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WHO IS A “NATURAL BORN CITIZEN?”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 19, 2016) — Tea Party Power Hour host Mark Gillar has opened a Facebook page titled “Eligibility Think Tank” which is open to the public.
Launched on Monday evening, the page has 37 “Likes” as of press time and features photos of Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, the constitutional eligibility of whom has been questioned during the 2016 campaign under the Article II, Section 1, clause 5 “natural born Citizen” requirement in the U.S. Constitution.
Jindal suspended his campaign in November. At present, many polls show Donald Trump in first place among the Republican field, with Cruz and Rubio in second and third places, respectively.
Last year, Trump openly questioned Cruz’s constitutional eligibility because of his birth in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, then told a reporter subsequently that he believed Cruz was “in fine shape” eligibility-wise. However, within the last two weeks, Trump has responded to questions from the press on the issue by stating that Cruz would be well-served to obtain a court ruling as to whether or not he is constitutionally eligible to seek the presidency.
Rubio and Jindal share similar backgrounds in that both were born in the United States to parents not yet naturalized.
On Sunday, Trump told CNN that he sees Rubio as eligible because he was “born on the land.”
In 2007, questions over Barack Hussein Obama’s eligibility were raised given that he was reported “born in Indonesia” and “born in Kenya” by media sources and commentators.
Obama has claimed a birth in Hawaii to a British-citizen father and U.S.-citizen mother. No court would allow a hearing on the merits of the case, and in April 2010, U.S. Supreme Associate Justice Clarence Thomas laughingly told a congressional subcommittee, “We are evading the issue.”
During the 2008 campaign cycle, questions over Obama’s origins were unofficially viewed as taboo, and anyone expressing doubts over his eligibility was labeled “racist” or a “birther,” a term now used by the mainstream media in the ongoing discussion about Cruz’s and others’ eligibility.
A citizen-driven media campaign will officially launch on Wednesday evening on the WheresObamasBirthCertificate.com (WOBC) radio show, when Gary Wilmott will host Atty. Mario Apuzzo and CDR Charles F. Kerchner, Jr. (Ret). On January 20, 2009, Apuzzo filed a lawsuit styled Kerchner, et al v. Congress, et al challenging Obama’s eligibility on which no court allowed a hearing on the merits.
In the sixth Republican debate last Thursday, Cruz raised the fact that Trump’s mother was “born in Scotland,” to which Trump responded that she was later naturalized as a U.S. citizen. It is believed that she naturalized before Trump was born, and Trump’s father, unlike Cruz’s, was a U.S. citizen all of his life.
Many have defined “natural born Citizen” as a person born in the U.S. to two U.S.-citizen parents, signifying no foreign allegiances.
Cruz’s father left Cuba for the United States just before the outbreak of the Cuban Revolution, reportedly arriving in Texas, attending college, and obtaining a green card. However, in approximately 1968, he and his wife, Eleanor Darragh Cruz, went to Canada to work in the oil industry until approximately 1974. During that time, young Cruz was born and the elder Cruz had become a Canadian citizen.
Ted Cruz was born a Canadian citizen, as evidenced by his renunciation of that citizenship in May 2014; however, whether or not he was registered at birth as a U.S. citizen born abroad has not been revealed, and the documentation, if it exists, is not available to the public.
Rep. Alan Grayson has threatened to file a lawsuit if Cruz is declared the Republican nominee, although an attorney in Texas has already done so. Grayson has stated that Cruz’s mother also might have become a Canadian citizen while residing there, and Breitbart News subsequently reported that both of Ted Cruz’s parents’ names appeared on a Canadian voter roll list in 1974.
The mainstream media has of late reported that a “natural born Citizen” can be a person born outside the country to one or two U.S.-citizen parents; born in the United States to non-naturalized parents; or born inside the United States to one American-citizen parent, as Obama claims to have been.
However, before Cruz declared himself a candidate, there were questions as to whether or not a person born outside of the United States, as in the case of John McCain, was eligible for the presidency. Law professors have since opined that Cruz is and is not eligible to seek the presidency based on his place of birth. Some scholars have cited the historical precedent whereby a child automatically acquired the citizenship of his father, which, if applied today, would likely disqualify Obama, Cruz, Jindal, and Rubio.
Last Thursday, Cruz alleged that Trump’s interpretation of the “natural born Citizen” clause was “extreme” in that it maintained that “you must not only be born on U.S. soil, but have two parents born on U.S. soil,” which is inaccurate.
In recent days, Gillar has issued several tweets containing graphics now featured on the Eligibility Think Tank page.
In early December, Gillar interviewed this writer on the topic of the civil lawsuit filed against Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, which was diverted by presiding U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow to the substance of a criminal investigation launched by Arpaio touching on the long-form birth certificate image posted by the White House in April 2011 which Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse found to be a “computer-generated forgery.”
In television and radio interviews, Arpaio has focused on the forgery, not on speculation as to where Obama might have been born. However, Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo has stated that Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father, describes a “life that was never lived.”