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WHAT ROLE, IF ANY, DOES IMMIGRATION PLAY?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 5, 2020) — The Twitter account @kancelkamala, also identifying itself as “@kamalakancel,” on Sunday released new images depicting what appears to be an April 1965 application completed by vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris’s mother for “nonimmigrant visitor” status in the United States.
While it is widely known that Kamala was born in Oakland, CA on October 20, 1964, questions have arisen as to her constitutional eligibility to serve as vice president under the 12th Amendment or president under the U.S. Constitution’s Article II “natural born Citizen” clause.
A modern interpretation of the 14th Amendment bestows U.S. citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil with rare exceptions, as in the case of a child born to foreign diplomats. However, whether or not Harris’s parents were “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States given their respective statuses as foreign students, “visitors,” or “nonimmigrants” temporarily in the country continues to be a subject of debate.
Likewise, some consider the “natural born Citizen” clause to mean simply “born in the United States,” while others believe the Framers intended a higher level of citizenship and allegiance in the nation’s chief executive. Some point to George Washington, who was born in the United States but considered an English subject until the American Revolution was fought and won; presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1789; and was elected the nation’s first president under the “grandfather clause” of Article II, Section 1, clause 5, which states, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,…”
Some argue that as foreign students admitted to the United States, both Donald J. Harris and Shyamala Gopalan Harris were “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” as stated in the 14th Amendment and that their daughter is therefore a “natural born Citizen” qualified for the vice-presidency or presidency. Others say that each parent remained at the time subject to the jurisdiction of his or her own country of citizenship.
“Being a natural born citizen has nothing to do with where you are born but strictly to whom you are born — as long as it’s to American citizens,” wrote Mark Hewitt in an August 20 op-ed at American Thinker. “This is the media’s and the Democrat Party’s great lie going on twelve years now. There are many ways to become a U.S. citizen, but if you are to seek the office of the president (or the vice president), you must be a child born of American parents.”
Others, including mainstream media outlets, disagree and have declared Harris eligible for the two highest offices in the land. “By virtue of her birth in California, Harris is a natural-born U.S. citizen,” USA Today wrote on September 21.
As to whether or not Kamala Harris is a U.S. citizen outside of the “natural born” question, National Review reasoned on August 12:
There’s an academic debate to be had here. But if the 14th Amendment wasn’t supposed to give citizenship to kids who are born in the U.S. to students and then live here for more than a decade, we’ve been doing it wrong for a long time, and the courts are not going to change their mind just in time to keep Harris out of a Joe Biden White House.
Following @kancelkamala’s Sunday-evening release of the immigration documents are two images representing as many timelines in Shyamala Gopalan Harris’s life years after she arrived in the United States in 1958 on a student “nonimmigrant” visa to attend the University of California at Berkeley. According to the Twitter account, Gopalan Harris’s actions over the years extending her stay and utilizing different names amounted to “immigration fraud.”
Gopalan Harris died in 2009 of cancer.
Having launched in mid-August, over a number of weeks @kancelkamala has released more than a dozen images of what appear to be government and educational documents showing that Shyamala Gopalan, “Gopalan Shyamala,” of “G. Shyamala,” as she sometimes identified herself, received multiple extensions of her student visa both before and between the births of her children, Kamala and Maya.
Her married name was generally expressed as “Shyamala Gopalan Harris” after she married Donald J. Harris, a doctoral student she met while attending Berkeley.
Gopalan Harris later applied for “permanent legal resident” status only to abandon that effort by accepting a position in Canada to work as a cancer researcher for approximately 16 years.
To reenter the United States in 1985, the images show, a then-21-year-old Kamala Harris would apply for an “immigrant visa” on her mother’s behalf, identifying herself as a U.S. citizen “through birth in the U.S.,” but not “through parents.”
Born in India on April 7, 1938, Gopalan Harris does not appear to have become a U.S. citizen at any point in her life. She originally arrived in the United States in September 1958 to pursue her Master’s degree in Nutrition at Berkeley on a scholarship and completed a Ph.D. in Physiology and Nutrition from the same institution in 1964.
