Saturday, December 25, 2010

Comment on David Thomson's Facebook,
"I agree with the stance of the new Hawaii Governor"

I agree with the...

The question is not for all but a very few people not one of whether Obama is a US Citizen but is he a "natural born citizen."

The Constitution was clear that citizens of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution were eligible if they had been resident for 14 years, subsequent to that the "natural born" rule would take effect. That makes the comment about Martin van Buren completely irrelevant.

There are two types of citizenship. The first is being "natural born" and having citizenship at birth and the second is being a citizen as a result of naturalization. Under the Constitution Congress makes the rules for naturalization.

The status of being a "natural born' citizen has two components. First is being citizen by jus solis and not simply jus sanguinis. That means that you must be born on US soil, or under the native Sun. Some but not most claim that it means also having parents who are citizens, which is citizenship by the blood. Citizens born to US citizens outside of the country are considered as "naturalized at birth" by virtue of jus sanguinis, which is to say due to their parents blood.

In addition to the fact that "natural born" means that you have to be a citizen at birth and not by naturalization there is usually considered to be another restriction on being a "natural born" citizen. It is usually held that if a "natural born" citizen takes an oath of allegiance to any other sovereign then they give up that status. At some periods it has been held that doing so means renouncing your US citizenship and at other times the possibility of dual allegiance or citizenship has been admitted. If citizenship is lost then would have to be reapplied for but even if it is retained after acknowledging a foreign loyalty the status of being "natural born" would be lost and the person would be considered as simply being a citizen who was naturalized at birth, as if born overseas to a US citizen.

Now some people make an issue of Obama having been adopted by his Indonesian Stepfather and claim that makes him no longer a "natural born" citizen. That strikes me as untenable because it would give a noncitizen the power to remove US citizenship from a minor child. No US court would agree with such a position. What is more important would be if Obama had himself claimed to be a foreign national or taken some oath to a foreign sovereign after he became an adult.

That is why I would be more interested in seeing his travel records to find if he had traveled under the protection of a foreign passport after his 18th birthday. That could be disqualifying. In addition if he claimed to be a foreign national on his college financial aid forms then that would be likely to disqualify him. It would be likely to prove damning for several reasons. First because of the duplicity involved. Second because his doing so to take a financial benefit from the US taxpayer and then subsequently cover it up would be I think seen as repugnant even by many who supported him. That last is I believe the most likely case and I have always held that the birth certificate issue is likely to prove a red herring.

My expectation is that an examination of Barack Obama's birth records will show that he was born in the United States. Some have speculated that his father may be listed as UKN. That would prove embarrassing but would not in itself disqualify him from any office. If any wish to argue that being "natural born" means proving qualification under both jus solis and jus sanguinis, that is being born on US soil to US citizen parents, then that would be a new standard that has never been asserted and which no prior candidate was ever asked to offer proof of before. It has not been unusual until now for a successful politician to be a bit of a bastard.

Others have noted that his putative father was not only a foreign citizen, actually a subject of the British crown, here on a temporary student visa but that he himself would have been ineligible for an immigrant visa and Permanent Resident (Green Card) status or naturalization to become a citizen. That is because Mr Obama Sr. was a polygamist. That however would not be any bar to his child's citizenship or status at birth. It is likely that if he had not chosen to abandon his family he would have been allowed to gain a Green Card despite his polygamist past.

The question of why there is a special restriction on who is eligible for the office of President of the United States and whether it is wise or necessary is a political matter that is up to the people to determine. It can be changed by Amendment to the Constitution.

3 comments:

kismetique said...

I'm not sure how adoption is untenable. Parents have control over their minors. If, as parents, they decide that a foreign adoption is best for that child, which could remove his ability to one day be POTUS, then so be it.

That's like a friend of mine who's husband was in the military in Germany when their son was born in a civilian hospital there. They made that decision with the understanding that their son would never be able to be POTUS. Parents make those kinds of decisions for their children all the time, legally.

Why would his travel records have anything to do with his status AT BIRTH? His campaign website admitted that he was born with dual-citizenship. That admission precluded him from being a NBC. There is one question you should NEVER be able to ask POTUS, that being: To which citizenship do you hold allegiance?

That question can and should be asked of Obama. If you are born with dual allegiances, how are you a NBC of either country?

It seems you are questioning the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. Ironic isn't it that Obama's dual citizenship is British...the one citizenship that the Founding Fathers wished to eliminate from their government foundation.

You cannot evaluate NBC status on a set of circumstantial occurrences, what might have been, or probabilities. Obama said he was a dual citizen at birth, are you calling him a liar?

LifeoftheMind said...

Thank you for your comment.

No adoption would be allowed to remove a child's status as being "natural born." Think of all the women who married some exotic man only to discover after she has children that his expectations of marriage were incompatible with her's and that he was in fact abusive. There have been many such cases and in some of them the ex-husband has taken their children and returned to his home country. Once in his own country, let us say Saudi Arabia, he then has the children registered as local citizens and raises them according to local customs. For the sake of argument you could even consider that he takes her child from a prior marriage and adopts it and then raises the child in his own country. In the eyes of the US law that would not make a difference, the child was kidnapped and the father's actions are not binding. If that child ever gets out of the country they were brought to and manages to fly into Kennedy Airport then the Customs and Border Protection Officer would have only one thing to say after verifying their status, "Welcome home."

No foreigner or foreign court can remove US citizenship or the status of being a natural born citizen. That status can be abandoned by an act of free choice once someone is an adult. My concern is that Obama may have made such a choice.

Your argument about a child of US citizens who choose to have their child out of the US is interesting but not applicable. If born overseas then the child is still a citizen, only one naturalized at birth. They never have the status of natural born and so it is not being removed. John McCain was born in a hospital affiliated with the Canal Zone and his status was questioned. His eligibility was established by an Act of Congress and confirmed by a Senate resolution.

LifeoftheMind said...

Thank you for your comment.

No adoption would be allowed to remove a child's status as being "natural born." Think of all the women who married some exotic man only to discover after she has children that his expectations of marriage were incompatible with her's and that he was in fact abusive. There have been many such cases and in some of them the ex-husband has taken their children and returned to his home country. Once in his own country, let us say Saudi Arabia, he then has the children registered as local citizens and raises them according to local customs. For the sake of argument you could even consider that he takes her child from a prior marriage and adopts it and then raises the child in his own country. In the eyes of the US law that would not make a difference, the child was kidnapped and the father's actions are not binding. If that child ever gets out of the country they were brought to and manages to fly into Kennedy Airport then the Customs and Border Protection Officer would have only one thing to say after verifying their status, "Welcome home."

No foreigner or foreign court can remove US citizenship or the status of being a natural born citizen. That status can be abandoned by an act of free choice once someone is an adult. My concern is that Obama may have made such a choice.

Your argument about a child of US citizens who choose to have their child out of the US is interesting but not applicable. If born overseas then the child is still a citizen, only one naturalized at birth. They never have the status of natural born and so it is not being removed. John McCain was born in a hospital affiliated with the Canal Zone and his status was questioned. His eligibility was established by an Act of Congress and confirmed by a Senate resolution.