(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement on Monday that referenced President Donald Trump’s intention to issues an executive order terminating birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens and declared that “the president does not have the power to erase parts of the Constitution.”
The first section of the Fourteenth Amendment (which Congress approved in 1866 and was ratified by the states 1868) 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.”
On May 30, 1866, Sen. Jacob Howard, the author of this language, gave a speech on the Senate floor explaining what it means.
“The first amendment to section one, declaring that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside,’” Howard said.
“I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been so fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion,” Howard said.
“This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States,” he said. “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States.”
Here is the full text of Pelosi’s statement:
“President Trump’s new claim he can unilaterally end the Constitution’s guarantee of citizenship shows Republicans’ spiraling desperation to distract from their assault on Medicare, Medicaid and people with pre-existing conditions.
“The President does not have the power to erase parts of the Constitution, but he and the GOP Congress have spent two years trying to erase protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
“Clearly, Republicans will do absolutely anything to divert attention away from their votes to take away Americans’ health care.”