Skip to comments.WHO IS A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN?
Posted on 05/25/2014 6:04:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Partisanship plays a major role in how Americans decide who should be eligible for the Presidency, and the concept of what being “natural born” means also plays a role. The U.S. Constitution, in Article II, states that only “natural born” citizens are eligible to serve (it also sets an age limit and grandfathered in anyone who was a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution). In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, saying someone is eligible to serve depends on who you are.
Nearly everyone agrees that someone born in the United States with two citizen parents is a natural born American, and nearly everyone agrees that someone born outside the United States to NON-citizen parents is not. About three in four – Republicans, Independents and Democrats – believe having only one citizen parent and being born in the United States qualifies you as natural born.
If you are born outside the United States, most Americans say you need to have two American-citizen parents. That would make John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, natural born, as his U.S. citizen U.S. military parents were stationed in the Panama Canal Zone when he was born. But more than half say that if you are born outside the United States, and only one parent is a citizen, you are not a natural born American,
That means more than half of Republicans (53%) would disqualify Texas Senator Ted Cruz from the Presidency on principle. Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was an American citizen, while his father was not. But fewer than one in four Republicans think Cruz was born outside the country; only 10% know his mother was a citizen and his father was not.
Of course, some of those Republicans may be answering the question by making a statement about President Barack Obama, and not Ted Cruz. Nearly half of Republicans say they believe the President was born outside the United States, not in Hawaii, and most of those say his mother was a citizen and his father not.
Consequently, most Republicans say Cruz is legally eligible to be President, while President Obama is not.
Tea Party Republicans are even more sure Cruz is eligible (68% think that), but most of them don’t know he was born outside the United States. Tea Party Republican say the President was born outside the United States, and less than a third think he is legally eligible to serve as President.
There are large party differences for one option. Is someone a natural born American who was born in the United States, but to two immigrant parents? Democrats say they are, while Republicans disagree. Parties have nominated children of immigrants for the Presidency (Michael Dukakis in 1988), but no child of two immigrants has been elected President since Andrew Jackson in 1828 (and he was born in the Carolinas before the adoption of the Constitution, and therefore grandfathered in to presidential eligibility).
Florida Senator Marco Rubio was born in the United States, but his parents, immigrants from Cuba, were not yet citizens when he was born. Half of Republicans say that would disqualify someone from being “natural born,” as the Constitution requires to run for President.
On my challenge, by the ancient laws of combat...
...we are met at this chosen ground...
...to settle for good and all...
...who holds sway, over the Five Points.
Us Natives, born rightwise to this fine land....
...or the foreign hordes defiling it!
Under the ancient laws of combat I accept the challenge of the so called Natives.
You plague our people at every turn!
But from this day out, you shall plague us no more!
Let it be known, that the hand that tries to strike us from this land...
...shall be swiflty cut down!
Then may the Christian Lord, guide my hand, against your Roman popery!
Prepare to receive the true Lord!
Since everyone who was a citizen at the time of adoption is dead and likely to remain that way, we can remove the grandfather clause wording. We are left with:
No Person except a natural born Citizen [...] shall be eligible to the Office of President;
Why does the Constitution speak of citizens and separately of natural born citizens? It is a matter of allegiance.
A person can be a citizen if they were citizens or subjects in some other country first but have come here and met the naturalization requirements. Also, if one is the offspring of a citizen and a non-citizen, then one is a US citizen. However, in both these cases it can be argued that the person might choose allegiance to their former country or to the country of the foreign-born parent or at least the allegiance might be considered divided. It is this divided or alienated allegiance that the Constitutional provision is designed to prohibit.
If, however, both of ones parents are themselves US citizens, then one is a citizen as well as a natural born citizen. The natural born citizen is one who at birth has no natural allegiance to any other country and the Framers felt could be trusted to be loyal to the US and not act as a foreign agent. (*)
Note that native born is not the same as natural born. Native born simply refers to the place of ones birth, i.e., ones nativity. The term does not speak to the legal circumstances of a birth, merely to its location.
(*)[footnote: Also, in their time, the rules of royal succession held sway throughout much of the world and the Founders wished to forestall any potential claims by the crowned heads of Europe or their scions to sovereignty in the US.]
The closer you get to the Founders on the timeline, the more perspicuous the true intended meaning of “natural born” appears. As recently as the 1880’s, the viability of Chester A. Arthur’s candidacy was doubted because his true birthplace was suspected of being in Dunhan, Quebec, where his father moved the family briefly.
I believe birthplace was considered critical in determining natural born status by the Founders and the generations which followed.
