After seeing all the news reports of the murder of the 11 people were shot dead and six injured in a synagogue and then hearing Trump’s announcement that he can end “birthright citizenship” guaranteed under the United States Constitution by Presidential Executive order, I could not help recalling the most famous Holocaust poem of all time.
“First They Came for the Jews” was written by Martin Niemöller.
Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor and theologian who was born in Germany in 1892.
At one time, Martin Niemöller was a supporter of Hitler’s policies but eventually recanted them.
Niemöller was arrested and confined to the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1938 to 1945 and avoided execution at the hands of the Nazis when he was liberated by the Allies in 1945.
The poem is short but very powerful:
“FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE JEWS”
“First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
TRUMP GOING AFTER UNITED STATES CITIZENS BORN OF IMMIGRANTS
President Donald Trump is proclaiming he can end “birthright citizenship” guaranteed under the United States Constitution with the stroke of a pen with a Presidential Executive order.
In an interview with AXIOUS, Trump had this to say about his proposal to end “birthright” citizenship:
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years, with all of those benefits. … It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Trump’s assertion is another one of his many blatant lies.
According to a study by the Center for Immigration Studies, at least 30 other countries, including Canada, Mexico and many others in the Western Hemisphere, grant automatic birthright citizenship.
No doubt all Trump supporters agree with him and that “birthright citizenship” should end.
In all likely, Trump supporters do not recognize if he gets away with it, any President will be given the power to nullify other constitutional rights people hold dear to them or take for granted like the Second Amendment “right to bear arms”, or “due process of law” or the “presumption of innocence.”
BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP CLAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
The sweeping language of the 14th and the 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are so clear and unambiguous enough for even an imbecile to understand.
The 14th Amendment, Section 1, to the US Constitution, referred to as the “citizenship clause” by legal scholars, is very specific and provides:
“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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gives the right to vote to freed slaves, is often included in legal argument of the 14th Amendment.
The Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from denying any citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”.
It is well settled law in United States Supreme Court rulings that make it clear that if you are born in the United States or United States territories, you are an American Citizens even if your parents were not.
If you’re born in America under the American flag, you’re an American citizen, period, no if ands or buts.
Time Magazine put it this way:
“It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight, the daughter of a president or the son of an undocumented immigrant, you’re a free and equal citizen. … This principle of equal citizenship formed the core of the constitutional vision of President Abraham Lincoln and his allies, who laid the foundations of both the Republican Party and our Constitution’s most transformative amendment—the 14th.”
PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDERS
Article II, Section 1, of the United StateS constitution provides:
“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”
Other than this one sentence, the United States Constitution has absolutely no provision under the Executive Powers provision of the United States Constitution that would allow Trump to change, amend, revoke or nullify language in the United States Constitution.
There is no Constitutional Amendment that gives a United States President the power the use Presidential Executive Orders to change, amend, revoke or nullify language in the constitution nor any constitutional amendment such as Amendment 15 guaranteeing “birthright citizenship.
Article II, Section 3 of the United states Constitution does provide that the President must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” and the consequence and penalty for failing to comply could be removal from office.
The U.S. Supreme Court has also held that all executive orders from the President of the United States must be supported by the Constitution, either from a clause granting specific power or by Congress delegating such power to the President.
Federal court actions to block Trump’s Presidential Executive Orders have been successful in the past when his orders exceeded his authority such as Trump’s initial Executive Order barring the entry into the United States by people from targeted Muslim countries.
TRUMPS OTHER ATTACKS ON CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
Trump has a real sinister side of trying to usurp many constitutional rights and he does it tinged with racism.
When Trump announced for the Presidency he said:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”
On January 27, 2017, just seven days after being sworn in as President, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order halting all refugee admissions and temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries arguing it was needed to combat terrorism.
The move sparked numerous protests and legal challenges.
TRUMP’S NO TOLERANCE POLICY
Trump waited a year after becoming President to announce his “no tolerance policy” of undocumented immigrants fleeing their home countries to enter the United States relying on fear mongering about gang violence from groups like MS-13 when he said:.
“These are sick evil people. … I called them animals and people said ‘that’s a terrible thing to say.’ Nancy Pelosi said that’s a terrible thing to say. She was defending MS-13.”
Apparently in Trump’s sick and warped mind, over 2,500 children separated from their parents are sick and evil people who are all MS-13 gang members and had them placed in cage like facilities.
Speaking at the White House Trump said:
“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. You look at what’s happening in Europe, and in other places, we cannot allow that to happen. Not on my watch.”
At the Nevada GOP state party convention, Trump reiterated some of his most vile rhetoric about immigrants from Central and South America when he said:
“The word is ‘overrun.’ We will have millions and millions of people pouring through our country and all the problems that would cause with crime and schools. … If they see any weakness, they will come by the millions.”
After public outcry, Trump reversed his no tolerance policy and a few days later had this to say:
“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents. Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!”
