REVISED JAN 21, 4:30: AM
A whole lot of confusion, ignorance, and misconception surrounds a simple but profoundly important compound-adjective phrase that employs the words “natural”, “citizen”, and “born”. They appear in the United States Constitution as a requirement for the presidency, and no where else in American law. Why do they not appear anywhere else? Because they refer to something that does not exist in American law. It is a differentiation that is not legal in nature but sociological.
All other references to citizenship in the Constitution include all citizens, but differentiation is added by means of mandating a minimum number of years that one must have been a U.S. citizen before election to Congress. But for the presidency, there is no minimum number of years mentioned because his citizenship must begin at birth.
That was the suggestion of Alexander Hamilton who proposed that the President be no one who was not born a citizen.
He proposal read:
“Article IX: 1. No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a citizen of one of the States or hereafter be born a citizen of the United States.”
The problem with that was that it was ambiguous because it didn’t define the nature of the parentage of a born citizen. That nature might not be solely American because a few of the allied nation-states of America allowed their citizenship to be granted from birth to children of aliens, -foreigners, -immigrants while all of the other nation-states did not since they followed Natural Law only.
By Natural Law the off-spring are the same as the parents that produce them. British men produced British children. Indeed, that was made law via the British Nationality Act of 1772 for all foreign-born British children. Englishmen produced English children regardless of where on the planet their children were delivered from the womb.
But England also allowed or mandated something else. It considered the alien-born children who entered the world on English soil as also rightfully being the king’s subjects from birth, (although not so by birth to Englishmen). So for its own natural subjects, Britain followed Natural Law, but since children of foreigners could not be considered Englishmen by Natural Law, they adopted a human law that made it so anyway, and it declared them to also be subjects, -not by birth (jus sanguinis, -by Right of Blood), but from birth (jus soli, -by right of soil).
No official State declaration delineated the difference between the two, instead it was blurred by recognizing that the difference was irrelevant, and national membership by descent was of no importance or superior over membership by place of birth. It wasn’t that the difference didn’t exist; -it was that it made no difference to one’s civil rights and responsibilities. Thus, it didn’t have to be even acknowledged. It would have made no difference in the colonies either until the Revolution, but would later make a difference in the eligibility of the men who might seek to be something that didn’t exist in Britain, -namely the President of the nation and chief commander of its military.
The difference between nationality by descent and nationality by place of birth was essentially non-existent in the minds of all since everyone that everyone knew were people who had been born in Britain of British fathers except for the occasional alien-born native child. So interest in the subject of the origin of national membership was non-existent. Except…for those British children born on foreign soil, -but for them nationality laws were passed to insure their acceptance as British subjects.
All bases were covered, and the issue of the source of nationality was not an issue since it made no difference for all those born within and under the dominion of the British Crown. That means within the imperial domain or territory and under the power and authority of the monarch and national government. Since British men were deemed to be subjects in perpetuity, -meaning their entire life, it came to not matter if they had a child on foreign soil because it was subject to the Crown also through its blood connection to a father who was subject for life. So eventually the law recognized that Natural Law fact. Thus, any child of a British father, born anywhere, -within the dominion or out of it, was a British subject of the King or Queen, along with the small fraction of children born of immigrants in Britain.
While the issue of the origin of one’s national membership was out of sight,…out of mind, it was connected to an enormously important issue, -that of Natural Rights. While enlightened thinkers became very aware of the issue of Natural Rights, the monarchists had to reject it entirely since it was subversive to their preferred and embraced foundation of national authority which was Royal Rights via the doctrine of The Divine Right of Kings.
Under that doctrine you were the King’s subject and he was your Lord & Master because Heaven decreed it to be so. It was God’s plan for national governance. Thus, whatever souls came into existence within his territory & authority belonged “rightfully” and “naturally” to him.
That was so pervasive in the mind-set of past epochs that it was not even recognized as what it was, namely, not a principle at all but instead a self-serving, autocratic, dictatorially imposed choice of the top power, (a conquering King or a hereditary heir), -a system and regime plan selected by fiat and enforced by power. It was connected to no principle whatsoever. Thus the need to cover the naked imposition of one-man rule by relying on the shielding skirt of Divine Right.
(To be fair though, most people readily submit and are comfortable under a strongman, a powerful leader. Just consider the people of the nation of North Korea.)
