MIDDLE NAME “CORRECTION,” DIFFERENT NAMES USED FOR MATERNAL GRANDFATHER
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 25, 2020) — On Thursday evening, the Twitter account @KamalaKancel (also @KancelKamala) released a document appearing to indicate that Shyamala Gopalan Harris, the late mother of Democratic vice-presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, often reversed her first and last names on U.S. government documents beginning in 1958.
The New York Times reports that in 1963, Gopalan Harris, then working on a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, married Donald J. Harris, a Jamaican national also completing his doctoral degree at Berkeley. “Members of the study group that drew them together in 1962, known as the Afro American Association, would help build the discipline of Black studies, introduce the holiday of Kwanzaa and establish the Black Panther Party,” The Times wrote in a lengthy article published September 13 and updated six days later.
“@Kancelkamala’s Thursday release followed previous publications alleging what the Twitter account characterizes as “immigration fraud” on Gopalan Harris’s part.
If proven authentic, the documents would provide confirmation that neither of Kamala Harris’s parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of her birth, a question arising in connection with whether or not Kamala Harris meets the “natural born Citizen” requirement for president which is also mandated for the vice president by the 12th Amendment.
One lawsuit of which The Post & Email is aware has been filed challenging Kamala Harris’s constitutional eligibility to serve as vice president or president, should she be called upon to do so in a Biden-Harris administration.
The document released Thursday night appears to this writer to be a composite of portions of five or more California-issued documents, one of them a “Birth Index” entry. The sixth source is identified as “INS Form I-538,” with “INS” a reference to the former Immigration and Naturalization Service.
A September 3, 1958 sworn statement which Gopalan Harris, then single, completed and signed at a U.S. consulate in Calcutta, India for admission to the U.S. to pursue higher education at the University of California, Berkeley, bears the signature “G. Shyamala.”
According to her current Wikipedia entry, Gopalan Harris’s “professional” name was expressed as “Gopalan Shyamala or G. Shyamala,” but public reporting refers to her as “Shyamala Gopalan” or Shyamala Gopalan Harris.”
On a September 29, 1964 work-permit application as a “nonimmigrant ‘F-1’ student,” her name, as the “applicant,” was expressed as “Shyamala Gopalan Harris,” but her “maiden name” is indicated as “Gopalan Shyamala.” The document is stamped “OCT 30 1964” by what appears to be an INS official in the San Francisco office. At the bottom-left of the form is the identifier, “Form I-538.” Although partially obscured, the form appears to have been signed, “Shyamala Gopalan.”
On what appears to be a status form indicating she was permitted to remain in the country through “4-1-65,” her name is expressed as “SHYAMALA, Gopalan,” with a box for “other names or aliases” left blank. On that form, her status is said to have been “F-1” and the “date of admission” “9-16-63.” The date of the “report” is noted as “10-30-64,” ten days after her daughter Kamala’s birth.
An application apparently filed by then-21-year-old Kamala Harris to request a visa for her mother to re-enter the United States after she spent a number of years in scientific research in Montreal, Canada, her mother’s name, or “beneficiary,” is expressed as “Harris, Shyamala Gopalan,” with the acknowledgement that another name by which she had been known was “Gopalan, Shyamala.”
A Curriculum Vitae produced in 1986 or later expresses the name as “Dr. G. Shyamala” and statets that her Master’s degree was completed in 1960 and doctorate in 1964, which is consistent with the aforementioned “status form.”
Each section of the image in Thursday’s tweet appears to have been labeled with the source document from which it purportedly came, beginning with “Entry Form 9/3/1958” bearing the signature “G. Shyamala.” The line noted to the right as “Marriage License 7/1/1963” notes the bride’s first name as “Gopalan” and her last as “Shyamala.” What appears to be an image of the marriage certificate between Gopalan and “Donald Jasper Harris” expresses her name as “Gopalan Shyamala.”
The shaded line labeled “California Marriage Index 1963” shows “Harris Donald J” and the name “Iyer Gopalan,” an as-yet unidentified reference.
What is identified as “INS From I-538” dated “12/9/1963” states the applicant’s first name as “GOPALAN” and the last name as “SHYAMALA.” In the box below, in response to, “If applicant is a married woman, state maiden name” is written, “RETAINING MY MAIDEN NAME. MARRIED NAME IS SHYAMALA G. HARRIS.”
Below that is what appears to be Kamala Harris’s birth certificate. In the State of California, an “informational copy” of a birth certificate may be obtained by members of the public unrelated to the registrant.
The certificate states Harris’s birth as having occurred on October 20, 1964 at “9:28 P.” at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital located at 280 West MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, Alameda County, a facility now referred to “Kaiser Foundation Hospital Oakland/richmond.”
The “maiden name” of the child’s mother is noted as “Gopalan Shyamala,” and her race “Caucasian.”
Harris’s middle name is given as “Iyer” and not “Devi,” as she is now known. Overlapping the box with “Iver” is a stamp which reads, “AMENDED” with “1 of 2” in a box below it.
Below the birth certificate section is a document titled “AFFIDAVIT TO CORRECT A RECORD” stamped “2 of 2” with the purpose noted, “To correct middle name of child” from “Iyer” to “Devi.”
In a document released by @KancelKamala on Friday, the identifier “Marriage License 7/1/1963” shows the “Father of Bride” as “Gopalan Iyer.” However, Kamala’s grandfather, who worked for the Indian government, is widely known as “P.V. Gopalan.” On what is said to be “INS Form 230” dated “2/3/1986,” Shyamala’s father’s name is stated as “P.V. Gopalan.”
Today, a “DS-230” is an “Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration.” Whether or not the two forms are equivalent is unknown.