REFUGEE CARAVAN RESPONSE
In response to the caravan of about 7,000 refugees approaching the United States border by foot, Trump is ordering military troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexican border that could reach 15,000 roughly double the number the Pentagon said it currently plans for a mission whose dimensions are shifting daily.
The Pentagon says “more than 7,000” troops were being sent to the southwest border to support the Customs and Border Protection agents.
Officials said that number could reach a maximum of about 8,000 under present plans.
Trump when asked if any of the troops being sent to the border might open fire on asylum seekers, who are fleeing Central America, Trump said:
“I hope not. … It’s the military. I hope there won’t be that, but I will tell you this: Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico – the Mexican military, Mexican police – where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm – because there’s not much difference when you get hit in the face with a rock. … We will consider that the maximum that we can consider that, because they’re throwing rocks viciously and violently . … You saw that three days ago – really hurting the military. We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We’re going to consider it – I told them: Consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I said: Consider it a rifle.”
As Commander In Chief of the Military, someone needs to educate President Trump that the Pentagon military rules of engagement provide that deadly force is authorized in self-defense for those faced with an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.
Sacred, desperate, malnourished, dehydrated people, carrying children or pushing baby carriages and who have walked over 3,000 miles probably will not be throwing many rocks at US Customs let alone the United States military fully armed and ready to engage “rock throwers” by shooting them.
Trump apparently has never heard of “riot gear” with face shields and body shields, and smoke bombs, commonly used by police to quell rock throwing mobs, but he prefers to order the military to open fire if rocks are thrown at them.
DESIRE TO CHANGE LIBEL AND SLANDER LAWS
Trump has advocated changing the laws of libel and slander couching defamation laws in his rhetoric of nationalism and populist political movement.
According to Trump, the current libel laws “do not represent American values or American fairness” when he said:
“Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace, and do not represent American values or American fairness. … So we’re going to take a strong look at that. We want fairness. You can’t say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account … I think what the American people want to see is fairness.”
TRUMP’S CONTEMPT FOR THE PRESS
Trump’s contempt and condemnation of “freedom of the press” is legendary and part of his midterm campaign stump speeches at all of his mid term rallies.
Trump has called the press “enemies of the people” by saying:
“I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!”
On November 27, 2017, Trump TWEETED:
“We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY
Trump’s effort to end “birthright citizenship” by Presidential Executive Order is blatantly unconstitutional and downright dangerous on many levels.
Trump’s assertion that he has the authority to issue a “Presidential Executive Order” to end “birthright citizenship” shows how ignorant he is and how dangerous he is to all of our freedoms, including the freedoms of his supporters, guaranteed under the United States Constitution.
Less than one week before the midterms, Trump stokes paranoia and fear to gin up his conservative base by attacking our most vulnerable citizens who cannot defend themselves: United States Citizens born in the United States of immigrants.
Trump is appealing to this country’s darkest side and to blatant racism.
Trumps wants to start with “birthright” citizenship, and after that he will want to go after other rights that may interfere with his priorities to “Make America Great Again” and his appeal to nationalism.
Trump supporters no doubt applaud his actions to end birthright citizenship.
Trump supporters probably will not applaud him when he decides to go after a few of their own constitutional rights like “freedom of speech”, “freedom of assembly”, “freedom of association”, “due process of law”, the presumption that your “innocent until proven guilty”, and the right to be secure in your home from “unreasonable search and seizure” just to mention a few, in the interest of promoting his agenda of nationalism and “Make America Great Again”.
With Trump’s hatred, contempt and condemnation for the media, Trump just may decide that that there is a need for a “US Department of Communications” and issue an executive order that all media outlets be consolidated under a state media run outlet similar to Putin’s Russia and content be reviewed and approve before telecasted.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is short and states:
“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As what happened in Nazi Germany, Trump could easily decide that certain minorities in our country, such as Muslims, or any anyone who disagree with him, should not have the right to bear arms and issue an Executive Order to seize guns.
Trump could issue an Executive Order nullifying the Second Amendment saying it only applies to “a well-regulated militia”.
No doubt the Trump supporters as well as the NRA would go ballistic, but yet they remain totally silent on his proposal to end “birthright citizenship”.
As what happened in Nazi Germany, Trump could decide that our “freedom of speech”, “freedom of the press’, “freedom of assembly”, “freedom of association”, “the right of due process of law”, the presumption that your “innocent until proven guilty”, and the right to be secure in your home from “unreasonable search and seizure” or other rights guaranteed under our US Constitution and its amendments are rights he can alter or void by a Presidential Executive Order in the interest of “Making America Great Again” and the type of nationalism he is promoting that occurred in Nazi Germany.
“Then he came for children born in the United States of undocumented immigrants, and I did not speak out because I was not an immigrant with a child born in the United States”.
“Then he came for my constitutional rights, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”