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Reply #118: By "their case", I'm assuming you mean Donofrio's [View All]

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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #115
118. By "their case", I'm assuming you mean Donofrio's
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 10:38 PM by jberryhill
Which is by no means some sort of "private" information.

On the merits, there is nothing "powerful" about it.

The Donofrio case admits that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, so the issue of his place of birth or parentage is not even on the table. Donofrio's case relies in toto on the whole cloth creation of a new class of citizenship never seen before, i.e. "born a citizen, but not a natural born citizen". The other formulation used by Donofrio is "citizen at birth, but not citizen by birth". It is stupid beyond belief, particularly in view of the fact that the 14th Amendment expressly states two types of citizens - "born or naturalized". Obama was never naturalized, and Donofrio admits he was born here. End of story.

The other non-Donofrio-theory cases rely on either of two theories. The first theory is that he was not born in Hawaii. However, the State of Hawaii has certified that he was born in the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu on August 4, 1961. The question ends there, as the State of Hawaii's certification of that fact is the final say on that question. An interesting footnote as to why that is so is Dred Scott v. Sanford. Dred Scott was not overturned, but parts of it were rendered moot by the Reconstruction Amendments. However, the part of Dred Scott addressing state citizenship is still the law.

The second theory is that Obama "lost" his citizenship prior to the age of 18, by acts performed by his parents. That theory is beyond stupid. Prior to the age of 18, a citizen by birth in this country does not have legal capacity to renounce his or her citizenship. Period. End of story. In practice, this is a very important principle in international child custody and parent abduction cases.

As noted, Barack Obama returned to Hawaii alone as a child, and did so on his own US passport. It was crazy people in search of support for these crackpot theories which was behind the breach of his passport records at State during the primaries in the first place. Guess what - they found nothing.

The other common "stupid supporting fact" is that Barack Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981. A common freeper myth is that US citizens "were not allowed" to travel to Pakistan in 1981, and that Obama travelled on a mythical "Indonesian passport". Of course, US citizens were perfectly allowed to travel to Pakistan in 1981. There was a State Department advisory about it - as there are about many other countries including Thailand, from which I recently returned, and most assuredly on my US passport.

The US cannot stop you from traveling to or returning from another country. Take Cuba, for example. You can fly there from Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, and a number of places. The Cubans will welcome you in. Upon your return to the US, you are entitled to enter the US, because you are a US citizen. Now, you will be subject to penalties for having conducted economic activity there (inherent in visiting) unless you had permission to go. However, the US cannot stop you from going, and cannot bar your re-entry into the US. Even if there was some sort of "you are not allowed to go to country X" rule in the US, the US does not control the borders of country X. If country X wants to let you in, you're in. And, again, the US can't keep you out of the US when you return. As a US citizen, you have the right to enter the US. The only thing the US can do is to impose some sort of penalty on you when you return. The freepers, however, think we live in the old Soviet Union or some sort of kingdom, where citizens can be exiled or banished.

Finally, there is this whole "dual citizenship" thing that is dreadfully and commonly misunderstood. Any number of countries in the world may consider you to be a citizen. The only thing that matters in the US is whether you are a citizen of the US. US law does not care what other countries may consider you a citizen. Many Irish Americans are US citizens who have incidentally perfected citizenship recognized by Ireland. Many Jewish Americans are citizens of Israel. If you have something like $200K lying around, you can buy a citizenship in Dominica. It doesn't affect your US citizenship status one iota.

In sum, there are two ways to become a US citizen, and they are noted in the 14th Amendment. One was is to be born in the US. The other way is to be naturalized under US immigration laws. There is no other class or category of US citizenship. None. Zero. Zip.

The only other interesting point in the non-Donofrio "not born in Hawaii" theories is based upon a deliberate mis-reading of Hawaiian birth record laws which are the way they are as an artifact of there being a lot of people living today and in the 1960's who were born in Hawaii prior to statehood in 1959. But again, most assuredly, every record of birth issued by Hawaii states the place at which the subject was born - as does Barack Obama's.

There is utterly nothing persuasive about any of the cases, and I've only touched on the major points of all of them, because most of the minor points are even sillier than the major ones.

The fact that you even raise the "nobody can testify about where they were born" thing in the context of a discussion of the Donofrio case is a major indication that you either do not know the first thing about it, whether by PM or otherwise, or you are being deliberately obscurantist.

What all of this does mean is that Freepers will give up their support of Bobby Jindal since, although he was born in the US, neither of his parents were naturalized or born US citizens at the time of his birth. So they'll just have to give up on Jindal even though he too is a natural born US citizen.
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