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John Eastman on Birthright Citizenship, Kamala Harris, the Mexican Repatriation, and Citizenship for the Children of Braceros

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Earlier this week, Chapman University law professor John Eastman used the announcement that Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s pick to be Vice President to explain his unorthodox view of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment. Is Kamala Harris eligible for the office of Vice President? Here’s my article, published by Newsweek, exploring the issues.,

Earlier this week, Chapman University law professor John Eastman used the announcement that Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s pick to be Vice President to explain his unorthodox view of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment.

Is Kamala Harris eligible for the office of Vice President? Here’s my article, published by Newsweek, exploring the issues. Short answer: It depends! https://t.co/A2K08EBUYu

— John Eastman (@DrJohnEastman) August 12, 2020

Eastman, who’s frequently the only constitutional lawyer on any panel or symposium who believes that birthright citizenship isn’t guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, used his reasoning to argue that Harris is not a natural‐​born citizen and therefore ineligible to be Vice President because she is ineligible to be President.

This is because, according to Eastman’s theory, Harris’ parents were non‐​citizens when she was born on U.S. soil and not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. Funny enough, Eastman believes that Ted Cruz is a natural‐​born citizen while Harris is not, but this is actually perfectly consistent with his odd interpretation of the 14th Amendment. So, while it is tempting to poke fun at his seeming partisanship on the Cruz vs. Harris question of natural‐​born citizenship, we must give him the benefit of the doubt on that point.

But that doesn’t mean that Eastman is correct on the broader point. Rather than delve into the legal weeds on this issue, which many others have done, I’ll focus instead on some erroneous statements that Eastman makes about American history.

In his opinion piece, Eastman states that the children of Mexican immigrants born on U.S. soil who were deported during the Mexican Repatriation on the 1920s and 1930s weren’t considered citizens by the government. Eastman wrote:

The children born on U.S. soil to guest workers from Mexico during the Roaring 1920s were not viewed as citizens, for example, when, in the wake of the Great Depression, their families were repatriated to Mexico.

Eastman is incorrect, the government did consider those born to non‐​citizens on U.S. soil to be American citizens. His story about the deportations of Mexicans and American citizens of Mexican descent doesn’t support his point. First, children born in the United States who are minors can follow their parents as they are deported even today. Many today end up staying in the United States with guardians, other relatives, or in the foster care system, but some also leave. Thus, removing or allowing U.S.-born minors to leave with their foreign‐​born parents who are deported doesn’t mean that the U.S. government doesn’t consider the minors to be U.S. citizens.

Second, many of the U.S.-born children of Mexican immigrants who were deported with their families eventually returned because they were American citizens. For instance, Jose Lopez was born to Mexican parents in Detroit in 1926. He was deported to Michoacán, Mexico in 1931 along with his family. As a five‐​year‐​old, there were few alternatives for him to stay and his parents didn’t want to be separated from their young son. Lopez eventually returned to the land of his birth (the United States) in 1945 as he could prove that he was a citizen, but others were not so lucky. Clearly, the U.S. government considered him to be a U.S. citizen then because he was born here.

Third, the term “repatriation” could be fairly applied to the Mexican‐​born immigrants who were being deported to their homeland, but it was surely inapplicable to the approximately half of all deportees who were American citizens by birth. “Mexican Repatriation” is a term commonly used to describe that mass deportation, but it is a phrase that assumes the restrictionist conclusion that all of them were foreign‐​born or non‐​citizens – which is incorrect because about 60 percent were U.S. citizens with most being born here.

Eastman also wrote that the children born to Mexican guest workers under the Bracero guest worker visa program were not considered citizens:

Nor were the children born on U.S. soil to guest workers in the bracero program of the 1950s and early 1960s deemed citizens when that program ended, and their families emigrated back to their home countries.

As far as I can tell from scanning an archive of testimonies by Bracero workers and their families, this isn’t true either. There weren’t many children born on U.S.-soil to Bracero workers because they were supposed to be all men, but children born to illegal immigrants who worked alongside Braceros were citizens, so it stands to reason that so were the few children whose parents were Braceros. Perhaps some U.S.-born children of Braceros were denied citizenship or had trouble proving that they were born in the United States, but I haven’t come across any systematic evidence that the U.S. government did not consider them citizens at the time. I would love to see evidence to the contrary, but I doubt it exists.

Constitutional scholars have been arguing about Eastman’s unorthodox constitutional theories for quite a while and he’s not changing many minds. Interestingly enough, his historical examples do not prove what he thinks they prove. Whether the standard interpretation of the 14th Amendment is correct or not, the U.S. government has been acting like those born on U.S. soil who aren’t the children of diplomats are U.S. citizens.

Source: John Eastman on Birthright Citizenship, Kamala Harris, the Mexican Repatriation, and Citizenship for the Children of Braceros

Alex Nowrasteh

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans sweeping reversal of Trump immigration agenda

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BIDEN IMMIGRATION REFORM

President-elect Joe Biden is planning a swift reversal of President Trump’s most controversial immigration policies. CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reports the incoming Democrat plans to dismantle within his first 100 days much of the agenda Mr. Trump has laid out over the last four years. Montoya-Galvez joins CBSN to break down Mr. Biden’s immigration plans.

