Trumping Trump on immigration

Published 10:58 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is not a lawyer, proposes a solution to our illegal immigration problem.

He wants to deport 11 to 12 million illegal aliens along with their children who were born here and are lawful citizens of the United States because we have a federal law that says that any person born within the natural borders of the U.S., including Puerto Rico, American Guam and Samoa, are lawful citizens of this country.

Now, let us track Trump’s argument. He wants to deport the illegal alien parent and the child that was born here who is a lawful citizen. And, if he is really serious about his plan, then the same analogy should apply to the grandchildren and every descendant of the illegal alien. So, if the illegal parent came here in the 1960s and the children of the latter were born in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and then the grandchildren came in the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s, then all of them should be deported! Trump has not answered the question of how he would do this.

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We are a nation of laws and the U.S. Constitution has a Bill of Rights that guarantees certain rights to a citizen. The Bill of Rights are the 1st through the 26th amendments. Well, in these are the “Civil War Amendments” that ended slavery in the U.S. and they are the Thirteenth Amendment, barring involuntary servitude; the Fourteenth Amendment, barring deprivation of property, rights, interest, etc. without the due process of law and the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing every citizen the right to vote.

I would surmise that Trump would need a federal law criminalizing not only the act of “illegal entry” in this country, but denying any citizenship that followed the “illegal act,” thereby “criminalizing” every birth following the “criminal act.”

And, for the descendants of the “illegal alien,” they being citizens would have a right to a trial individually or a class-action lawsuit against the United States. And, as a courtesy afforded by our Guantanamo Bay detainees, the federal courts have ruled those persons detained within our borders involuntarily deserve the same due process rights as lawful citizens.  Can you imagine a law case with 12 million plaintiffs or 12 million defendants? Mr. Trump, this would cause a collapse of the legal system!

Secondly, to repeal or deny any citizen an already lawful right may require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would take five to 10 years to do and would require a referendum from 35 states of the Union!

Even if you could pass this amendment or federal law, it would gut the purpose and intent of our hallowed Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!”

The United States would be the laughing stock of the world if we were to turn back the clock to deny all of these traditions to all persons found in our borders illegally by using an artificial term or definition of illegal to justify a politically incorrect if not racist position to polarize the American electorate!

And, since we as a nation firmly believe in equal protection of the law, did the Native Americans who had a rather loose federation of Indian tribes numbering around 17,000 with about 14,000 dialects invite the African slaves and his European captors to this country legally? How does a culture of people who invaded another sovereign continent turn and tell someone else that you cannot come here or you are uninvited guests to my party?

Dr. George Bates is a Buckingham resident and is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia’s School of Law. His email address is