But by Natural Law one is not a member of their own family or clan or tribe or country because of where they exited their mother’s womb but by their parents being the source of their life. Natural national membership is just an extension of natural family membership, especially since countries are composed of an aggregation of families.
Thus for nations, as is so for families, the bond of blood and the right of the parents to their own children is the natural principle of natural membership. It is the source of natural family membership and natural national membership, aka, natural citizenship.
Blood, not borders, determines which groups one naturally belongs to, -including both family and country. One takes after their parents and is born into their group as a new member.
That dichotomy, (-parentage?…-or place-of-birth?) clouded the clear thinking of many people as to what was the principle of citizenship in the proposed union of the American nation-states. They didn’t have to have a clear understanding as long as no conflict existed between the nation-states that followed only Natural Law and the ones that followed both, like the British did.
The proposed new nation would follow the sovereign laws of the nation-states that composed it. Whoever they considered to be their citizens would also be citizens of the aggregate nation, regardless of how they had become citizens, -naturally…or by permission of the government and its written laws.
That meant that in most of the 13 colonies or nation-states no native-born son of an alien immigrant could run for their colonial-State or the national Congress because, since their father was a foreigner, they were not citizens of the colony or State into which they had been born.
From Wikipedia: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lex_soli#Lex_soli]
At one time, jus sanguinis (right of blood) was the sole means of determining nationality in Europe and Asia. An individual belonged to a family, a tribe or a people, not to a territory. It was a basic tenet of Roman law.[3
But it was much later, when the independence of the English colonies in America, and the French Revolution, laid the foundations for jus soli and with the social and economic development of the 19th and 20th centuries, accompanied by the massive migrations to the Americas and Western Europe, that jus soli was established in a greater and greater number of countries.
The geographer Jared Diamond has calculated that if the application of jus soli since 1850 were abolished, 60% of Americans and 80% of Argentinians would lose their citizenship, and 25% of British and French. [Why? Because then only natural citizens (those born of citizens) would be U.S. citizens.]
At the turn of the 19th century, nation-states commonly divided themselves between those granting nationality on the grounds of jus soli (France, for example) and those granting it on the grounds of jus sanguinis (Germany, for example, before 1990). However, most European countries chose the German concept of an “objective nationality”, based on race or language [i.e., culture & blood]
Lex soli: is a law used in practice to regulate who and under what circumstances an individual can assert the right of jus soli. [e.g. the 14th Amendment] Most nations provide a specific lex soli, in application of the respective jus soli, and it is the most common means of acquiring nationality. [only for native-born children of all foreigners since natural citizens inherit their national membership]
Jus soli around the world
Jus soli is observed by a minority of the world’s countries. Of advanced economies (as defined by the International Monetary Fund), Canada and the United States are the only countries that ***observe*** birthright citizenship. As is shown clearly on the map, the jus soli is mainly in use in “the new world” — the Americas [descendents of imperial colonization and not original nations]. Since 2004, no European country grants unconditional birthright [border-based, jus soli] citizenship.  [yet America continues blindly onward]
In an August 2010 report, the Center for Immigration Studies, (through direct communication with foreign government officials and analysis of relevant foreign law including statutory and constitutional law), was able to confirm that 30 of the world’s 194 countries ***grant*** automatic citizenship [-to alien-born children born within their borders, a la the 14th Amendment]
Restriction of jus soli
In a number of countries, to discourage illegal immigration, automatic citizenship by jus soli has been withdrawn or restricted by imposing additional requirements, such as requiring that at least one parent be a legal permanent resident [a Green Card immigrant] or that a citizen parent has resided in the country for a specific minimum period of time.
Jus soli has been restricted in the following countries:
- Australia: Since 20 August 1986, a person born in Australia acquires Australian citizenship by birth only if at least one parent was an Australian citizen or permanent resident or upon the 10th birthday of the child regardless of their parent’s citizenship status (see Australian nationality law).
- Germany: An exception to the increasing restrictiveness toward birthright citizenship, Germany, prior to 2000, had its nationality law based entirely on jus sanguinis. Now, children born on or after 1 January 2000 to non-German parents acquire German citizenship at birth if at least one parent has a permanent residence permit (and had this status for at least three years) and the parent was residing in Germany for at least eight years.
