WEBSITE NOW “TEACHES” THE MEANING OF THE TERM WITHOUT ANY HISTORICAL SOURCES
by Glen Gilliland
(Apr. 28, 2011) — There are some things I know to be true. One of them is that my school teachers were not in the habit of lying to us.
The website usconstitution.net lists citizens and nationals, and states:
Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President.
I know this statement is untrue.
I decided to join the constitutional debate boards on that site and began a discussion on citizenship.
It appears the moderators are pushing a political agenda. They locked the discussion board when they began to lose the debate. How sad that a child might come upon this “educational website” to learn about our Constitution and be misled on this subject.
The definition of “natural born Citizen” is found in Vattel’s Law of Nations, Chapter XIX, 212.
The USSC in THE VENUS, 12 U. S. 253 (1814) 289 Page 12 said:
The whole system of decisions applicable to this subject rests on the law of nations as its base…
Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other…
The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.”
The USSC affirmed the definition in MINOR v. HAPPERSETT, 88 U.S. 162 (1874).
At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.
Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.
The 14th Amendment and the decision in Wong Kim Ark v United States 1898 removed that doubt.
From the New Englander and Yale Review, Volume 3 (1845):
The expression ‘citizen of the United States occurs in the clauses prescribing qualifications for Representatives, for Senators, and for President. In the latter, the term ‘natural born citizen’ is used and excludes all persons owing allegiance by birth to foreign states; in the other cases, the word “citizen” is used without the adjective and excludes persons owing allegiance to foreign states, unless naturalized under our laws.
Citizenship is a debt of loyalty, and there are only two ways to acquire that debt, being born into it (by nature), or being adopted into it (by naturalization).
An immigrant who takes the “Citizenship Oath” is agreeing to a debt of loyalty. With that debt comes all the rights, privileges, and duties of any other “Citizen” who also owes that same debt.
The founders feared, a foreign influence might sneak into the administration of our government and corrupt it. They required in the Constitution that the highest office in our government be held by no one but a “natural born Citizen”, one with “exclusive allegiance.”
These things were learned by many of us when we were children in a classroom a long time ago.
Rep. John Bingham, the abolitionist Representative from Ohio “considered the father” of the 14th Amendment, described the definition of “natural born Citizen” during Congressional discussions prior to the 14th Amendment.
All from other lands, who by the terms of congressional laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens (CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, 1862 (Cong. Globe, 37th, 2nd Sess., 1639 (1862).
As a young man, I served in the military. My very first act was to take this oath:
I, ____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’
Our politicians are administered that same oath as they enter office. When asked, they say “the location has been established”, and skirt the most fundamental requirement of the “natural born Citizen” clause, “exclusive allegiance.” I have little doubt most of them know better, yet they continue this charade. Does their oath not mean anything?
Our government was not meant to belong to the politicians or the political parties, it was meant to belong to each and every “Citizen.” As “Citizens” its our duty to insist the rules be followed. It is my duty to speak out.
In 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked as he left Independence Hall on the final day of the Constitutional Convention, “What have we got a monarchy or a Republic”?
“A Republic,” Franklin replied, “if you can keep it.”
We have strayed too far from our Constitution. We need to make better choices. We need to start thinking!
I ask again, When did the definition of “natural born Citizen” change?