I just learned that NCDOT will be putting in bike lanes on the new 10th St overpass from Evans St. all the way to the...

Birthright citizenship poor place to start reform

AP Explains Birthright Citizenship-2

Jose Aguilar, and his wife, Maria, read a book with their children Jose Jr.,7, and Jennifer, 9, at their home in National City, Calif. The Aguilar children are U.S. citizens by virtue of their American birth, but their parents face deportation back to their homeland of Mexico.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

President Trump’s assertion on Tuesday that he could end birthright citizenship via an executive order likely is another attempt to stir up immigration as a campaign issue ahead of next week’s midterm election.

It’s a bad and almost certainly unconstitutional idea, and had the matter stopped there, it would hardly merit serious discussion.

Then, a few hours later in a series of tweets, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he would introduce legislation “along the same lines” as Trump’s proposed executive order. It’s not the first time Graham, long an advocate of immigration reform, has suggested such a change. But he now has a president open to the idea.

Executive orders have been used inappropriately in the past to implement sweeping changes in immigration policy, and presidents from both parties have used the tactic in other sometimes dubious ways. But birthright citizenship comes straight out of the Constitution, and allowing the president to alter that document unilaterally would be a serious assault on democracy.

The 14th Amendment states that, “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.”

There’s some room for debate about whether or not that applies to people living illegally in the United States. But presuming that the rest of the Constitution applies to all people on U.S. soil — legally present or not, citizen or foreigner — it’s clear enough that birthright citizenship would as well.

Graham is on firmer legal ground than Trump by calling for legislation, presumably to amend the Constitution. But unless Republicans pick up significantly larger majorities in both the House and Senate next Tuesday, getting two-thirds of both chambers to vote for an end to birthright citizenship seems exceedingly unlikely.

That’s probably for the best. On the whole, birthright citizenship is a boon for the United States rather than a burden. We need young Americans to grow up into our future leaders, to drive economic growth, to invent and create and innovate.

It’s perfectly reasonable to be wary of pregnant women traveling to the United States just to have a baby here, but there are less draconian ways to prevent that, like tightening border security.

It’s also true that illegal immigrants commonly have children who are granted U.S. citizenship. Over the past several years, anywhere between 5 and 10 percent of all births in the United States have been to undocumented parents, according to the Pew Research Center.

But denying citizenship to those children probably wouldn’t encourage their parents to leave. Instead, it would create a permanent underclass of effectively nation-less people who grow up in the United States but face higher barriers to living a productive, prosperous life — all through no fault of their own.

Generally, the goal of immigration reform is to bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows and put them on a path toward legality, not to drive them further underground.

Illegal immigrant families do impose costs on taxpayers, particularly when their kids are citizens who are eligible for a broader range of social and safety net programs. But they also put billions of dollars into the economy each year, providing a significant net benefit by most measures.

Sen. Graham and President Trump are right that the United States desperately needs to reform its immigration laws and border security policies to protect national security and a lawful society. There is no question about that. But undoing birthright citizenship could actually undermine those efforts.

Besides, most meaningful immigration reforms wouldn’t require changing the Constitution. We’d be much better off starting with those.

Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


November 16, 2018

Rising casualties. Aerial assaults. Weary ground forces. The charred desolation of thousands of homes. The most apt metaphor about California’s rampaging wildfires is warfare.

And just like in any war, one of the first casualties is truth.

Who or what is to blame for the conflagrations?…

California Wildfires-12

November 14, 2018

Members of the N.C. General Assembly will get some legislative exercise to help burn off their Thanksgiving calories this year, returning to Raleigh for a late-November special session that will, among other things, write the rules for the state’s newly enacted constitutional requirement for…

Voter ID Lawsuit

November 13, 2018

Anita Earls, who was elected Tuesday to a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court, ought to be happy that legislative Republicans apparently spend so much time reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s 16th century treatise on power, “The Prince.”

Machiavelli urged a style of cunning political…

Supreme Court Earls

November 10, 2018

The Democrats’ return to control over the House of Representatives is much more than a victory for one party. It is a sign of health for American democracy.

Distrustful of untrammeled majorities, the authors of the Constitution favored checks and balances, including, crucially, the check that…

Election 2018 Trump

November 09, 2018

With the courts and Trump Administration rolling back federal climate regulation, green activists have turned to the states. But there’s a troubling ethical twist: Instead of merely lobbying, activists are placing employees in Attorneys General offices in dubious private-public condominiums.…

November 04, 2018

President Trump’s assertion on Tuesday that he could end birthright citizenship via an executive order likely is another attempt to stir up immigration as a campaign issue ahead of next week’s midterm election.

It’s a bad and almost certainly unconstitutional idea, and had the…

AP Explains Birthright Citizenship-2

November 04, 2018

Pitt County is fortunate to have a ballot full of fine candidates running for elected office on Tuesday. Women and men have put their names forth to produce contested races for almost every seat. The races offer contrasts in style, personality and direction.

The Daily Reflector has reported on the…

November 02, 2018

It’s natural to think of worst case scenarios when such a scenario is right before your eyes. So it was Monday when authorities said a Butler High School student was shot and killed by another student during a dispute in a school hallway. The death appeared to be the first fatal shooting…

North Carolina School Shooting-3

October 31, 2018

Children in North Carolina aren’t learning to read fast enough or well enough. The state has invested millions. Hands are wringing, and heads are hitting hard against the wall. “Success” can’t be claimed if a third-grader can’t read the word and know what it means.



October 30, 2018

The United States has been a beacon of hope for people who are poor, mistreated or persecuted. That is a unique position on the world stage that must not be abdicated.

Many Americans trace their roots to people who left harsh conditions in other countries in search of a better life in the United…

Central America Migrant Caravan
90 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»