- Ireland: On 1 January 2005, the law was amended to require that at least one of the parents be an Irish citizen; a British citizen; a child of a resident with a permanent right to reside in Ireland; or be a child of a legal resident residing three of the last four years in the country (excluding students [like Barack Obama Sr.] and asylum seekers) (see Irish nationality law). etc., etc
Abolition of jus soli
Some countries which formerly observed jus soli have moved to abolish it entirely, conferring citizenship on children born in the country only if one of the parents is a citizen of that country. India did this on 3 December 2004, in reaction to illegal immigration from its neighbor Bangladesh; jus soli had already been progressively weakened since 1987.
Ireland abolished jus soli, which had been enshrined in the constitution, in favor of jus sanguinis in the 2004 referendum on citizenship, as a reaction to a perceived influx of asylum seekers.
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, in pertinent part, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Its wording was initially interpreted to exclude many Native Americans because they were not considered “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States and, thus, were not American citizens. However, Congress later extended citizenship to all aboriginal peoples in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.
In an analysis of Census Bureau data, the Pew Hispanic Center found that about 8 percent of children born in the United States in 2008 (about 340,000) were offspring of unauthorized immigrants, with a total of 4 million U.S.-born children of unauthorized immigrant parents residing in the country in 2009. The Center for Immigration Studies asserted that up to 400,000 children are born annually to illegal immigrants, representing about 10 percent of all children born in the United States. Citing their numbers and concerns over “anchor babies“, some lawmakers and activists have proposed abolishing jus soli in the United States. Other commentators have argued that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment was incorrect and should be narrowed to only establishing the civil rights, privileges and immunities of the freed slaves.
Britain: Before 1983, birth in the UK was sufficient in itself to confer British nationality irrespective of the status of parents, with an exception only for children of diplomats and enemy aliens. This exception did not apply to most visiting forces, so, in general, children born in the UK before 1983 to visiting military personnel (e.g. US forces stationed in the UK) are British citizens by birth. [note: before 1983, the Brits were as stupid as we are, but they reformed; we never will]
Before 1983, as a general rule “Citizenship of the UK and Colonies” (CUKC) was transmitted automatically only for one generation, with registration in infancy possible for subsequent generations. Transmission was from the father only, and only if the parents were married. (See History of British nationality law.)
Those born abroad to a British father (or born after 1982 to a British mother)…are considered automatically British and can apply for a passport directly through the Identity and Passport Services (IPS).
Before April 2006: The European Economic Area Immigration Regulations provided that with only a few exceptions, citizens of EU and European Economic Area states are not generally considered “settled” in the UK unless they apply for and obtain permanent residency. [a Green Card equivalent] This is relevant in terms of eligibility to apply for naturalisation or obtaining British citizenship for UK-born children (born on or after 2 October 2000). [citizenship is tied to permanent residency. Non-immigrants, aliens not settled, are not eligible. Foreign visitors and students (like Obama Sr.) are never considered to be settled in the nation in which they are visiting or studying.]
Registration as a British citizen
Registration is a simpler method of acquiring citizenship than naturalisation, but only certain people are eligible for it. Cases where persons may be entitled to registration (either as a matter of law or policy [i.e., an accepted practice which is not law) include:
- Children born in the UK where after the child is born a parent obtains British citizenship or indefinite permission to remain [the native-born child is not a British citizen but can become one via registration]
- Children born in the UK who live in the UK until age 10. [Ditto, -native-born but not British]
Many other countries do not allow dual nationality (see Multiple citizenship). If a person has British nationality, and is also a national of a country that does not allow dual nationality, the authorities of that country may regard the person as having lost that nationality, or may refuse to recognize the British nationality. British nationals who acquire the nationality of a country that does not allow dual nationality may be required by the other country to renounce [by oath or statement] British nationality to retain the other citizenship. None of this affects a person’s national status under UK law.
The Master Nationality Rule is a consequence of Article 4 of the Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws of 1930.
This provides that;“… a State may not afford diplomatic protection to one of its nationals against a state whose nationality such person also possesses.”
In terms of practical effect, it means that when a multiple citizen is in the country of one of his nationalities, that country has the right to treat that person as if he or she were solely a citizen or national of that country. This includes the right to impose military service obligations, or to require an exit permit to leave. [note: natural citizens are free from the entanglements of dual citizens since both parents are citizens of only one nation, -transmitting only one nationality.]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So Congress could be composed of not just sons of Americans but also sons of aliens if they were born within one of the States that granted them citizenship. Sons by blood & citizens by nature would be the vast majority, but among them might be a few “sons of the soil” by the benevolence of the natural citizens of those few States that allowed naturalization-at-birth for children of immigrants.
