Updating the fourteenth amendment
The arguments made in favor of ending birthright citizenship are arguments about the text of the Constitution, American history, and the rule of law — a comfortable register for elite conservative thinkers to speak in.But its urgency as an issue relies on fears about irreversible cultural change — that continuing to grant birthright citizenship will result in the loss of something irreducibly American.
The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery (1865), the Fourteenth Amendment made freed slaves citizens of the United States and the state wherein they lived (1868), and the Fifteenth Amendment gave the vote to men of any race (1870).
And finally, the Fourteenth Amendment introduced the ideal of equality to the Constitution for the first time, promising “equal protection of the laws.”A key feature of the Fourteenth Amendment was that it directly prohibited certain actions by the states.
It also gave Congress the power to enforce the amendment through legislation.
President Donald Trump wants to end birthright citizenship — the principle that every child born on US soil is automatically a native-born citizen, regardless of the immigration status of the parents — with a stroke of the pen.
He told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan in a taped interview for Axios’s upcoming HBO series that the US was the only country in the world with birthright citizenship, which is very much not true (see this list of 30 other countries).
The Republicans began the new session in March 1867 by passing additional reconstruction laws (over President Johnson's veto), inaugurating a new period of much firmer treatment of the South known as the Radical Reconstruction.