BEG: Trump reiterates dangerous anti-immigrant rhetoric

The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution specifically states, “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.” This is known as the birthright citizenship clause that guarantees American citizenship for anyone born in the country.

According to his interview with Axios last Tuesday, Trump believes he has the ability to end the clause’s command. The specific circumstances of his off-the-cuff plan involve ending citizenship status for children from unauthorized immigrants already born in America.

Trump’s proposal process would include nearly impossible legal challenges that many scholars have agreed he cannot overcome. The director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project Omar Jadwat said “The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear.” A Constitutional reform is made by a Congressional proposal. The White House does not have a role for approval in the process. This means Trump would have no power to truly execute this plan. The attempt to end the birthright citizenship clause is simply a statement meant to inspire electoral passion among the conservative base.

Despite conservatives holding onto the policies outlined in the Constitution in most political aspects, this dramatic claim would defy the document, if actually completed.

There are many executive orders Trump said he would sign but has yet to put in place. Even if he does not fully intend to prevent naturally-born residents from becoming citizens, this statement furthers the anti-immigrant and nationalist rhetoric.

Just a day before the Axios interview, Trump promised to enforce stricter procedures on migrants from Mexico traveling to the United States border. His administration justified the use of military troops to protect the border states from Mexican immigrants through whatever means necessary.

Trump and his administration are making many promises, and whether these promises are held up is not the current problem. The issue is the danger of this forceful, anti-immigrant rhetoric being repeated so heavily around midterms.

Trump continues to create divides and controversies across the country. The harsh stance he takes on immigration is meant to mobilize the pre-existing anti-immigrant mentality within the far right voter base.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Sen. Mark Warner from Virginia join a list of political figures who declared that Trump cannot simply sign away this clause. Despite Trump himself constantly making baseless comments, at least his party understands the impossibility of this act. It is obvious these comments are a political method to do anything to instill the fear of immigration again before elections.

Along with calling for an end to the birthright citizenship clause, Trump claimed no other country has this kind of rule in place. In reality, around three dozen countries have a similar law in place, according to the Washington Post. This highlights the carelessness Trump conveys through inaccuracy in his statements. His statements have the ability to alter the perceptions and attitudes of the less-informed public.

The words of the United States president matter. Whether the public is being consciously or unconsciously affected, these words create a shift in attitudes and actions toward immigrants and foreigners; they define the national discourse more than other topics like social welfare. More anti-immigrant rhetoric causes people to be comfortable using hateful speech and violence toward American immigrants. One man has a big influence over how much danger foreigners live in, and he continues to abuse that power.

The public can combat these devised strategies by becoming informed prior to forming their own opinions. An informed general public is especially necessary during voting. When a voter is fully aware of the stance and intentions of a candidate before going into office, it allows for dependable results. Everyone should research names on the ballot. It is the public’s responsibility to take advantage of all the information accessible to them for Election Day.

The American public cannot take the president’s words to heart since he constantly lies about his true capabilities. Votes cause changes that have real effects on the way this country runs, and people’s votes cannot be swayed by Trump’s or anyone else’s dangerous, anti-immigrant language.