Isn’t the definition of “natural born citizen” set by law, not opinion polls? Why should opinion matter?
I wish similar polls were available from the 60s, 70s, 80s, etc. to see how our understanding and beliefs have changed.
Legal definition of citizenship by polling the affected individuals.
What a unique means at arriving at a point of “settled law”.
“Natural born” is one of those terms that is expanded or twisted to mean what the speaker seems to want it to mean.
A child of parents who are NOT citizens of the nation in which the child is born actually falls into two categories. One is of which the parents are only transients, either as tourists or as temporary visitors, and the parents have no intention of becoming permanent residents or proceeding to naturalized citizenship at a later date. The other category applies to those parents who have migrated here with the intention of becoming citizens and are at present residing here to meet the residency requirements for naturalization.
Persons who arrive within US borders, who are neither some kind of refugees from persecution in their home country, nor with intent to become a permanent resident and a naturalized citizen at some time in the future, cannot, and should not, claim the birthright for their children, without the children also undergoing the same requirements for naturalization that is required for all other applicants for that objective.
Those parents who have immigrated according to all the legal standards set by Congress, and upheld as a Constitutionally acceptable statute, with intent to become citizens at some time in the future, may be granted the opportunity to have any children born while on US soil choose US citizenship, or to have citizenship revert to the nationality of the parents, at the child’s option. “Anchor babies”, born of parents who do not have clear legal status as either legal residents, or on a path to legally defined naturalized citizenship, would become a meaningless term.
No more anchor babies. Every child born here should have the same citizenship status as their parents. Period.
RE: Isnt the definition of natural born citizen set by law, not opinion polls?
Is there a law? I know the constitution is the law, but then the INTERPRETATION of what it means is in dispute.
RE: No more anchor babies. Every child born here should have the same citizenship status as their parents. Period.
We’ll need a constitutional amendment for that.
Opinion matters because it is what gets you elected.
It is precisely that sentiment which makes the Constitution easy to disregard.
Due respect to Jim, Mark Levin has also asserted Cruz’ eligibility, and Cruz has, himself
This could be a response to Harry Reid’s litlle amnesty tantrum the other day when he said something about letting president Cruz handle somthing about it in 2017
It has to burn them to hear
And this is all they have
So does “natural born” remain a matter of opinion and not definitively spelled out anywhere?
Natives are not necessarily citizens. Indians weren’t citizens (the natives are restless?) until the 14th Amendment for the most part.
Even Mark Levin now understands something that I knew 25 years ago. The 14th Amendment is clear, all persons born in America must be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in order to have automatic citizenship status. If your parents are NOT citizens you are NOT within the jurisdiction of the national social contract... Period.
Who the h are these 5%???
Because the Founders used “every day” terms so that the people could understand the Constitution.
So, obviously it had a precise meaning that was well understood at that time. I don’t believe the definition has been settled to modern understanding, however it does seem that our betters are trying to make laws to define it now.
When I read those attempts to amend Art. 2, and/or make laws to end run it, it did seem to me that the Senators and Reps were doing a LOT of massaging, and that it seemed settled that the understanding was there that a person must be born in the US to be a natural born.
I got hollered at here for simply pointing that out, but it is a fact and so why hide our eyes from it? I don’t try to argue the point because it seems to make everyone so itchy, but it is something that should be settled.
Again I will say that the UNDERSTANDING of what the word meant to our Founders is what is the important thing, and that probably won’t be found in a court case or law book. It will probably be found in period writings. It sure can’t have simply been legend since the Constitution was written. How you can know that is by realizing that there has been such a effort to remove that clause, and ask yourself who benefits once that protection is gone?
it’s very simple.
a natural born citizen is a citizen naturally... as there are no alternatives at birth.
cruz is as eligible as 0bama. just like rubio.
Over the last few years, we have seen that elections don’t really matter. Judges keep overturning voter-approved laws and even inventing new laws that have never before existed (e.g. gay “marriage”). I seem to recall that a few years ago, a Republican won the governor’s race in Washington, which was overturned by repeated vote counting which turned up a few “new” votes each round until the Democrat finally won. Not to mention that election fraud is blatant and the left does not even try to hide the fact that it will not tolerate any efforts (like voter ID) to make election fraud more difficult.
In brief, the opinion of the people has not mattered in a long time.
I won’t argue over the definition other than to say neither Obama or Ted Cruz are natural born citizens.
I am. Do I get a prize?
