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Trump’s plan to end U.S. birthright citizenship is more complicated than he says — here’s why – National

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U.S. President Donald Trump has decided he wants to end birthright citizenship for babies born to non-citizens and unauthorized immigrant parents in the country.

Trump announced his intention to take on the issue during an interview with “Axios on HBO,” which is scheduled to air over the weekend.

READ MORE: Trump wants to end birthright citizenship for U.S.-born babies of unauthorized immigrants

The president said he plans to do so with an executive order.

Here’s why that could be much more complicated than Trump has claimed.

Birthright citizenship is in the Constitution

Revoking birthright citizenship would spark a court fight over whether the president has the unilateral ability to change an amendment to the Constitution.

The 14th Amendment guarantees the right for all children born in the U.S.

Known as the citizenship clause, the amendment says: “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.”

WATCH: What is birth tourism and how birthright citizenship works in Canada






Can an executive order really change the Constitution?

Well, that’s what the court fight would be over — and experts say it could be a real challenge for Trump.

When Trump was asked about whether he thinks his order would withstand a legal challenge he said: “They’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”

The president said White House lawyers are reviewing his proposal. It’s unclear how quickly he would act on an executive order.

READ MORE: Conservatives want to end ‘birth tourism’ in Canada — but what exactly is the contested issue?

Many of those criticizing Trump’s plan cited a U.S. Supreme Court decision made in the 1898 case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark.

The case, as The Washington Post reports, argued that a child born to Chinese immigrants was a birthright citizen and was victorious.

One U.S. lawyer, Dan McLaughlin, noted that “there are grounds for debate” on theory and policy, but constitutional law itself is pretty solid and difficult to change.

“A proper originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, as presently written, guarantees American citizenship to those born within our borders, with only a few limited exceptions,” McLaughlin wrote in the National Review. 

Another possibility would be for Congress to vote for the change, and Sen. Lindsay Graham has said he will bring the issue up.

Criticism of Trump’s plan

Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship prompted outcry from several groups Tuesday, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment’s citizenship guarantee is clear,” ACLU representative Omar Jadwat wrote in a statement to CNN.

“This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms.”

Another advocate at the Latino Victory Project, Cristóbal J. Alex, said: “This is Trump at his most vile and un-American.”

Others criticized the president for bringing up the issue a week before the midterm election, in an effort to divert attention away from other issues.

WATCH: Trump says he’s confident about upcoming U.S. midterms






“President Trump’s new claim he can unilaterally end the Constitution’s guarantee of citizenship shows Republicans’ spiralling desperation to distract from their assault on Medicare, Medicaid and people with pre-existing conditions,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Is the U.S. unique with birthright laws?

During the Axios interview, Trump incorrectly claimed that the U.S. is the only country in the world where all babies get birthright citizenship.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said.

Canada, among about 30 countries, has the same, nearly identical birthright laws as the U.S.

However, Australia and New Zealand and many European nations have changed their birthright citizenship laws, granting citizenship to babies only when at least one parent is a citizen or legal resident.

READ MORE: 450,000 immigrants a year? Canada could do it, report suggests

There has been a similar debate in Canada.

In August, the federal Conservative Party called for an end to birthright citizenship and particularly “birth tourism.”

So-called “birth tourism” is when pregnant, non-Canadian women fly to Canada in order to give birth and secure citizenship for their babies.

The Tories passed a non-binding resolution urging the government to action.

WATCH: Conservatives look to end birth tourism in Canada






In 2014, immigration officials urged the Harper government to change the country’s citizenship rules in order to target birth tourism. But no action was taken by that Conservative government.

According to Statistics Canada, 313 babies were born to non-Canadian mothers in 2016. That number has gone down significantly since 2012 when Statistics Canada reported that 699 babies were born to non-Canadian mothers.

— With files from Global News reporter Katie Dangerfield and The Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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FOREIGN NEWS

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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