On Saturday, writing for the conservative anti-Trump site The Bulwark, former Reagan Office of Public Liason director and Bush Labor Department nominee Linda Chavez slammed the new push to try to discredit the American citizenship of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
"A group of what passes for legal scholars in Trump World want you to believe that she still does not meet the constitutional qualification of 'natural born citizen' that would allow her to be sworn-in as vice president," wrote Chavez. "The Claremont Institute’s John Eastman raised the issue in an op-ed for Newsweek Wednesday, suggesting that because Harris’s parents were foreign graduate students when she was born, her claim to be a natural born citizen is questionable."
"Despite the faux scholarly arguments that Eastman and others offer, the issue is long settled," wrote Chavez. "Suffice it to say, nothing in the legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment supports the notion that Congress intended to exclude the children of non-naturalized immigrants from birthright citizenship when the amendment was adopted in 1868 — despite significant nativist sentiment during that period ... But even if Eastman et al. were able to launch a new challenge to birthright citizenship in the courts, the idea that the Supreme Court would revoke citizenship from the literally tens of millions of living Americans whose parents were not U.S. citizens at the time of their birth is pure fantasy."
This new birther conspiracy theory, wrote Chavez, "is little more than a thinly veiled effort to redefine who counts as a real American" because "Trump's goon squad" finds "the idea of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic America threatening."
However, Chavez wrote, it's too late for nativists to put the genie back in the bottle — because despite Trump's racist dog-whistles appearing to "suburban housewives" who don't want an "invasion" of "low income housing" in their neighborhoods, suburbs are rapidly diversifying and some, in places like D.C., San Francisco, Houston, and Las Vegas, are majority minority.
"The future that Trumpists worry about is already here," concluded Chavez. "Kamala Harris is the face of America in 2020, the tawny-skinned child of immigrants. She is as American as apple pie and hot dogs, as pizza and ramen noodles, as empanadas and samosas—and there is little Donald Trump or his apologists can do about it."
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