That's not saying much --
Gee, I don’t recall this topic ever being discussed before on FR. /s
We have three choices. 1. Revolution (my fav) 2. Elections 3. Submission
Next time you checkout at Walmart ask the cashier who won the Civil War. There you will find your answer grasshopper.
Not me, I was a C-section.
Paine is exactly right. The true intent of the founders is crystal clear. For some reason, every since this country was founded, there have been people trying to twist the founders words. Another good one is “shall not be infringed”...... wonder how many explanations we will come up with for that one before it’s all said and done? History will look back on us and shake it’s collective head.... wondering how in the world we could’ve thrown away such a wonderful gift given by the founders.
Have you checked under your bed ?
The only things being born here of two citizen parents should give you the right to is residency and a chance to take a citizenship test at the age of maturity. Citizenship is too precious to just be given away. It should be earned and maintained.
This very well illustrates the hypocrisy of Democrats as they deem Obama a Natural Born Citizen no matter what his lineage or place of birth, but impose of much stricter standard on Cruz, Rubio and Jindal when their names are mentioned as presidential contenders.
Well, of course, they’re lying pieces of crap about Obama, but correct on the others.
I got sort of yelled out for bringing this stuff up. I was attempting to point out that our betters USED to all seem to think one had to be born in the US, then when they really got down to trying for an amendment, they little by little began to blur that bit, by using terms like, “maybe it meant”.
There are over a DOZEN of these since the 70’s. Why are they trying so hard? Hummm?
According to them it’s ... for the children. I’m not kidding.
Indians born in the USA were not citizens until the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act. (With some exceptions)
My interest is in the beliefs of the Framers of the Constitution of the United States. I have a belief that the practices of certain things of my native country England were taken into account. There was a horror and revulsion on the methods of execution of criminals in England. "No cruel and unusual punishment" I believe was the edict on sentencing criminals.
Kings of England as follows.
George Ist. Born Hanover. Germany.
George 11. Born Hanover. Germany.
George 111. Born England.
All three men had wives born in Germany, I believe.
I have observed the attitude of the now President of the United States. I would mention that his father was a British Subject of East Africa, later of the Republic of Kenya. His step father was a subject of Indonesia.
The Framers of the Constitution were not amenable to outside influences on any future President. They had good reason.
My younger son was born in Spain, of two American parents. His original birth certificate is Spanish. He also has a US birth certificate issued by the State Department.
I think that he is natural born, because of his parentage.
Nope just a sensible court ruling will do.
Or we could just ask for an Executive Order, they seem much easier than amendments and are just as powerful, apparently.
If your parents didn't have diplomatic immunity, they and you are within the jurisdiction.
If you have diplomatic immunity, you don't have to pay your parking tickets.
If you have to pay your parking tickets, then you are "subject to the jurisdiction", and if you are pregnant, you can "drop anchor", so long as the 14th remains unrepealed.
I think that he is natural born, because of his parentage.
He's natural born because he is entitled to citizenship due to the circumstances of his birth.
Unlike, say Kissinger, Schwarzenegger, or Granholm, each of whom was born foreign (German, Austrian, Canadian, respectively) and each of whom needed to be naturalized in order to acquire US citizenship. Thus, those three are not eligible.
Your son is eligible, as are Cruz, Jindal, Haley, Rubio, McCain, and Obama.
According to the SCOTUS, when determining what the Constitution means, you must give every word purpose, in your understanding of the term natural born Citizen, what purpose do you assign the word ‘natural’? The writers could have simply said “born Citizen”, or “Citizen from birth”. Why the extra word ‘natural’?
Here is the current law of the land that applies to the birth circumstance of your son:
“The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;”
According to the SCOTUS, when determining what the Constitution means, you must give every word purpose, in your understanding of the term natural born Citizen, what purpose do you assign the word "natural?" The writers could have simply said "born Citizen," or "Citizen from birth." Why the extra word "natural?"You are not likely to get an honest or a logical answer to this key question.
The usual weaselly answer (if any answer is given at all) is to claim that the phrase "natural born" is somehow equivalent to a single word because it is a very special phrase taken from English law. This is bogus on its face because 1) it actually is, in fact, two separate words, and 2) the founders considered using the simpler, single word "born," but rejected it after much deliberation (about the importance of exclusive allegiance) in favor of the phrase "natural born," so an honest person cannot claim that the two mean the same thing.
To me it is clear that the founders considered that requiring that our presidents just be born citizens would not be enough of a check on foreign intrigue. They wanted the office restricted to Americans who were exclusively 100 percent red blooded Americans. The lengthier phrase was to ensure a natural exclusive allegiance to America with no possibility of anything else.