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Marco Rubio is a Natural Born Citizen, just like John Fremont and Chester Arthur

by Mojambo ( 2 Comments › )
Filed under Elections 2012, Headlines, Republican Party at April 29th, 2012 - 8:01 am

I hope this puts the rest to the nonsense I see all too often that Rubio is not a natural born citizen. Some how though I doubt it.

by Michael Zak

According to the Constitution, to be eligible for the presidency (or vice presidency), a person must be a “natural born citizen” of the United States. The purpose of this restriction is to prevent a foreigner from becoming the nation’s chief executive.

How can people become U.S. citizens? There are just two ways; either they are born citizens or they become citizens later in life. In the first case, anyone who is a citizen by nature of his birth is a “natural born citizen.”  In the second case, anyone who is a citizen of another country at birth, but is granted U.S. citizenship sometime afterward, is a naturalized citizen.

For example, John McCain, though born in Panama, is eligible for the presidency, because he became a citizen at birth.  Similarly, had Gen. George Meade sought the presidency, he would have been eligible because, though born in Spain, he was a U.S. citizen by nature of his birth.  Any non-naturalized U.S. citizen over the age of thirty-five with fourteen years of residence can be President of the United States.

Sadly, this common-sense, logical approach does not dissuade some conservative pundits from inventing a new constitutional requirement for the presidency.  Despite the plain meaning of the text, they claim that, to be eligible, a person’s parents must also be U.S. citizens. A few even assert that one’s parents must also be natural born citizens. I’ll spare you a recitation of their nonsense about “native born” or Emerich de Vattel or whatnot.  Finding things in the Constitution that are not there is for Democrats!

Now that Mitt Romney has become the presumptive Republican nominee, there is speculation that the junior senator from Florida will be his running mate. Marco Rubio’s parents were from Cuba and did not become U.S. citizens until he was four years old. Voices from the fringe are claiming that this means Rubio is not eligible – and they’re wrong.

Marco Rubio was born is Miami, Florida. He is, therefore, a natural born citizen of the United States.  Per the Constitution, the citizenship status of his parents (or grandparents or anyone but himself) is irrelevant.

Let’s look at U.S. political history for more proof. Were there other instances of a presidential or vice presidential nominee with a foreign-born parent?  You betcha!

The first presidential nominee of the Republican Party, in 1856, was John Charles Fremont.  He was born in South Carolina to an American mother and a French father.  Jean Charles Fremon was born a French citizen, near Lyon, France.  He was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his son’s birth and never did become a citizen. Abraham Lincoln campaigned for Fremont. All the founders of the Republican Party campaigned for Fremont.  One would be hard-pressed to find any suggestion at the time that Fremont’s birth made him ineligible for the presidency.

John Charles Fremont, the first Republican presidential nominee

The seventh vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, Chester Arthur, was born in Vermont to an American mother and a foreign-born father. William Arthur was born a British citizen – in County Antrim, Ireland – who did not become a U.S. citizen until his son was fourteen years old.

John Fremont, George Meade, Chester Arthur, John McCain, Marco Rubio – all eligible for the presidency.  Republicans should not allow themselves to be distracted away from contesting the 2012 presidential campaign on the real issues.

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2 Responses to “Marco Rubio is a Natural Born Citizen, just like John Fremont and Chester Arthur”
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  1. mfhorn
    1 | April 29, 2012 8:41 am

    The 14th Amendment, as it’s been interpreted by the Supreme Court starting in 1898 (US v Wong Kim Ark), would make Sen. Rubio a citizen by virtue of his birth, since his parents were legally in the US at the time he was born. However, if the Amendment were being applied as its authors intended it to be, Rubio would not be a ‘natural born’ citizen.

    According to Sen. Jacob Howard, the author, the phrase ‘under the jurisdiction thereof’ meant that people could owe no allegiance to another political power/government. This would exclude children born of aliens, foreigners & the children of ambassadors.

    In 1884 the Supreme Court ruled (Elk v Wilkins) that Indians couldn’t become citizens merely by renouncing his tribal allegiance- that there still had to be an assent made on behalf of the United States. This was done in 1870, when Congress granted citizenship status to some of the native tribes.

    It’s interesting that there hasn’t been a case similar to Wong which specifically applied to the children of those here illegally.

  2. mfhorn
    2 | April 29, 2012 12:45 pm

    Also by the same author

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