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Thu Jan 7, 2016, 06:30 AM

Here's a hypothetical

John & Susan Smith both work for an oil company.

John was born in Nebraska
Susan was born in South Dakota

While they live abroad , they have children..all born in ..let's say Saudi Arabia (just for fun)

The parents love the money they make there, so they stay..

Their kids go to school there..socialize there and all speak fluent Arabic

After the kids graduate, they go to the US for college

One son is interested in politics..

Is he sufficiently "natural-born American" for most republicans?

Or, would he be suspect for speaking fluent Arabic?

Would his childhood friendships be suspect?... What if a childhood friend of his went on to be a terror-suspect?

Could he be required to have a DNA test to prove that his American born father was "really" his Daddy?

As we are a more global society these days, there really needs to be once and for all clarification of just what IS a natural-born American.

No American who lives abroad ever really thinks that their in-utero child may someday have citizenship questions, but there are LOTS of babies being born in places where their parent now work (that are NOT their native lands).

Moms no longer sell candy at the Sears candy counter, while Dad works at the car dealership right down the street from their house.

This "question" will come up a lot as more and more people work and live abroad.

When the constitution was written, the fear was that some child of a lord would show up and wrangle the presidency away to reinstate British rule.. The reason for "natural born" being in the law, was to make sure that NO ONE BORN IN ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY could ever ascend to the top spot.

Every time the issue has arisen, it's been a non issue because the person either did not even participate in a primary (Romney), or was born on US soil abroad (McCain), or soil that later became US soil (Goldwater).

Surely, SCOTUS can spare a few minutes to rule on this for the future..




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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Here's a hypothetical (Original post)
SoCalDem Jan 2016 OP
EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #1
patricia92243 Jan 2016 #2
EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #3
Nye Bevan Jan 2016 #5
EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #7
Nye Bevan Jan 2016 #8
TexasProgresive Jan 2016 #9
Nye Bevan Jan 2016 #6
JustABozoOnThisBus Jan 2016 #10
hfojvt Jan 2016 #4

Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 06:50 AM

1. extremely settled

This has been ruled one by numerous courts and they've basically all been saying the same thing since U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898).

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3381955771263111765

A NBC is someone with at least one parent who is a US citizen or someone born in America, who is not the child of a diplomat, etc.

That's the entirety of it.

The consensus of early 21st-century constitutional and legal scholarship, together with relevant case law, is that "natural born" comprises all people born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including, generally, those born in the United States, those born to U.S. citizen parents in foreign countries, and those born in other situations meeting the legal requirements for U.S. citizenship "at birth".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born-citizen_clause#cite_note-2011_CRS-2

More:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42097.pdf

And as an American living abroad I can tell you that my children are US citizens, and have US passports, and are considered NBC - though neither was born in America and my wife is not an American.

So really, there's nothing left to be decided.

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Response to EdwardBernays (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 07:16 AM

2. Since the children are citizens does that mean THEIR children are citizens...

- even though their parents have never been in the US. How many generations would this apply? Could a person whose parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc that were not born in the US still be considered a US citizen.

There really do need to be some guidelines.

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Response to patricia92243 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 07:18 AM

3. Ad infinitum

There's no limit.

I've read the forms and dealt with consular folks extensively in regards to this.

The kids of an NBC are NBC.

Full stop.

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Response to EdwardBernays (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:39 AM

5. Absolutely untrue, it does not go on forever, without a physical presence in the US.

Say Alan and Betty and Charles and Daisy are all US citizens, born and bred in the US. They all move to France. Then Alan and Betty have a son, Edward, and Charles and Daisy have a daughter, Fran. Edward and Fran are both natural-born US citizens since they are citizens from the moment of their birth. Edward and Fran live in France, and never reside in the US. Years later they marry (in France) and give birth to a son, Gerard. Despite Edward and Fran both being natural-born US citizens, Gerard is not even a US citizen, let alone a natural-born one.

See http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

The idea is to prevent a neverending chain of US citizens who have no connection to the US.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:47 AM

7. I see that

And yet I was told exactly the opposite by the US consulate in Ireland, on a number of occasions... I may even have it in an emil... I'll check...

I know why that could be a policy, but... I have been told by actual humans in a consult the exact opposite, and I have US passports for my kids... they have been to the US as US citizens and no one blinked...

I'll ask again, but I don't think I'll get a different answer..

Saying that, I don't really care... if my kids never decide to connect to America I couldn't care less... I'd much prefer they connect to their Irish relatives and culture... and live in Europe.

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Response to EdwardBernays (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:59 AM

8. If they have US passports they are full US citizens and there is no reason for anyone to "blink".

It's just that when they have kids themselves, those kids (your grandchildren) will not automatically be US citizens unless your kids have lived in the US prior to the birth.

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Response to EdwardBernays (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 09:02 AM

9. As the consulate is de facto U.S. territory there is a current connection to the U.S.A.

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Response to EdwardBernays (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 12:09 PM

10. So, because BHO's mother was American,

the fact that he was born in Kenya should make no difference.

This should cause Birther heads to explode.

(yeah, yeah, I know, ...)

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 07:31 AM

4. South Dakota?

Are those people even citizens?

My home state, after all.

Once Calvin was skulking around with a water balloon when Hobbes suddenly sneaked up on him.

Hobbes said: "Here's a hypothetical question. If today was your last day on earth, what would you do different?"

Then Hobbes loomed over him and stressed.

"Especially, if by doing something different, today might NOT be your last day on earth!"

Calvin drops the balloon and slouches away, and complains.

"I don't think that question was very hypothetical at all."


Nothing to do with your post. I am just the plucky comic relief.

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