Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Not Yet Fully Evaluated

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Not Yet Fully Evaluated

In the Nov. 1 edition of the Gazette you have written an article “On Constitutional Birthright to Citizenship.” In that article you quote the text of a message written to the President by Congressman Connolly in which he states that the President’s new executive order ending citizenship for children born in the U. S. is patently unconstitutional.

As I understand the issue, and as it has been reported, the President, while considering such an order, has not yet issued one. The issue of the constitutionality of birthright citizenship has long been discussed and I perceive significantly misunderstood. The Fourteenth Amendment was issued at the end of the Civil War and addressed specifically granting citizenship to former slaves freed by the conflict. At the time a number of documents written by the authors of this amendment were very clear that this was their intent-to only provide citizenship to former persons who had been in the U.S. in captivity as slaves. I have been told that it was only in the 1960s when the administration at that time expanded the scope of the amendment by bureaucratic action alone. I also understand there are no statues or court rulings, including any action by the U.S. Supreme Court, assessing this new action.

So in my opinion, the issue of the constitutionality of the issue of birthright citizenship is yet to be fully evaluated. Congressman Connolly’s message to the President seems to lack the facts necessary to put this question to rest. I question his statement that the pending executive order is “patently unconstitutional.”

Edward Little