Trump wants to end birthright citizenship
TRUMP’S CRITICS DISMISS HEAVY DEPLOYMENT OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AS POLITICAL PLOY
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.
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.