Note to Donald Trump: Birthright citizenship makes America exceptional

Note to Donald Trump: Birthright citizenship makes America exceptional
Donald Trump exits his plane during a trip to Laredo, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border, on July 23. (Matthew Busch / Getty Images)

To the editor: We've been hearing a lot lately about "birthright citizenship," especially from conservatives. In addition, we hear about American exceptionalism across the political spectrum. Nearly all of us believe in it one way or another. We chant, "USA! USA!" ("Trump details immigration plan, including mass deportation, and backs ground troops in Iraq," Aug. 16)

I suspect that Donald Trump, who wants to repeal U.S. citizenship by birth as part of his presidential campaign's immigration plan, believes in it too. Yet birthright citizenship is part of our uniqueness as a nation, our exceptionalism. We are the only developed nation in the world besides Canada to possess it.


In the last few decades, several nations, including Britain and France, have abolished or significantly scaled back birthright citizenship. Do we really want to join them?

William Holdsworth, West Covina


To the editor: I realize that Trump claims U.S. citizenship and is seeking to become president. As such, he should know something about the Constitution.

I heard him complaining about the "birthright babies." His comment was, "It's not going to hold up in court."

Note to Trump: It's called the 14h Amendment, and it takes more than a "Donald directive" to remove an amendment that he does not like from the Constitution.

Trump should know that to amend the Constitution, a two-thirds supermajority of both houses of Congress must approve a joint resolution. Amendments so approved are sent directly to the states for ratification. Three-quarters of them must approve the amendment for it to become part of the U.S. Constitution.

When one is ignorant, it is best to say little — rather than prove it.

Sherri Lipman, Fullerton


To the editor: You don't need to put Americans on the couch to explain Trump's popularity. For many, it's a backlash to the Obama administration years. To others, he's an Archie Bunker redux.

However, people feel diminished in many ways. Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again," is resonating because people feel we've lost that greatness.

Americans want straight talk, not canned soundbites. They want authenticity in their candidate, and a dash of anger when necessary. They want a Congress able to get things done. They want their voices heard. And yes, they also want a sealed border.

Thanks to Trump, Americans are getting it off their chests.


But Trump is a builder, not an architect. Our next president will have to hear these frustrations and show that he or she has the skills to turn them into action.

Phil Serpico, New York


To the editor: I worked in Santa Ana for 17 years with a broad section of the community. We suspected that some people were undocumented, but we never knew for sure.

Some common traits stood out in these people: They were intelligent, had common sense, were compassionate toward others, shared everything, were honest and were extremely hardworking — all traits that make good citizens.

They risked their lives to care for their children and to earn money to send back to very impoverished families. It was truly an act of courage and love.

We have to remember that our country's insatiable desire for drugs has led to some very unsafe conditions south of the border.

Every group of people has its criminals, but when I recall the people I knew, they were all good.

Barbara Cook, Corona del Mar

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