During an interview with the political website Axios, the US president Donald Trump said he would sign an executive order ending so-called birthright citizenship, which was understood by most people as included in the 14th amendment to the US constitution 150 years ago.
Unexpectedly this Trump’s statement triggered passionate discussion in Russian media. It turns out that so-called “birth tourism” from Russia to the USA is a thriving business.
The Internet is full of adds of numerous companies offering their services to Russian women wishing to give birth in the USA.
Here is the translation of a typical advertising:
“Over 10 years of experience. The company “Miami-Mama” has tremendous experience in the organization and support of childbirth in the United States.
“A large staff of professionals in Miami and around the world. The best specialists. The Miami-Mama team is a large staff of professionals who know and love their work.
“It is safe with us! We are in touch with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are ready at any moment to help solve all your issues.
“It is convenient with us! We offer our clients comprehensive support – from applying for a US visa to obtaining documents for a child.
“Miami-Mama provides a high-quality service with individual attention for each client.
“Cost of delivery in the USA:
“MINI Price: $ 6,900
STANDARD Price: $ 19,900
VIP Price: $ 49,900″
The packages include different combinations of services, such as: service of a leading obstetrician-gynecologist;
giving birth in one of the best hospitals in South Florida;
all the traveling, accommodations and legal services;assistance in obtaining a complete package of American,Russian or Ukrainian documents for the baby.
Russian media emotionally discusses Trump’s proposal to end so-called birthright citizenship.
However, many Russian women, who delivered their children in the USA, claim that they did it not because of the desire to give their children American citizenship, but because of the supremacy of American medicine.
Some Russian commentators find the Trump’s proposal deserving satirical coverage.
Russian website INTERSUCKS (alternative news) published an article, which was reprinted by many Russian websites.
“Trump demanded to free all the Miami Maternity Hospitals from the Russian babies in 24 hours.
“The American leader demanded to send all Russian women together with their ‘damn babies’ out of the country within a day. According to Trump, special services told him that in the future one of the Russian newborns will become a president of the United States.
“‘Our intelligence reported that several Russian intelligence officers, under the guise of young women, were instructed to give birth to a child in the United States, who would later become the president of the United States. We will not allow another gross interference in our policies,’ Trump said. He warned that if his instructions were not fulfilled, all infants younger than two years old would be beaten up by the marines.
“In the meantime, according to sources from Intersucks, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited one of the ’women in labor’ in her dream and ordered her and her family to flee to Cuba, and then move to Europe and ‘lay low in a quiet English town.’
“As follows from the note of instructions to the Russian Intelligence Service (available to Intersucks), the newborn boy will be brought up in an Anglo-Saxon atmosphere in order to master the language and Western style of behavior. At the same time, in order not to lose touch with the real Motherland, the child should watch the ‘VREMIA’ program daily (main official news program of Russian TV), wear the Red Army uniform at home, and be able to wash himself with the help of kettles and basins.”
Many Russian commentators discuss with much emotion the possibility of the fulfillment of the Trump’s proposal. The American press also discusses this possibility.
Before 1990, the number of the US births per year to illegal migrant parents was below 100,000 but rose to a peak of 370,000 in 2007, according to the Pew Research Center.
It then began to fall after the global financial recession, reaching 275,000 in 2014. That year such births made up around 7 percent of the 4 million total births in America.
Removing birthright citizenship has been an issue pushed by parts of the Republican Party for decades. Legislation proposing such a change has been presented in every Congress since 1991. There is a bill currently in the House of Representatives backing the change. It has 50 co-sponsors.
Mr. Trump proposed the change for the first time in August 2015 during his presidential campaign.
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment,” said Mr. Trump, “Guess what? You don’t.
“You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
Mr. Trump added: “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 with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Trump was wrong. Actually around 30 countries, including the USA’s neighbors Canada and Mexico, grant automatic citizenship to the children born on their territory.
Mr. Trump’s claim that such a fundamental change in America’s citizenship laws could be solved by an executive order – a decision made unilaterally by the president – provoked a fierce debate.
The 14th amendment reads: “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.”
Those on Mr. Trump’s side of the argument believe that the words “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” refer to people who have full political allegiance to America, which would exclude illegal migrants. However many constitutional lawyers reject such an interpretation. Were Mr. Trump to implement the policy it would likely be challenged and ultimately decided in the Supreme Court.
The quote from the article in the San Francisco Chronicle summarizes the discussion:
“The U. S. Supreme Court today comprises five conservative justices and four liberal ones. Will this majority of five comply with the legal precedents and continue to define American citizenship as deriving from jus soli? Or will it instead determine that citizenship needs to be defined by other relevant factors in addition to place of birth? This change could be permitted by the undefined phrase in the 14th Amendment of ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ of the Supreme Court. A change from legal precedent conceivably could arise.
“President Trump threatens an executive order to eliminate jus soli as the sole determinant of citizenship. Such an order would surely make its way to the Supreme Court, where it would be risky for both sides of the case. Trump could win; Trump could lose.”