Further to yesterday’s post, there are a whole bunch of other idiots besides Scott Walker running for president in the Republican Party. Thankfully.
Here is the list of Republican candidates who have at least suggested openness to ending birthright citizenship, which would mean repealing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution: Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Santorum. That’s nearly half the GOP field, and more may be added to the list.
The 14th Amendment states in part: “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.” It was passed after the Civil War to ensure that former slaves had all the legal rights of other citizens. You can’t end birthright citizenship without repealing it. That means that no matter who gets elected in 2016, birthright citizenship is not going to be eliminated. The bar is so high for amending the Constitution that it’s impossible to imagine any amendment this controversial getting ratified, which is as it should be.
But the political impact is going to be very real, whether or not the idea goes anywhere in practical terms. The simple fact is that if Republicans don’t improve their performance among Hispanic voters, they cannot win the White House. Period.
This discussion about birthright citizenship sends an incredibly clear message to Hispanic voters, a message of naked hostility to them and people like them. It’s possible to argue that you’re “pro-immigrant” while simultaneously saying we should build more walls and double the size of the Border Patrol. Indeed, many Republicans do, and while their argument may not be particularly persuasive, it’s not completely crazy. But you can’t say you’re pro-immigrant and advocate ending birthright citizenship. You just can’t.
(my emphasis). This is precisely right. So keep on talking, guys. And the half of the candidates that haven’t said anything yet? Speak up, we can’t hear you.