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans to unravel Trump’s immigration policies during his first 100 days

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Great news for DACA and Dreamers.

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Politics / Legislation

Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?

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We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America. We would,

We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind those of our readers who are American citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your civic duty and will help shape the nation’s immigration policy for the next four years. For voter registration information please click here.


Immigration under Joe Biden

If elected President of the United States, Joe Biden has stated that he will enact a number of policies during his four-year term. Among these policies, he promises to take urgent action to undo destructive policies implemented by the Trump administration, modernize the immigration system, reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and implement effective border screening.


Comprehensive Immigration Reform

First and foremost, Joe Biden supports working with Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration solution that would offer nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. As vice president, Joe Biden worked alongside former President Obama to push forward a bill that would do just that. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Congress refused to approve the bill, leaving millions of undocumented immigrants in limbo including Dreamers.

Joe Biden advocates for the creation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program,  the Central American Minors program, which allows parents with legal status in the U.S. to apply to bring their children from Central America to live with them, and the creation of a White House task force to support new Americans to integrate into American life and their communities.


Overview of Biden’s Immigration Commitments

Temporary Seasonal Workers. Biden wishes to work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas to allow seasonal workers in select industries to easily switch jobs, while certifying the labor market’s need for foreign workers. Employers would be required to pay prevailing wages and ensure the right of all workers to join a union and exercise their labor rights.

High-skilled Temporary Visas. Biden will also work with Congress to reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and create fraud prevention mechanisms. Biden supports expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, eliminating the backlogs.

Legalization for Agricultural Workers. For agricultural workers, Biden would support legislation between farmworkers and the agricultural industry to provide them with legal status based on prior agricultural work history, to ensure a “fast track” green card process ultimately workers them to apply for citizenship.

Removing Per-Country Cap Limitations. Biden is strongly against the current per-country cap visa limitations and the long waiting periods families must wait to be reunited. Biden will support a family-based immigration system allowing any approved applicant to receive a temporary non-immigrant visa until a permanent visa is processed, and will support legislation that treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives exempting them from the caps, and allowing parents to bring minor children with them at the time they immigrate.

Preserving the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Biden will continue to support the diversity visa lottery program and preserve the program.

Increase Employment Based Visas. Regarding employment-based visas, Biden will work with Congress to increase the number of visas for permanent employment-based immigration and temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S. unemployment. Biden would exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM fields in the US.

New Visa Category for Cities and Counties Seeking Immigrant Work. Biden supports creating a new visa category that would allow cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrant to support their growth, provided employers certify there are available jobs and no workers to fill them. Holders of these visas would need to work and reside in the city or county that petitioned them and be subject to certification protections similar to employment-based immigrants.

Expansion of U Visa Program. Biden will expand the U visa program to include eligibility for workers who report certain workplace crimes.

Increase visas for Domestic Violence Survivors and Victims of Crime. Finally, Biden plans to triple the current cap of 10,000 on U-visas and increase visas for domestic violence survivors.


Policy on Removal and Enforcement Actions

Joe Biden plans to focus his administration on prioritizing removal and enforcement actions on persons who pose a threat to national security and public safety. The Biden administration would not target the removal of working-class undocumented immigrants and their families. Biden also promises to end mass workplace raids and prevent enforcement actions and operations at sensitive locations including schools, hospitals, and places of worship.

With regard to the influx of undocumented immigration from Central America, the Biden administration would address the root of the problem, by securing bipartisan support and funding to countries in the Northern Triangle to help these countries tackle violence and insecurity, lack of economic opportunity, and corruption in the region.


Joe Biden’s 100-Day Plan

Within his first 100 days in office, the Biden administration commits to:

  • Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies that have separated parents from children at the border, including ending prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations, and prioritizing family reunification.
  • Immediately reverse the Trump administration’s public charge rule
  • End the “national emergency” imposed by the Trump administration to enable the Department of Defense to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border
  • Protect Dreamers and their families, by reinstating the DACA program and exploring all legal options to protect families from inhumane separation
  • Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by removing roadblocks to naturalization, addressing the application backlog and rejecting imposition of unreasonable fees
  • End the Trump administration’s detrimental asylum policies
  • Rescind the travel and refugee bans also known as the “Muslim bans” by the Trump administration
  • Review Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations and introduce a bill that will allow TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time, a path to citizenship
  • End the mismanagement of the asylum system to ensure asylum applications are processing fairly and efficiently
  • Increase humanitarian resources at the border through a network of organizations including faith-based shelters, non-governmental aid organizations, legal non-profits, and other organizations
  • End prolonged detention and investment in a case management program, by supporting the Flores agreement which prevents the detention of children indefinitely
  • Restore sensible enforcement prioritizes targeting threats to public safety and national security, and not workers and their families

To read more about Joe Biden’s proposed policies on immigration please click here.


Source: Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?

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