Statement of the Board of the Asian American Action Fund
President Trump stated today that he intends to use an Executive Order to overturn the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment to get rid of birthright citizenship. His lawyers know that the Constitution is unalterable via Executive Order, which is why the administration waited until after the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to unveil this new existential threat to our democracy.
It does not matter if this is a trial balloon that the President is floating. It matters that he is using our lives and the lives of our families as a political ploy. As Americans, we will not stand for this.
Birthright citizenship is rooted in the Constitution and in the blood of African American slaves who were denied full dignity and the rights of citizens until the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. Birthright citizenship is how Holocaust survivors and their children found and made a home in the United States. It is how we, our parents, and our kids – doctors, military servicemembers, teachers, and entrepreneurs – have made our imprint on this land that we all love.
The 1868 Constitutional Amendment text states, “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.”
Birthright citizenship is at the heart of America. It is not the only means of defining who is an American but it is an integral one. It was San Francisco-born Kim Wong Ark, the Chinese American child of immigrants, who successfully petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States in 1898 to uphold birthright citizenship. Ark, the son of a cook, argued that he had the right to re-entry to the United States during the Chinese Exclusion Act, due to his birth claim.
The Supreme Court and lower courts have held this ruling sacrosanct for over 120 years.
The Asian American Action Fund will continue the work of helping Asian American and Pacific Islander candidates, and candidates that represent our community, to gain office and to hold our elected officials accountable. We continue the work of building our country and our local communities by upholding our democracy and working towards a stronger, more inclusive America.
We are American, and we will not be erased. Know us by our actions.
The Asian American Action Fund (AAAFund) is an American Democratic political action committee founded in 1999. AAAFund’s goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in every level of local, state and federal government in the United States.