USA-Immigration Policy

Trump may test law granting citizenship to those born in U.S.

  • English

Shotlist


FILE: Washington D.C., USA - Date Unknown (CCTV - No access Chinese mainland)
1. Various of White House, U.S. national flag

Washington D.C., USA - Recent (CGTN - No access Chinese mainland)
2. SOUNDBITE (English) John C. Yang, president and executive director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
"The Wong Kim Ark case was very important to ensuring that you are defined as an American not by blood line, but by being here, being born here and working here as a person."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Bruce Fein, Constitutional Lawyer:
"Anyone born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction is automatically a citizen at birth. And if you're here and you're born a citizen, even if your parents are here without proper documentation, you're still subject to the jurisdiction of the United States."

FILE: New York City, USA - Date Unknown (CGTN - No access Chinese mainland)
4. Various of people pushing baby strollers
5. Woman dressing baby
6. Baby crying
7. Woman dressing baby

Washington D.C., USA - Recent (CGTN - No access Chinese mainland)
8. SOUNDBITE (English) John C. Yang, president and executive director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
"It is surprising in the sense that we feel at times we make progress, we feel at times we've become more accepting of all sorts of different communities and how they contribute to our society. And, unfortunately I think we are taking a backwards step right now with this sort of rhetoric."

FILE: Washington D.C, USA - Date Unknown (CCTV - No access)
9. Various of Supreme Court

Washington D.C., USA - Recent (CGTN - No access Chinese mainland)
10. SOUNDBITE (English) John C. Yang, president and executive director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
"It's troubling and it's reminiscent of what happened back in the late 1800s where opportunities were being cut off to Chinese Americans."

FILE: Washington D.C., USA - Date Unknown (CCTV - No access Chinese mainland)
11. Various of students walking on campus

Storyline


In the run up to the midterm elections, U.S. President Donald Trump indicated he may try to alter the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which automatically grants citizenship to those born on the U.S. soil.

The amendment was designed to ensure the rights of citizenship for freed slaves. But a landmark Supreme Court case involving a Chinese American secured "birthright citizenship."

In 1873, Wong Kim Ark was born in San Francisco to Chinese parents, who helped build the transcontinental railroad that helped transform the U.S. West Coast into what it is today.

But Ark would make legal history. Upon returning from a trip to China, he was denied reentry under the draconian laws of the Chinese Exclusion Act. He challenged the decision in the U.S. Supreme Court. His lawyers won. That enshrined the principle that all children born in the U.S. are citizens of the country, regardless of their parents' citizenship status.

"The Wong Kim Ark case was very important to ensure that you are defined as an American not by blood line, but by being here, being born here and working here as a person," said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Yang's idea is widely shared in the law community.

Constitutional Lawyer Bruce Fein said, "Anyone born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction is automatically a citizen at birth. And if you're here and you're born a citizen, even if your parents are here without proper documentation, you're still subject to the jurisdiction of the United States."

But 120 years on, the nationalist administration of the U.S. President Donald Trump is questioning that right. White nationalists have become more prominent in the U.S. and for many in the Chinese American community, it seems time is moving backwards.

"It is surprising in the sense that we feel at times we make progress; we feel at times we've become more accepting of all sorts of different communities and how they contribute to our society. And, unfortunately I think we are taking a backward step right now with this sort of rhetoric," said Yang.

It's unlikely the Trump administration will be able to amend or ignore the 14th amendment, but they are proposing other steps, including limiting visa's for Chinese students working on cutting-edge technologies like robotics, semiconductors and artificial intelligence.

Yang said, "It's troubling and it's reminiscent of what happened back in the late 1800s when opportunities were being cut off to Chinese Americans."

Many immigrant groups, including Chinese and other Asian Americans, have come a long way in fighting for their rights since the time of Wong Kim Ark. But his case remains relevant today as a new wave of anti-Chinese and immigrant sentiment is growing in the United States.

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  • ID : 8095364
  • Published : 2018-11-09 16:46
  • Last Modified : 2018-11-09 17:02:06
  • Location : United States
  • Category : politics
  • Duration : 1'35
  • Audio Language : English/Nats
  • Source : China Global Television Network (CGTN)
  • Restrictions : No access Chinese mainland
  • Version : 2
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