Every few days, it seems like the President announces some crazy idea to change our immigration laws and policies. In just the past two weeks, he’s said he wants to get rid of the 14th Amendment that guarantees US citizenship to every individual born in the United States. He’s also said that he wants to make people who enter the country unlawfully ineligible for asylum.
I could spend pages upon pages writing why both of these ideas are wrong and illegal. But he knows that they would never actually come to pass. Birthright citizenship would take an act of Congress to change and we are subject to our own laws and international treaties that mandate that asylum be possible for people seeking protection (it doesn’t mean we have to grant asylum – in fact, our laws could make it nearly impossible for someone to be granted asylum – and it often does – but it must remain an option).
My personal opinion is that these inflammatory ideas are distractions and ways to get his anti-immigrant supporters excited. President Trump talks about these ideas to show that he’s tough on immigration. When these ideas fail because of law and common sense, he can say he tried. That keeps his base happy with him and makes them angrier at Congress because they weren’t radical enough to change the foundations of our country.
When we have actual changes to policy and law, I’ll use my energy to understand and adapt. But life is too short and I have too many clients to spend time on xenophobic craziness.