and to answer a certain need. Again, more of what has been conveniently omitted over time.
In fact, the ratification of the Fourteenth was a requirement for the Southern States’ readmission to the United States. This requirement was also in force for the ratification of the Fifteenth. Thus, the term “reconstruction amendments” came into popular use.
Those capitalized words, with its subsequent grant of citizenship, applied strictly to the emancipation of America’s slaves. As such, both Amendments were tied to the events and needs of that particular time in America’s history.
What continues taking place, based upon the prostitution of these words, stretches common sense and the public’s acceptance to new extremes since this Amendment responded solely to a certain historical period and therefore should be without any legal standing, especially so when being connected to a completely different venue in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Having finally opened up this can of immigration worms, Trump has awakened many who sensed an inappropriateness concerning the immediacy of “anchor baby” legitimacy. And rightly so.
For most of my adult life, I have often asked myself, just what is worthy of defending? By that I mean, just what would energize America into action? As I age, the answer continues to elude.
Embarrassingly, we continued on after losing 58,000 lives and today after 9/11, and with its brief flurry of patriotism, we seem more concerned with upholding the rights of Muslims, who actively “occupy” our American cities. This citizenship give away comes as another example of what modern Americans are willing to dismiss. That is until Trump challenged this insanity.
With Trump I again have hope, since he appears to be the right man for the right time. Trump aroused the ire of both major parties, and the main stream media, and with a most un-politically correct dialect. He is a breath of fresh air since his talk is not only filled with everyday speak, but also with blunt and truthful assessments of what we face. Is it any wonder that both establishments are fuming?
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