That was Congress, but that could not be allowed for the position of Command in Chief of the American military. With that position placed in the hands of the future President of the Union, his citizenship had to be clearly defined and differentiated as to whether it could be only one form or could be both.
Hamilton’s suggestion could not address that issue adequately since its terminology involved a term that was ambiguous. Natural citizens were all “citizens at birth” (born as citizens) but not by an allowance of law, rather, by transmission of the father’s political nature. Their citizenship was not given to them by government since it was inherited, but the citizenship bestowed on children of immigrants was a gift of State law given at birth. It could have been given instead after one year of U.S. residency, -or ten years.
They had no natural right to it since they, like their fathers, (-made in his image), were outsiders like him, foreign, the subjects of a foreign monarch to whom they owed obedience and allegiance. They were not sons of Americans and had no right to be President, -to be the leader of the Americans and their militia.
But the necessity of including the element of timing (at the time life begins) shows that it is an arbitrary criteria selected by human choice, -not resulting from any natural law. That also shows that such a gift of national membership is not natural membership since it requires human volition and choice. Such children are therefore not accurately labeled as “born citizens” but merely as “citizens from birth”. Such children have no natural right to citizenship and that is why it has to be given to them by statute. They are the 2-3 percenters.
So, the President had to be more than just any man born with citizenship. He had to be a natural American, born of Americans, and not someone given his citizenship in spite of being born of foreign parents. He had to be “a natural citizen” having only American parents. He had to be citizen-born and not alien-born.
~by Natural Fact or Philosophical Fiction
But if the framers of the Constitution had stated that the President must be a natural citizen, that would have been an ambiguity of law since all citizens are natural citizens by a fundamental American legal fiction. That fiction was and is based on the American doctrine of citizenship equality. One citizenship for all, -all being equal with no superior or inferior classes of citizens. In America there is only one class of citizens, -not two, -and they are all natural citizens (by nature or by legal fiction).
–Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Washington, 1784: “The foundation on which all [constitutions] are built is THE NATURAL EQUALITY OF MAN, the denial of every preeminence but that annexed [connected] to legal office [the presidency, or governorship], and particularly the denial of a preeminence by birth.” [especially position & privilege of nobility, but also superiority as co-members of the national family.]
So the “rules vary from state to state” [nation to nation] with America not following the general rule but following a higher path and higher law, -a law of oneness, of undifferentiated unity, -a law of twinness and clones.
The American attitude was: “When it comes to our American citizenship, you, -though born in Britain or France, having rejected and publicly renounced your King in a form of treason, have become one of us.
You are now not just joined to us, accepted by us, adopted by us. Instead, you are us and we are you. We are brothers, -not by the national blood we were born with, but by the Spirit of Liberty that drives and animates your being, as it does ours. In time you can serve to help govern us. The only thing withheld from you is the position of command of our armies. To prevent treason of a kind that could result in civil war, we allow only natural citizens by blood, by birth, by inheritance, to be the Commander in Chief.”
Since natural national membership was the case for 98% of the population, the remaining percent of citizens (foreigners who became immigrants) would need to undergo a process to make them members of the American family, -to make them natural members of the family and not stigmatized, adopted members with an inferior position in the family.
That process was akin to Christian baptism for those newly converted to Christ. They are immersed in water which represents the death and burial of the old fallen human nature, and then are raised from the water, -representing resurrection from death and rebirth as a new reborn being with a new spiritual nature.
The process to make a foreigner into an American was similar in that it stripped him of his old life as an obedient loyal subject of a foreign royal dictator, and remade him into a free and independent democracy-embracing natural American citizen just like his American brethren. He was natural-ized, thereby becoming a fellow natural citizen, just like all other American citizens.
Those who were natural from birth because they were made / conceived and born in the image of citizens were children who entered the world as Americans. It didn’t matter where they were born because they were the same as their brothers born within U.S. territory by the two facts of citizenship equality and citizen origin by Natural Law. They were born automatically as members of the nation because their fathers were subject to the American government. That was not contestable, -nor was their automatic citizenship.
The foreigner made himself subject via the Oath of Allegiance & Renunciation -which remade him into one who could, in time, serve his nation in its government. But nothing, including a national fiction of law, could make him someone who was born as a natural citizen.
Being “reborn” as a natural citizen is clearly not the same as being born as one. So the element of the origin of one’s citizenship, -clarified by mentioning the point of its commencement (birth) was necessary to eliminate the unwanted and dangerous ambiguity inherent in the term “natural citizen”.
