Statement: President Trump’s Threat to End Birthright Citizenship is Unconstitutional and Contrary to American Values

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Once again, President Trump, and his supporters, including Senator Lindsey Graham are advocating for the use of unconstitutional tactics to harm immigrants, sew division, and create fear in communities across the US. In his most recent attempt, the President vowed to end constitutionally guaranteed natural birth citizenship by Executive Order, a proposal so radical that we feel confident would—and should—fail when brought before any court.

Despite the likelihood that this is little more than a desperate political ploy to encourage turnout for the midterm elections next week among Trump’s most extreme racist and nativist supporters, all Americans should be concerned by this blatant attempt to usurp Congressional authority in a direct attack on the US Constitution.

Most civil and legal protections in our nation derive from citizenship and the Constitution itself; the moment citizenship is taken away, so too are most of those protections. The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” and extends “equal protection of the laws” to the most vulnerable innocent group among us all: children. If this tactic is used to attack the most vulnerable and protected group of people—children—then surely no one is safe, regardless of their gender, the color of their skin, the god they worship, or the person they love.

In this attempt to deny the rights and humanity of children born in the United States, Trump continues to tear at the fabric of our identity as a country. If he is allowed to succeed, we fear this will open the floodgates of state-sanctioned discrimination and human rights abuses. Perhaps most concerning, it will also ensure that constitutional rights are merely capricious privileges dictated by who was last elected president.

It is important that we see this for what it is: an attack on American citizens and on the values that define us as Americans. As such, we feel it absolutely imperative to strongly oppose and condemn this proposed action as unconstitutional and fundamentally unAmerican.