I’ve written several times before that President Trump lacks even a basic understanding of how our nation works. This week he has proven me right beyond anything I could have imagined.
In the last few weeks we’ve learned that men, women, and children from Central America have begun a migrant caravan through Mexico in the hopes of reaching the United States. They are fleeing poverty and gang violence and chose a dangerous and exhausting journey out of desperation.
But our President refuses to see this. He repeatedly refers to this pilgrimage as an invasion.
His two responses shows us again how little he knows about his job:
- He has misused his power as Commander in Chief to move troops to the border. When he learned about the caravan he ordered state National Guard troops and active duty soldiers to the border to “protect us.” So here’s the problem: they can’t do any law enforcement. They can’t detain or arrest anyone who crosses the border illegally. In 1878 Congress passed a law called Posse Comitatus. It stated that our military protects us from those who endanger us from outside our nation and they cannot perform law enforcement duties. So if these troops are called to the Mexican border, what can they do? Good question. They can support law enforcement. In other words they can make repairs and transport law enforcement. Yes, they will can be uber for border patrol. As for me, I think that’s a terrific reason to pull our military from their jobs and families.
- His lack of understanding of our Constitution continues to stun me. In the last few days President Trump has challenged our belief that anyone born here is, by right, a citizen. Actually, it’s not a belief: it’s embedded in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment was passed after the Civil War to ensure that newly freed slaves were guaranteed citizenship. Mr. Trump believes that he can end or change a Constitutional Amendment by executive order. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan recognizes this isn’t true. So does the Supreme Court. In 1898 the Supreme Court in United States vs. Wong Kim Ark ruled that anyone born in the US is automatically a citizen. Mr. Ark was born in San Francisco in 1873 to Chinese parents. In 1895 he visited China, but on his return to the United States he was refused entry because of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that denied entry of nearly anyone who was Chinese. Mr. Ark claimed that he was a citizen by virtue of being born in the US. In 1898 the Court ruled that if someone is born in the United States, that person is a citizen and nothing else matters. You can read more about this in a previous post.