By combining it with “born citizen”, that was achieved. That was suggested by John Jay, former President of the Continental Congress, as well as the future first chief justice of the Supreme Court. He warned Washington by letter during the constitutional convention that the office of Command in Chief should not be given to nor devolve on any but “a natural born citizen”. (underlined by him) This is it in print:
[“New York, July 25, 1787
Permit me to hint whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government; and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the American army should not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born citizen.”]
BLOOD CITIZEN vs SOIL CITIZEN
His perspective was that if foreigners can become new natural American citizens, then how much more would the legal fiction of natural citizenship be applied to the children who were born in and raised in America by foreign parents ?
What’s wrong with a native-born child being allowed to be the American chief executive, politically and militarily? Answer: -the danger that any well-to-do, influential wealthy foreigner who had a son born in the States during a mere visit or limited residency could return to his own nation and subjection to his own king and raise his son to be similarly loyal, all while his son maintained possession of American citizenship, and could one day return to the States and seek high political office, including the Presidency.
How could any sane American endorse the possibility that a popular loyal Englishman might one day be the head of the American government? That absolutely had to be avoided. Hence, the President has to be one born as a natural American citizen, -an American by birth.
Using only the wording that he had to be “a natural citizen” would open the door to those who surely would claim, as some still do today, that anyone born with citizenship at birth is certainly a natural citizen regardless of Natural Law. So John Jay had to emphasize that the President not be just one considered a natural citizen (since that conceptually included all natural-ized citizens) but only one born as a natural citizen and not merely made into a natural citizen via a legal fiction. He had to be a natural born citizen, -by birth, by parentage.
His focus could have been on the ambiguity of either “natural citizen” or “born citizen”. His focus was on “natural citizen” which he disambiguated with the addition of the underlined “born”. If his focus had been on the ambiguity of “born citizen” then he would have reversed the order of the two adjectives and inserted “natural” as in “a born natural citizen”.
A similar situation can be seen in a term like “a young white woman” which (depending on one’s focus) could also be “a white young women”. If one’s focus is race, then the former would be written, differentiating between a younger and older white woman. But if it is youthful women, then the latter would be written, -differentiating instead between young woman of different races, calling for the underlining of “white”, i.e., “a white young woman (as opposed to a Black or Asian or Hispanic young woman).
They both mean the same thing but emphasize something different, -just as “a natural born citizen” is the same as “a born natural citizen” but emphasizes something different. Underlining “natural” would emphasize the idea of natural by birth and not by a legal fiction.
It’s obvious that one natural-ized into a “natural citizen” by naturalization process is not one born as a natural citizen. The problem is the tiny plot of ground on which stand those who declare that anyone born with citizenship via native-birth is a natural citizen and therefore eligible to be President. Their stance rests entirely on perverting the meaning of “natural” and applying an alternate fictional meaning by which a child of an alien is born as a natural American.
In reality they are merely born with citizenship as a result of the choice of two justices of the Supreme Court who tilted the balance and produced a ruling that they are Americans regardless of having been born of alien immigrants.
If their interpretation of the 14th Amendment had been the opposite, then alien-born children would not even be U.S. citizens at all, -much less mis-identified as natural born citizens.
But natural citizens are not born with citizenship by any act of government nor any embraced legal fiction. They are born as true natural citizens and not fictional natural citizens. Their citizenship is not determined by the location or event of birth but by conception. From conception they are predestined to be Americans and nothing else, -but children of foreigners are not since they can be born outside of the United States and thus not be citizens at all.
That’s not possible for American babies. Although their citizenship is not recognized until birth, (since their personhood is not recognized until then) their American national membership is a natural element of their organic political nature and can’t be separated from them by mere circumstance of birth location, -nor anything else. They’re innately and solely American from conception to death.
14th Amendment Citizenship
American ignorance and confusion do not stop with the presidential eligibility clause. It is equally as extensive regarding the meaning of the 14th Amendment citizenship clause, which reads:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…”.
John A. Bingham, chief architect of the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause, considered the proposed national law on citizenship as:
“simply declaratory, -that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen…”
If the amendment, like the Civil Rights Act of 1866, was simply to make constitutional a common law policy of treating native-born persons as citizens, then the nationality of the father, the subjection he was under, and the allegiance that he owed would not be relevant in the least and Bingham would not have mentioned the parents. But it was very relevant because the son takes after the father when it comes to his name, his status in life, and his national identity.
