In 1868, following the bitterly fought Civil War, Republicans of President Abraham Lincoln’s party ratified the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed.
So it is now a very strange twist of history, that the same Republican party seems hell-bent on ending the rights of all children born on U.S. soil to automatically obtain U.S. Citizenship at birth, regardless of the immigration status or citizenship of the child’s parents.
But with all this talk by Trump and other Republicans about abolishing the 14th Amendment, it is really possible for any one political party to end the right, or is it all just political rhetoric aimed at stirring up votes from the mainly white, native born Americans (whose families were all once immigrants themselves)?
The reality is, that putting an end to Birthright Citizenship would be very complicated and require amending the U.S. Constitution. Amending the Constitution requires a vote of two thirds of both the House and Senate of Congress and then, approval (ratification) by three fourths of the state legislatures. This is a mighty task indeed and likely impossible.
So as you listen to all the bombastic speeches from Trump and other anti-immigrant conservatives, remember, its one thing to say it and another to actually do it and frankly, these politicians know its not possible, but they are just saying what they think their voters want to hear.