Maggie A's Meanderings

 
 

 

 

 August 19, 2012

No One Eligible to Run for U.S. President According to Birthers


In my research of the Birther movement for "
Why "Birthers" Are Idiots," I've noticed that Birthers have this habit of moving goalposts*......

Obama provides his legally authorized Hawaii birth certificate ---- goalpost now is the long form birth certificate.
Obama provides his long form Hawaii birth certificate --- goalpost now is prove it's real.
Official from the state of Hawaii verify the existence and information on the long form birth certificate --- goalpost now is change the definition of natural born citizen.

For anyone unfamiliar with the legal concept, there are three categories of U.S. citizenship:
  • Birthright Citizenship --- Citizenship granted at birth. Children born in the United States automatically have birthright citizenship (unless their parents are embassy/consular personnel; therefore, are not subject to the jurisdiction of US government). That was settled by the Supreme Court in United States v Wong Kim Ark way back in 1898 and hasn't changed since then. For children born outside of the United States to US citizen parent(s), birthright citizenship gets a lot more complicated. There's an ever evolving set of laws (80 pages long) that covers who is and who is not entitled to US birthright citizenship. It can depend on many factors like whether the parents are married, if it's through the mother or the father, if the parent meets residency requirements, etc. (FYI: All the people out there who claim that Barack Obama's mother was a US citizen so Barack would have had US birthright citizenship when he was born even if he weren't born in the United States are plain and simply wrong. If Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, Barack's mother would not have met the minimum residency period required by the law in effect in 1961 in order for the newly born Barack to have acquired US citizenship through his mother. However, the law was later changed** to reduce the residency requirement, and, more importantly, this change was made retroactive back to anyone born on or after Dec 24, 1952 which would have included Barack Obama if he had been born in Kenya and not Hawaii (and let me make it clear that I believe Barack Obama was was most definitely born in Hawaii). But it does mean that an adult Barack Obama running for President had no legal reason whatsoever to forge his birth certificate.)
  • Naturalized Citizenship --- Someone who acquires US citizenship later in life, that is, a person whose birthright citizenship was for another country and who then gets US citizenship.
  • Natural Born Citizenship ---- The Constitution uses the term "natural born citizen," a term that has caused all this headache because neither the Constitution nor any US law has ever categorically defined who is and is not a "natural born citizen." It is generally accepted, by anyone but Birthers, that birthright citizenship is the same thing as natural born citizenship. Recently, there have been two court cases on the issue of natural born citizenship. Arkeny v Governor of Indiana (2009) challenged the eligibility of both John McCain and Barack Obama; the court decided "that persons born within the borders of the United States are 'natural born citizens' for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents." Then there was a 2012 court case in Georgia challenging Obama's eligibility which decided, "Children born within the United States are natural born citizens, regardless of the citizenship of their parents." 
The fact that there have been court decisions in Indiana and Georgia doesn't stop the Birthers. Technically, those cases only affect Indiana and Georgia. Personally, I think Congress ought to get off its fat, partisan ass and simply pass a law that defines "natural born citizen" as anyone with birthright citizenship, but they're too busy fighting to do anything that clear-cut. (Plus the Republicans don't want to antagonize the Birthers in their party.) Then the Birthers could challenge that law in court, and we'd finally settle this inane and insane mess once and for all.

But since we still don't have the federal law or Supreme Court case defining natural born citizen as someone with birthright citizenship, the Birthers are free to define it themselves and have they ever......

When I wrote "Why "Birthers" Are Idiots," Birthers had come up with a definition of "natural born citizen" to mean someone who was born here in the US to parents that were both citizens of the US. But as time has gone on, the Birthers, with their moving goalposts, have changed the definition of "natural born citizen" to be stricter and stricter. It's always been a requirement to Birthers that the child be born in the United States. (Thus screwing all the children born outside of the country to military personnel ---- nice reward for serving your country. Thank you, Birthers.) But the requirements for the parents of the child keep getting stricter. At first it was enough for the parents to be citizens, meaning that if an immigrant got naturalized, their children born after the naturalization would be natural born citizens. Then the Birthers changed the definition of "natural born citizen" so the parents couldn't be naturalized citizens ---- the Birther definition of natural born citizen became "a child born in the United States to two parents who were both born in the United States."

Now the Birthers have come up with a definition of natural born citizen that is "a child born in the United States to two parents who are both natural born citizens."

And that is where the Birthers have now screwed everyone. According to that definition, no one in the United States is a natural born citizen. Thus, no one in the United States meets the Constitutional requirements to run for President.

Birthers, being extremists, have the typical extremist tendencies of blindness causing them to ignore any facts they don't like plus poor grasp of logic and can't see this is what they've done. They think, "I was born here. My parents were born here, so I'm a natural born citizen." But by hinging the definition of natural born citizen on requiring the parents be natural born citizens, the Birthers just knocked over the first domino in a chain of dominoes that will inevitably lead back to an immigrant ancestor. And what does that do?

PersonNatural Born Citizenship Status? (According to Birther Definition)
ImmigrantNo. 
Child of immigrantNo. Parent was not a "natural born citizen" so the child of immigrant is not a "natural born citizen."
Grandchild of immigrantNo. Parent was not a "natural born citizen" so the grandchild of immigrant is not a "natural born citizen."
Great-grandchild of immigrantNo. Parent was not a "natural born citizen" so the great-grandchild of immigrant is not a "natural born citizen."
Great-great-grandchild of
immigrant
No. Parent was not a "natural born citizen" so the great-great-grandchild of immigrant is not a "natural born citizen."
Any and all descendants of immigrantNo. By requiring that parents of a child be "natural born citizens," no descendant of immigrant can be a "natural born citizen."

And everyone in the United States has an immigrant in their family history. Even the Native Americans intermarried with colonists, settlers, and slaves.

So Birthers, with their moving goalposts, have finally done it. They've come up with a definition of "natural born citizen" that screws every one of them along with the rest of America. They've finally shifted the goalpost so far that nobody in the United States is a natural born citizen.

Idiot Birther Certificate

* This habit of Birthers to move the goalpost doesn't mean that all Birthers think that the closer goalpost was met. There are Birthers who still think the long form birth certificate is a forgery. While there are Birthers who think the long form birth certificate is genuine, but it doesn't matter because of the "natural born citizen" definition or for some other reason I detailed in "Why "Birthers" Are Idiots."

** U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, U.S. Code, Title 8, Section 1401, Sec. 301 (g), which was amended October 25, 1994 by the Immigration and Nationality Corrections Act (Public Law 103-416) to say "a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years...This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date".

Read the original, "Why "Birthers" Are Idiots."

If you want to read more about my take on politics, check out "Honest Apology from Rush Limbaugh -- An Imagining," "Impeach Them All,"or look through the Archive for anything tagged "Politics."

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