Trump wants to end birthright cit­i­zen­ship


Gulf News - - Front Page - BY DAVID S. CLOUD

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he was pre­par­ing an ex­ec­u­tive or­der to end birthright cit­i­zen­ship in the US, his lat­est ma­noeu­vre days be­fore midterm con­gres­sional elec­tions to ac­ti­vate his base by clamp­ing down on im­mi­grants and im­mi­gra­tion.

“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,” Trump told Ax­ios dur­ing an in­ter­view that was re­leased in part yes­ter­day. “It’s ridicu­lous. It’s ridicu­lous. And it has to end.”

To ac­com­plish the idea he floated, Trump would have to find a way around the 14th Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion, which states, “All per­sons born or nat­u­ralised in the United States, and sub­ject to the ju­ris­dic­tion thereof, are cit­i­zens of the United States and of the State wherein they re­side.”

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion or­dered 5,200 ad­di­tional troops to the South­west bor­der on Mon­day, more than dou­bling the mil­i­tary pres­ence there and widen­ing the Pen­tagon’s role in do­mes­tic polic­ing op­er­a­tions.

The move is in re­sponse to a car­a­van of Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants who may seek to en­ter the United States through Mex­ico, of­fi­cials said. Pres­i­dent Trump has char­ac­terised the group as an “in­va­sion” and falsely claimed it in­cluded ter­ror­ists and was or­gan­ised by Democrats hand­ing out money, de­spite de­nials by na­tional se­cu­rity ex­perts.

Trump’s crit­ics dis­missed the un­usu­ally heavy de­ploy­ment of mil­i­tary troops to as­sist in bor­der pro­tec­tion as a po­lit­i­cal ploy by the ad­min­is­tra­tion to appeal to its base ahead of the Novem­ber 6 midterm elec­tion.

The armed troops will help the Bor­der Pa­trol “harden points of en­try and ad­dress key gaps around points of en­try” to keep mem­bers of the car­a­van from cross­ing the bor­der, Gen­eral Ter­rence O’Shaugh­nessy, head of the US North­ern Com­mand, said at a news con­fer­ence with the Bor­der Pa­trol.

The rapid timetable of the op­er­a­tion would have the 5,200 ■ troops in place by the end of the week. The car­a­van of ap­prox­i­mately 3,500 mi­grants is still mov­ing through south­ern Mex­ico, about 1,448km from the US bor­der, and is steadily de­clin­ing in num­bers.

Midterm elec­tion

Trump has seized on the im­mi­gra­tion is­sue ahead of next week’s midterm elec­tion, even though il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion this year is on pace to be lower than in all but four of the pre­vi­ous 45 years.

The pres­i­dent has tweeted re­peat­edly about the threat posed by the car­a­van, a char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion that may have played a role in Satur­day’s deadly syn­a­gogue at­tack in Pitts­burgh. In on­line post­ings, the pur­ported shooter, Robert Bow­ers, ac­cused Jewish groups of aid­ing “in­vaders” by help­ing im­mi­grants and refugees set­tle in the United States.

Though Pen­tagon of­fi­cials in the past have em­pha­sised that the mil­i­tary was play­ing only a sup­port­ing role in as­sist­ing civil­ian au­thor­i­ties along the bor­der, O’Shaugh­nessy por­trayed the mil­i­tary as tak­ing a far more ac­tive op­er­a­tional role.

“As we sit here to­day, we have about 800 sol­diers that are on their way right now. They’re com­ing from Ft Camp­bell. They’re com­ing from Ft Knox. They’re mov­ing closer to the bor­der” and are “ready to be em­ployed on the bor­der.”

The first wave of 800 troops will be fol­lowed in com­ing days by ad­di­tional de­ploy­ments in Ari­zona and Cal­i­for­nia. They will in­clude ac­tive-duty mil­i­tary per­son­nel from three com­bat engi­neer­ing bat­tal­ions and three he­li­copter units.

Black Hawk he­li­copters

About 2,000 Na­tional Guard troops are al­ready as­sist­ing at the bor­der un­der a pre­vi­ous Pen­tagon op­er­a­tion. Among other roles, Black Hawk he­li­copters equipped with night sen­sors will be avail­able to ferry Bor­der Pa­trol per­son­nel “ex­actly where they need to be” to “spot groups” and “to fast-rope down” to in­ter­cept mi­grants try­ing to cross the bor­der. Mil­i­tary air­craft will con­duct sur­veil­lance.

The Pen­tagon is also send­ing en­gi­neers who could build ve­hi­cle bar­ri­ers, walls and ra­zor­wire fenc­ing around the en­try points. Sol­diers ar­riv­ing at the bor­der were bring­ing 35km of con­certina wire and would have an­other 241km avail­able, O’Shaugh­nessy said.

The Pen­tagon is send­ing riot gear, ready-to-eat meals and tents to equip, feed and house ad­di­tional Bor­der Pa­trol agents sent to the bor­der. In ad­di­tion, the Pen­tagon is send­ing four larger trans­port planes.


A man, part of a car­a­van of mi­grants from Cen­tral Amer­ica en route to the United States, car­ries a girl through the Suchi­ate River into Mex­ico from Gu­atemala.

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