Not a debatable proposition.
However, the assumption that this is the only way one can be a "natural-born citizen" is supported by neither the discussion quoted nor the facts of the case. The other way is to be born on the territory of the US, to anyone other than diplomats of a foreign power.
I believe at least two previous American presidents would not have been qualified had this criteria been applied.
You are right, Garfield knew this would be an issue so he kept the fact that his father was a British subject from Canada secret until after his presidency.
Is there not an understanding among countries that if their nationals give birth overseas, that the baby will be recognized as a national of the parent’s country?
By that I mean, if a French couple takes a vacation to the U.S. and the mother is seven months pregnant, and she delivers prematurely on American soil, we recognize the child as French and the couple may return back to France with the child, after certain documented verification of course to guard against child stealing and the like.
But we do let the French parents return home with the child.
Should this not also apply to illegal alien parents? If Mexico will accept the child as Mexican, which they will, why not deport the parents with their children?
Of course I’m touching upon the issue of “anchor baby” status and the wording of the U.S. Constitution.
Which one other than Chester Arthur, whose lack of a citizen father at the time of his birth was well hidden? At least his father *did* become a naturalized citizen about the time Chester was 14.