I marked my first official ballot in a national election in 1960, when I was 5 years old. I voted for John F. Kennedy. At least I’m pretty sure my hand was on my father’s hand when he pulled the lever. He had worked the overnight shift at the local steel mill, which usually meant he would sleep all through the day. The kids in our neighborhood knew to stay away from the houses where dads were on the midnight to 8 a.m. rotation. They needed their rest. Or so our moms told us. On that day, however, my father was up early, and dressed like he was going to church, and he asked me if I wanted to go with him to vote. Whatever that was. Among the birthright citizens The closest polling place was the local United Steelworkers of America union hall. It was noisy and crowded. A man in line to vote put an oversize straw hat on my head that had a Kennedy button attached to it. I remember someone shouting, “Take a picture!” But I don’t know if anyone did. … [Read more...] about Birthright citizenship makes the best Americans
Opinion: Getting the 14th Amendment passed may have been the best thing Republicans have ever done. Why would they want to undo it? President Donald Trump says he is not a racist. Yet he now plans to issue a patently unconstitutional executive order ending birthright citizenship, knowing that ending birthright citizenship has been the dream of every racist, every supremacist and every white nationalist since before the Civil War. Some states in the south prior to the war passed laws saying African Americans born free in the United States could not be citizens. There was a Supreme Court case, resulting in the Dred Scott decision, in which a court packed with pro-slavery justices denied African Americans citizenship. A dreaded return to Dred Scott? That didn’t change until 1868, when Congress approved the Fourteenth Amendment, which contains a citizenship clause reading, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are … [Read more...] about Is Trump’s unconstitutional plan to end birthright citizenship also racist?
(CNN)Arguments in the trial over the Commerce Department's decision to reintroduce a question about citizenship in the 2020 census concluded in federal court on Tuesday amid fresh pleas from the Justice Department to the US Supreme Court to delay the case. Numerous state attorneys general and civil rights organizations brought the challenge alleging a political motive behind the decision to reinstate the question. Critics of the citizenship question argue that its inclusion will discourage noncitizens from filling out their forms, which could mean segments of the US population are underrepresented. In the weeks leading up to and during the trial, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to step in and delay the trial because of a dispute over the scope of discovery. The most recent request came in the form of a letter from Solicitor General Noel Francisco on Monday night, just hours before closing arguments were slated to begin in downtown Manhattan. The Supreme Court has … [Read more...] about Judge to rule soon on census citizenship controversy
(CNN)It sounds like a small change, in a survey many people forget about minutes after they take it. But the Trump administration's plan to put a citizenship question back on the US census is a big deal. Even if talk about polls and statistics usually makes your eyes glaze over, here's why you should pay attention: The census isn't just an academic exercise. It's the basis for deciding the number of representatives each state gets in Congress and how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed. Monday's announcement by the Commerce Department marked the beginning of what's likely to be a lengthy battle in the political arena and in court. California has already filed a legal challenge, and other states and civil rights groups have also threatened to sue. Read More Here's a look at the issues at play -- and what's at stake: Why is this coming up now? The Justice Department asked officials to add the citizenship question, saying it needed better data on the voting age … [Read more...] about Why putting a citizenship question on the census is a big deal
Late last month, 19-year-old Maryury Elizabeth Serrano-Hernandez reportedly scaled a wall along the United States-Mexico border while eight months pregnant and gave birth within hours of placing her feet on American soil. She was part of a widely publicized Central American caravan and traveled more than 2,000 miles from Honduras propelled by the dream of giving her new baby, as well as her 3-year-old son, a life free from the violence and grinding poverty she endured back home. She views her child’s birth in the United States as a “big reward” for her courage, perseverance and faith. As she explained to Univision, which documented parts of her family’s journey, “With faith in God, I always said my son will be born there.” For some Americans, Ms. Serrano-Hernandez’s story is nothing short of heroic, Border Patrol said that Ms. Serrano-Hernandez and her family were released on their own recognizance. Her newborn is, for many, just another … [Read more...] about None of Us Deserve Citizenship