The curious case of Donald Trump, the 14th Amendment and Wong Kim Ark

2Call them anchor babies who gained American citizenship through fraud and deception, or they could be referred to as the recipients of birthright citizenship as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. Call them what you like, but one of the few certainties regarding the children of illegal aliens born on US soil is that both the left leaning and the right leaning media has come out swinging.

Possibly as rare as a Minnesota dentist bagging a unicorn, or a Discovery Channel reality show of grown men searching for Sasquatch droppings, reporter for the usually left-leaning Mother Jones news outlet, Inae Oh doesn’t exactly keep her pro-Bill O’Reilly bias hidden in her coverage of the Donald Trump vs. Bill O’Reilly slugfest recently on the Fox News opinion program, The O’Reilly Factor. According to Oh, Trump ramped up his “nativist rhetoric” by claiming the Fourteenth Amendment is unconstitutional, which he actually never stated during the interview (see video).

The Donald crossed swords with O’Reilly regarding his proposal to deport illegal aliens as well as their children, citing that there is a valid legalistic question if the right to citizenship for those whose mother entered the country illegally is a Constitutional right. Oh made a point of referencing a rather loud O’Reilly screaming at Trump, “I can quote it, you want me to quote you the amendment? If you’re born here you’re a citizen. Period!”

On the other side of the political coin, perhaps as common as church bells in Saudi Arabia, conservative pundit Ann Coulter took to the usually right-leaning The Daily Caller, also on Aug. 19, 2015, to hammer away not only at O’Reilly, but also “the entire Fox News commentariat.” In defense of Trump’s plan to deport not only those who entered the United States illegally, but also their children born here, Coulter stated, “Amid the hysteria, Trump is the only one speaking clearly and logically, while his detractors keep making utter asses of themselves.”

Other than many of the talking heads at Fox News, Coulter also gave the figurative back of her hand to Republican presidential candidates, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and Rick Perry by opining they are “unfamiliar with a period of the nation’s history known as ‘the Civil War.’ They seem to believe that the post-Civil War amendments were designed to ensure that the children of illegal aliens would be citizens, anchor babies,’ who can then bring in the whole family.”

Agree, disagree, indifferent, or possibly still in the decision making mode regarding Trump’s proposal, Coulter did mention the 1898 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark. In the court’s decision, despite Wong being the son of parents who were of “Chinese descent and subjects of the Emperor of China,” the San Francisco-born and bred Wong was indeed, a natural born US citizen.

With the legalistic understanding that the meaning of “enjoy” equates to “legally,” the Supreme Court ruled at the time, “That, at the time of his said birth, his mother and father were domiciled residents of the United States, and had established and enjoyed a permanent domicil and residence therein at said city and county of San Francisco, State aforesaid.”