by Sharon Rondeau

(Sep. 5, 2019) — According to The Post & Email’s statistics counter, at 4:09 p.m. EDT a reader with a “New York Senate” IP address accessed an article by legal scholar and prolific writer Joseph DeMaio raising the question as to whether or not Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is eligible for the office he seeks.

The article, simply titled, “Is Andrew Yang a Natural Born Citizen?” brings to readers’ attention that several declared candidates competing for the Democratic presidential nomination may not be eligible to the office, including not only Yang, but also Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Kamala Harris.

Interestingly, it is New York State’s Board of Elections (NYSBOE) which misstates the citizenship requirement for the President and commander-in-chief as “born a citizen” rather than “natural born Citizen,” as appears in Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

For the last decade or more, reader and New York State resident Robert Laity has attempted to point out the error to the Board to no avail.  An inquiry from this writer made several years ago received no response.

In his August 2 article, DeMaio detailed that Yang, while born in the United States and as it happens, in Schenectady, NY, likely has parents who never naturalized as U.S. citizens, a component some constitutional scholars believe is at least equally important to a person’s birthplace in determining whether or not he or she is a “natural born Citizen.”

DeMaio’s key finding reads:

As for Mr. Yang, although he was born in 1975 in Schenectady, New York – unquestionably geographically located within the United States – his bio reflects that his parents were “immigrants from Taiwan” who met while they were both graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley.  His father, Kei Hsiung Yang, and his mother, Nancy Yang, moved to the United States in the 1960’s to pursue their higher education goals.  The anecdotal evidence retrievable via the Internet, however, does not (as yet) disclose whether either or both Mr. or Mrs. Yang had become naturalized U.S. citizens by the time their son, Andrew, was born.

If both of them – and in particular, Mr. Yang – had not already become naturalized citizens before the birth, then Andrew Yang would not meet the de Vattel § 212 criterion as embodied in Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution.   Stated otherwise, while he arguably might be a “native born citizen” under the 14th Amendment, he would not be a “natural born citizen” as required for presidential eligibility purposes.  Further complicating the issue, in a newspaper article footnoted in Mr. Yang’s Wikipedia entry (please, spare me the tutorial on the downsides of “open source” websites like the one mentioned), it is noted that “Yang said he visits Taipei almost every year to see his parents, who retired in Taiwan after previously working and living in the U.S.”

As President Trump readied to leave for the G7 on August 21, he spoke to members of the mainstream press on the issue of “birthright citizenship,” which his administration has indicated it wishes to abolish.  At the time, Trump characterized the policy as, “Where you have a baby on our land — you walk over the border, have a baby. Congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen.”

On his campaign website, Yang states of his background:

I was born in upstate New York in 1975. My parents immigrated from Taiwan in the 1960s and met in grad school. My Dad was a researcher at IBM—he generated 69 patents over his career—and my Mom was the systems administrator at a local university. My brother and I grew up pretty nerdy. We also grew up believing in the American Dream—it’s why my parents came here.

In January, The Taiwan News quoted Yang as having said at a speech in California that he is “proud to be Taiwanese-American.”  The paper also reported, “In response to a question from the audience, Yang said he visits Taipei almost every year to see his parents, who retired in Taiwan after previously working and living in the U.S.”


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  1. Rosemary, I believe that Bill is referring to The US District Court in NY that has a case initiated by Carl Strunk opposing NY States Infanticidal abortion law naming Planned Parenthood, Dept. of Homeland Security, Mayor De Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and several others. Docket # 19- CV- 0202. The case is in the same court that the Obama ballot access cases were heard in 2008 and 2012.

  2. Usdc Nynd 19-cv-202-DNH has the Cuomo Nys RHA infanticide case including Obama’s history of NBC born a citizen issue NYS ballots 2008 2012

  3. I must see who gets the Democrat Party nomination. If it is Harris, Gabbard, Yang or any other constitutionally barred non NBC, I WILL be initiating my third lawsuit against the State of NY since 2008 and that barred candidate.

    This issue is NOT going away without being addressed. It is a grave matter of national security that each and every American must focus on. It has happened twice before in our (243) year history. Barack Obama and Chester Arthur were “Imposters in the Oval Office”.

    Eight people have attempted to usurp the presidency since 2008. That is egregious.

  4. Pardon me for rambling-on. This comment should be broken-down into two parts.

    Part 1: Andrew Yang-specific:
    From the article: “In January, The Taiwan News quoted Yang as having said at a speech in California that he is “proud to be Taiwanese-American.””

    So Andrew Yang then is a dual citizen. Dual citizenship (Taiwanese and ‘American’) for the presidency is not what the Founding Fathers of the U.S. Constitution intended. Notice the placement of “Taiwanese” came first in Yang’s quoted statement by The Taiwanese News.

    Part 2: Wrongly awarding citizenship of offspring born in the U.S. to parents, neither who are U.S. citizens, whether or not the parents are here legally or illegally:

    The quest to end birthright citizenship seems to have died-on-the-vine by Congressman Steve King, District 4 of Iowa.

    But Representative King is not accurate in his assessment of birth on U.S. soil to immigrants, because he only concludes that birthright citizenship should not be awarded to illegal aliens and fails to include aliens here legally.

    To wit from Rep. King’s article: “The plain meaning of the 14th Amendment means that one must BOTH be born in United States AND be subject to the jurisdiction thereof. Since there are two explicit requirements, they both cannot be met by simply being born on U.S. soil.”
    “The history of the drafting of the 14th Amendment makes clear that the language “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” meant a citizen could not owe allegiance to any other foreign power. This excludes illegal immigrants who are in defiance of U.S. jurisdiction and are citizens of a foreign power.”
    “The Supreme Court has never held that the children of illegal immigrants born in the United States are automatically citizens.”
    “Because the Supreme Court has not interpreted the Constitution to mandate automatic birthright citizenship, the Congress can pass a law to correct the current misguided and incorrect policy of automatically granting citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.”

    My opinion: The phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” found in the 14th Amendment should be interpreted to mean anyone who is born in the USA to a minimum of one U.S. citizen parent, just as is the criteria for anyone born overseas.

    You can’t get lime citrus fruit from an apple branch that is grafted to a pear tree.