GOP Rep. Mia Love became a citizen of the United States when she was born to her legal-immigrant parents 42 years ago in Brooklyn, N.Y.
In an interview to be aired this weekend on HBO, Republican President Donald Trump said Monday he will, by executive order, stop that practice: Allowing a baby born in the U.S. to automatically become an American citizen – just as Love did.
In a statement to UtahPolicy.com, Love said Tuesday: “I have always opposed presidential attempts to change immigration law unilaterally.
“The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization” and the 14th Amendment makes the conditions of citizenship clear: Individuals born in this country are citizens. The executive cannot unilaterally change those facts.
“I didn’t support it under the previous administration and I won’t support it now,” said Love.
Love has had her differences with Trump over immigration policy and law – one of the areas she has not followed the president’s lead.
For example, she wants “Dreamers,” folks brought to the United States illegally when they were children by their parents, not returned to their parents country of origin, but allowed to stay here and, at some point, become legal residents, at the very least.
She’s also condemned the practice of separating illegal immigrant children from their parents after being caught by U.S. immigration officials.
Trump’s statement on “anchor babies” is odd, especially since the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically says children born in the U.S. are automatically citizens. The amendment was passed during post-Civil War era to guarantee, among other things, that children of freed slaves were citizens.
No president can change the Constitution via executive order, and should Trump issue such an order it would immediately be challenged in federal court.
Trump’s action on “anchor babies,” as are other immigration comments he’s made recently, is no doubt meant to drive more of his supporters to the polls next Tuesday.
But this issue strikes home with Love, who was herself an “anchor baby” for her Haitian parents – who later became U.S. citizens through normal channels.
The 4th District race between Love and Salt Lake County Democratic Mayor Ben McAdams is as tight as it can be.
Recent polls have shown the race tied.
But a new KUTV Channel 2 poll released Monday night showed McAdams with a 6-point lead – 49 percent for him and 43 percent for Love, with 7 percent undecided.
Love’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, discounts that result, saying it is an outlier and not reflective of the real contest – which remains very close.
Trump is not liked in the 4th District, and Hansen told UtahPolicy.com that there are no plans to bring any top Trump administration officials into Utah before Election Day to campaign for Love.
The 4th District – which normally is heavily Republican – has now fallen into the “toss up” category for various national political pundits and websites.
The highly-regarded political website FiveThirtyEight has changed it’s 4th District forecast to 5-in-9 for McAdams, 4-in-9 for Love, or 50.4 vote share for McAdams, 49.6 for Love.
Can’t get much closer than that.
The site says McAdams has a 55.5 percent chance of winning, Love a 44.5 percent. But these are forecasts only, and Love certainly may still win re-election.