In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Since jumping into the GOP 2016 race, Donald Trump has caused the Republican establishment nothing but headaches, spewing nasty rhetoric, proposing outlandish policies and inspiring other presidential candidates to do the same.

Despite all this, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said over the weekend that Trump was a “net positive” for the Republican Party.

“I think it brings a lot of interest to the Republican field,” Priebus said.

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Ending birthright citizenship, politically speaking, would be nearly impossible. But if such a change was achieved, implementation wouldn’t be much easier. And in an ironic twist for big-government-hating conservatives, ending birthright citizenship would be an ideological nightmare.

Eliminating the longstanding and constitutionally enshrined practice of granting every child born on U.S. soil citizenship would create its own set of complicated and costly bureaucratic obstacles, immigration lawyers say. More than just remove an alleged “magnet” for people to immigrate here illegally, ending birthright citizenship would deeply impact the lives of all Americans.

“Everyone benefits from the fact that they just have to show their birth certificate to show that they’re an American citizen and have all the rights of an American citizen,” Bill Stock, president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told TPM.

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Coming from Donald Trump’s mouth, the current debate over ending birthright citizenship sounds like the latest in a series of outlandish proposals thrown out by the recalcitrant billionaire to stir the support of an anti-immigrant base.

Trump’s plan was even too much for Bill O’Reilly, who told him, "That’s not going to happen because the 14th Amendment says if you’re born here, you’re an American and you can’t kick Americans out."

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Forget building a wall. Some Republicans want to tear down an amendment in the Constitution to prove their anti-immigration bonafides.

Ending birthright citizenship — the practice enshrined by the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil — is the latest conservative litmus test, thanks in no small part to Donald Trump, who included it in his immigration platform released Sunday.

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The first time Donald Trump dipped his toe into presidential politics, his relatively moderate tone on abortion was cast as an advantage. Fifteen years later, it's a major liability. Despite an apparent change of heart on the issue a few years ago, many in the anti-abortion movement don't buy that the billionaire who once described himself as having "pro-choice instincts" will do everything he can to end abortion.

"There are a lot of folks that distrust where Trump stands on life because of his track record and even his recent vacillations on Planned Parenthood," Lila Rose, a prominent anti-abortion activist, told TPM.

With Trump's past public comments on abortion, simply labeling himself as "pro-life" now is not enough for the anti-abortion community. It's not just the typical jockeying in the White House race that is riling abortion foes, but a potential government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding comes this fall with a push for a national 20-week abortion ban to follow.

"Absolutely there is a demand for concrete promises," Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, told TPM. "People want to see a road map."

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A few weeks ago, Ted Cruz’s calculus for declining to attack Donald Trump seemed obvious: Trump was rallying exactly the core anti-immigration base Cruz had long cultivated, so by sticking out Trump’s inevitable fall, the Texas senator would be the obvious alternative for those followers.

But now that it looks like nothing will knock Teflon Trump out of the race anytime soon, Cruz is running the risk that Trump will ultimately usurp Cruz's brand, his base of support, and the rationale for his entire candidacy.

“Donald Trump has out-Ted Cruz-ed Ted Cruz,” Luis Alvarado, a GOP consultant, told TPM. “He’s probably kicking furniture in his living room.”

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