America The Current Situation

The U.S. isn’t the only country with jus soli, a.k.a. birthright citizenship

Map showing the many countries in the world with birthright citizenship.

Just about every country in the Americas offers birthright citizenship, a.k.a. jus soli.

A certain president* who had trouble disavowing neo-Nazis at a rally that ended in a murder and who had to be persuaded to explicitly by his son-in-law and daughter to denounce anti-semitism after a mass killing at a synagogue claimed last night in an interview for Axios on HBO (I’m not linking to it) that the US is “the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits.”

Not true. The idea of birthright citizenship is a big enough deal that there’s a highfalutin’ Latin term for it: jus soli (“right of the soil”), and many countries have it.

If you go to Wikipedia, there’s a page on jus soli, and it lists the countries that have unrestricted jus soli

Screenshot of Wikipedia section showing how many countries have unrestricted birthright citizenship.

…as well as countries that have jus soli with some restrictions:
Screenshot of Wikipedia section showing how many countries have birthright citizenship with some restrictions.

It’s easy to dismiss Trump’s statement, made a week before the mid-term elections, as a stunt — but it’s more than that. It’s an attempt to prime people to take an idea that was formerly out-of-bounds and move the Overton Window so that it’s now possible to discuss, and eventually make palatable. It’s all in the service of making overt bigotry acceptable again, and it’s more than just a stunt:

Now what we need is for more media organization to stop simply and uncritically reporting Trump’s statements, but make factual corrections when needed:

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