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THE MARCH OF “ER”
by Sally Vendée
(Mar. 10, 2010) — Going with the new trend of adding “-er” to the end of terms describing groups of people with similar beliefs ungrounded in commonly-accepted reality, we need to add Birthright Citizenship-ers and Dual Citizenship-ers to the mix, along with the Birth-ers.
The reason to group them together—they march to the same drumbeat—all apparently believe that birth in the US is all that is necessary for anyone to have US citizenship. The only point on which they seem to disagree is whether a long-form or a short-form birth certificate is sufficient proof. (Many of the so-called birthers will argue the finer point of “natural born” type of citizenship for the Presidency, but that will be addressed here later.) Ironically, those who loudly ridicule the “birthers” who shout “show me the birth certificate” find themselves also relying on the birth certificate. They can all march together to Washington DC with Philip Berg, hand in hand, waving their certificates.
The addition of the “-er” to these other groups is merited because the notion of Birthright Citizenship—automatically granted to all children born on US soil to parents who are not US citizens—is not grounded in the reality of the Constitution. And even though dual citizenship is now tolerated, the oath for US naturalized citizens specifically disallows allegiance to any other country.
The Heritage Foundation has published quite a bit of research on birthright and dual citizenship.
Edwin Meese and Dr. Matthew Spalding, in their 2007 article, write:
According to the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, those who are born here must also be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The popular concept of “birthright citizenship”—that anyone born while in the United States is automatically a U.S. citizen—is historically and legally inaccurate. Only a complete jurisdiction of the kind that brings with it an exclusive allegiance is sufficient to qualify for the grant of citizenship.
In a 2005 Congressional hearing on “Dual Citizenship, Birthright Citizenship, and the Meaning of Sovereignty” before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, the Chairman, John Hostettler, made these opening remarks:
The purpose of this hearing is to examine both birthright citizenship and dual citizenship and the effect that they have on our sovereignty…Currently, the United States grants citizenship to nearly every individual born on U.S. soil. This policy…sometimes referred to as ”birthright citizenship”…does not, however, provide citizenship in a blanket fashion to literally every person born on U.S. soil…In recent years there has been a trend toward obtaining multiple nationalities or citizenship. Because citizenship is largely based on notions of allegiance, it is important to closely examine the consequences of this growing trend…
Committee member Lamar Smith, in his opening comments, remarked: “…during the debate on the 14th amendment in 1866 the Senator who was the author said it would, ‘not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners’.”
Contributing witness Dr. Eastman offered this historical analysis:
…In 1898, the Supreme Court reversed course. …In the case of Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court dealt with a child of a Chinese immigrant who was here legally, permanently, but subject to a treaty that we had entered into with the emperor of China that would never recognize the ability of anyone to renounce their prior citizenship. However the sympathy there falls, we should not read that Wong Kim Ark case so broadly as to insist upon the Constitution setting a minimum threshold for conferring citizenship on anyone who happens to be born here…
Witness Dr. John Fonte opined: “Dual allegiance violates a core American principle of equality of citizenship.”
Later in the hearing, Dr. Eastman, when asked “what about the children of legal permanent residents, temporary visitors or tourists on tourist visas, temporary workers and illegal aliens?” answered:
I don’t think, as an original matter, their understanding was that it would include any of those classifications…this allegiance-owing type of jurisdiction that we’re talking about meant that they really could have only a single citizenship. And the fact that they were children and therefore owed allegiance through their parents to a different sovereign, whether the parents were here legally or illegally, temporarily or permanently, did not alter the fact that that was the kind of sovereign jurisdiction that was envisioned in the 14th amendment.
None of the participants of the hearing affirmed that either birthright or dual citizenship was Constitutional, merely that both were common practice. In 2009, Georgia Representative Nathan Deal (not a member of this Subcommittee) proposed HR 1868, “Birthright Citizenship Act,” which sought to “clarify” that the right of citizenship would be granted to a person born in the US if at least one parent was either a US citizen or a legal alien.
Three years after this hearing, Obama announced his campaign, and his website, Fight the Smears, admitted his dual citizenship at birth:
When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony…As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children. Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4, 1982.
This statement confirmed the principle of partus sequitur patrem: that Obama Jr.’s Kenyan/British citizenship was passed to him by his father, who was in the US on a student visa and never naturalized as a US citizen.
Note that Obama himself has exactly the type of unconstitutional citizenship that was being discussed in the Congressional hearing. And this hearing did not address the even more narrowly-defined type of “natural born” citizenship required by Article II for the Presidency.
Obama, a Constitutional Law professor, called himself a “native citizen”:
Smears claiming Barack Obama doesn’t have a birth certificate aren’t actually about that piece of paper — they’re about manipulating people into thinking Barack is not an American citizen. The truth is, Barack Obama was born in the state of Hawaii in 1961, a native citizen of the United States of America.
Hawaii Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, not considered a Constitutional scholar, in her official statement called Obama a “natural-born American citizen.”
Of course, to reject the popular notions of birthright and dual citizenship is politically incorrect.
To further question whether the President himself is a “natural born” citizen earns one the label of “racist” or extremist, and a tin-foil hat.
To wonder why the participants of the 2005 hearing remained silent during the 2008 elections makes one stark raving mad.
But the reality, whether commonly accepted or not, is that those who ask these questions are the Constitutionalists and true Patriots.
Dr. Erler warned, at the end of his speech referenced above, that “[u]nless we recover an understanding of the foundations of citizenship, we will find ourselves in a world where there are subjects but no citizens.”