Should 14th Amendment be repealed?

Juan Casas, Courier Staff

The U.S Constitution is one of the oldest government doctrines that has maintained its originality and is still in use today.

It declares the powers of government over the people, and separates those powers over three branches of government in a check and balancing act. This has allowed the people to govern themselves and has prevented government overreach. So, when the question arises over citizenship, the U.S constitution clearly states in the 14th Amendment that, “all people born on American soil are citizens of the country.” Originally, designed to give rights and protections to the newly emancipated slaves, it has gone far beyond its original intent and has encompassed issues on immigration, the social welfare state, international security, foreign relations and many more aspects of American society.

Today, the question of citizenship has risen again and again regarding immigration, especially illegal immigration. The term “anchor babies” directly relates to this perceived issue. The term infers that immigrants come to the country, legally or illegally to have their children born here, and this then anchors the parents down to the country with their children since the deportation of the parents would result in humanitarian issues regarding the parentless child. Yet, although in rare instances, this is a racial stereotype that holds little to no real-world applicable value. In truth, the overwhelming majority of immigrants come into the country legally, and don’t have children until their citizenship status is settled because of the ever-present possibility that they may be deported and may lose custody over their children; no sane parent would take such an unnecessary risk. Overall, the 14th Amendment benefits more people than it harms, for it is not intended to benefit immigrants over native born citizens as much as its intended to benefit native born citizens over immigrants.

The 14th Amendment would require a two-thirds of the U.S Congressional Majority or a state convention to vote to overturn or repeal it in in order to nullify it, because any court in the land would quickly rule any other form, via a presidential executive order unconstitutional. This is because the executive powers of the president cannot override the U.S. Constitution, nor can any state or local ordinance. This is what the checks and balances of the three branches of government are for; that is what the founding fathers intended. Even Congress cannot override the constitution without first amending it. That is why during the prohibition era in the United States, it took a constitutional amendment (the 18th) to outlaw alcohol and then it took another amendment (the 21st) to re-legalize its sale. So, it would take both Chambers of Congress, and all the Republican members along with a large portion of Democrats to overturn the 14th Amendment, which could very well be considered political suicide for Democrats and perhaps even for some Republicans from moderate states.

Overall, it is practically impossible for the current administration to do anything to change the constitution and it is even less probable for the fractured Congress to vote in unison on any issue, let alone the amending of the constitution.