When 160 Hondurans began a journey to the United States in search of a better life on Oct. 12, the numbers grew day by day - leaving American politicians concerned about how to handle the masses once they arrive at the border.
President Trump himself has made lots of commentary about the caravan, including ideas about eradicating the 14th amendment which permits birthright citizenship.
The Central American group banded together because traveling in a larger group is less dangerous than traveling alone. Today, there are over 7,000 people advancing toward the border.
The plan to escape the violence in Honduras and to find jobs for themselves and their family began in early September.
On Nov. 4, the first wave of people arrived in Mexico City, Mexico, less than 1000 kilometers away from the United States.
Some people from the caravan are staying in Mexico seeking asylum, but the majority want to get to the United States for better opportunities.
The United States is required to hear asylum claims in general, including those coming in the caravans. But there must also be a serious reason for them to request asylum.
If the reason is that they “want a better life” the answer is a simple no. There will be no asylum given to them.
President Trump has even threatened to cut aid to these countries – El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico – if they allow them to arrive to the United States border.
President Trump also announced that 5,200 troops will be waiting at the U.S. border with Mexico, making sure that they do not enter the country “illegally.”
This is one of the biggest immigration issues in the United States right now. And, as the caravan approaches the United States, President Trump stated on Oct. 30 that he wants to end birthright citizenship with an executive order.
This was said in an interview with Axios, which aired on HBO.
This order would end the right of children born to non-citizens who only have this amendment to receive U.S. citizenship by being born on U.S. soil.
Currently, this is the most recent information released, but the main question has been if his executive order could be valid.
Many argue that he does not have that power to make such an executive order.
“I think anyone who has a basic knowledge of American history, and colonialism in general, can
see the irony in a settler state like the U.S establishing boundaries of citizenship based on the
birthplace of an individual’s immediate family,” said Alexandra Hunt, senior in the sociology department. “Trump’s comments about repealing birthright citizenship points toward the concerning and ever-present ideology of white supremacy that he indirectly, and at times, even directly promotes with his language.”
Others say that it is up to the United States Supreme Court to decide if his executive order is valid.
The 14th amendment states that “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.”
The Supreme Court is the one in charge of interpreting the United States Constitution – specifically, the 14th amendment which talks about the citizenship.
The United States would not be the first country to end birthright citizenship. Ireland took it away in 2005 and France ended it in 1993.
As of recently, the Dominican Republic removed birthright citizenship on Sept. 23, 2013, due to the tension between Dominican nationals and Haitians crossing over. Not only did the government remove the right, it also stripped citizenship from any immigrant born after 1929.