On her April 23, 1965 application, she reported she had been employed “as a full-time research worker” between October 1, 1963 and that date, and was requesting what would be a fourth extension as a “nonimmigrant temporary worker” on an “H-1” visa.
On September 30, the U.S. Allegiance Institute released an image it reported obtaining from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) appearing to be the same as one previously released by @kancelkamala demonstrating that the U.S. government documented Gopalan Harris’s “nationality” as “Indian” ten days after Kamala Harris’s birth, which occurred on October 20, 1964.
While at Berkeley, Gopalan Harris became active in student political events, one of which introduced her to her future husband, then a Ph.D. student from Jamaica. According to The New York Times, “The community where they met was a crucible of radical politics, as the trade-union left overlapped with early Black nationalist thinkers…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.”
A January 1969 paper titled, ” Campus Activism and Foreign Students” by UC Berkeley Assistant Foreign Student Advisor Eugene H. Smith states, “We invite foreign students to our campuses so that our American students and local citizens can get to know and understand them and their cultures and so that Americans can profit from the points of view of other cultures; political and social activism is a valuable means for foreign students to bring their different points of view to bear on our customs and institutions. We can profit immensely from listening seriously to their evaluations and criticisms of our society. It will profit us little to pay attention to them only when they agree with us.”
The couple married in July 1963, documents show. In February 2017 as a newly-elected U.S. senator, Kamala Harris wrote on her Facebook page that her mother avoided an “arranged marriage” in her home country by marrying her father. “And – like millions of the children of immigrants before and since – it made us Americans,” Kamala Harris added.
Gopalan Harris and Donald Harris divorced in 1973. In early 1976, Gopalan Harris took her two daughters to Montréal, Quebec, Canada, where she had accepted a position in cancer research at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research/Jewish General Hospital, an affiliate of McGill University. Kamala Harris reportedly attended Canadian schools between the ages of 12 and 17, including a “French-speaking primary school,”
On September 5, The Post & Email reported, “In a 2009 interview with a South-Asian-interest outlet (now defunct), Harris held up India, the country of her mother’s origin, as “a model” for the United States system of governance.”
According to a January 2019 op-ed by Donald Harris in a Jamaican publication, he attempted to connect his daughters to their Jamaican heritage during their youth. Trips were also made to India to visit the girls’ maternal extended family, multiple sources have reported. According to an August 12 article in ANI (“South Asia’s Leading Multimedia News Agency”) quoting Kamala’s maternal uncle, “Kamala Harris was very emotional when she came to India with her mother’s ashes.”
In 2018 and again last year, The Trump administration said it was considering rejecting the automatic awarding of U.S. citizenship, sometimes known as “birthright citizenship,” to children born in the United States to non-citizen parents, such as illegal aliens. Some term those children “anchor babies” since their birth on U.S. soil can serve as an expedited means by which their parents can acquire U.S. citizenship, eligibility for public benefits and work authorization as well as the ability to sponsor relatives from their home country as legal immigrants to the United States.
As this publication has covered extensively, questions arising in 2007 regarding Barack Hussein Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president have never been answered. His claimed father was in Hawaii on a student visa and indisputably never a U.S. citizen, while his claimed mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was reportedly born in Kansas and is believed to have retained U.S. citizenship throughout her life and far-reaching travels. Obama claims a birth on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, HI and in 2008, invoked the 14th Amendment to proffer his eligibility.
A five-year criminal investigation reported the image released by the White House in 2011 said to represent Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate to be a “computer-generated forgery.” More than two years ago, the former detective who conducted the investigation under the authority of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office additionally divulged that two U.S. intelligence agents disclosed to him that it is “an open secret” in Washington, DC that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
Some believe that Obama is behind Harris as Biden’s choice of a running-mate.
Updated, October 10, 2020, 7:45 a.m. EDT.