The confusion about the amendment is three fold, -leaving unanswered the questions; (1) what does subjection mean? (2) what does jurisdiction mean, and (3) what is the nature of that statement itself?
The statement is declaratory, -a statement of existing reality, not a reordering of it. It does not proclaim what shall be from henceforth. That fact shows that it is not an exercise of sovereign national authority to effect something new, -some new national policy but merely declares for administrative purposes what the constitutional position of the U.S. Government is toward persons who meet certain criteria.
Its purpose was to embed an undefined, unexplained, ambiguous declaration into the Constitution as an amendment that Congress could not change nor modify once passed. After adoption, it could only be explained or interpreted by members of the Supreme Court. They could interpret it one way or the opposite way, depending on their preference. They didn’t do that until three decades had passed with it being undefined.
What I want to clarify isn’t what its requirements mean, but what its nature is and isn’t. Everyone misunderstands its nature. They believe it reveals something that it absolutely does not reveal because it is not what they think it is. They think it is a kind of declaration of the principle basis of citizenship in the United States, but it is no such thing. They think like that because they don’t really think about its nature at all, which is best described as “limited”.
It’s limited not by what it says but by what it does not say, -which is plenty. It says; “All persons born or naturalized in the United States…” It doesn’t say; “All citizens are persons who are born or naturalized in the United States…” But that is how people read it. Yet all it does is declare the citizenship of certain persons who meet certain requirements. It does not delve into the citizenship of other citizens who existed before it was written, and existed after, -unaffected by it, -nor those who do not meet the native-birth criterion because they are foreign-born Americans.
Native-born natural citizens are not dependent on the amendment even if described by it. But describing something is not the same as creating something or elucidating a controlling principle. Observations change nothing, and that is what the amendment essentially is; -an observation of an political fact. It did not establish the fact because the fact was multiplex and undefined.
Ambiguity was the milieu behind and beneath its emphatic words, -words that had an appearance of clarity but instead were a boatload of the undefined and confusing constitutional elegance of simplicity.
A few illustrations will make that clear. If I say that children in my home who have blue eyes are my natural born children, -have I defined who my children are? Is that really an accurate and comprehensive declaration? What of my niece and nephew living with me who have blue eyes? What of my son who is away at summer camp? What of my brown-eyed adopted child?
If I say that children born in my home, or adopted, are my children, does that say why they are my children? Which facts support the statement? None because none are given with it. No definitive language was used so no definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Children could be born to me outside of my home, and children could be born of others inside of my home, so the subject of who my children are is not defined by any parameters or exclusion. Thus, the statement, though seemingly clear, is entirely ambiguous. It’s the same with the 14th Amendment.
It does not say who is not a citizen, nor say that only the people mentioned are citizens, nor differentiate between two very different ways to meet its description. And that is at the heart of the confusion,…-the omission of any differentiation between the 97 % of the population who are citizens by blood and born within U.S. borders, and the 1-2% or less who are citizens, though alien-born, thanks to the Amendment’s declaration as interpreted 30 years later by the Supreme Court.
All the amendment does is state two conditions that describe U.S. citizens. It does not elucidate any principle by which their citizenship is acquired; -is it passed down from parents to child or granted via policy of the government based on native-birth location?…Silence.
It does not declare that jus soli is the policy of the United States regarding citizenship. It only declares two conditions (and naturalization) that together produce citizens, -only one of which is understood today. The other one has faded into the fog of ignorance as knowledge of history has been lost, -along with the consciousness to connect the dots found in history.
What are those dots? They are the historical status quo of who was subject and who was not subject to the authority of the American government over U.S. residents. Were only citizens subject or were immigrants also subject?
The Amendment did not answer that question but instead left it up in the air so that a future court could decide what was actually a legislative issue, and not a judicial issue.
That future court, three decades later, decided that it would usurp that authority from Congress and decide a legislative issue but do so without even broaching it. Instead, it did it through the back door, so to speak. It made a ruling that carried very real but unwritten implications, and by stealing the authority of Congress, they imposed a major alteration to the American policy extant since the founding of the nation.
What was that policy? It was that only Americans, -American men, were subject to the duties of citizenship. Who was not subject? Who could not vote, or serve in elective office and government positions of authority, serve on juries, and serve in the American military? Answer: Foreign men, alien children of foreign men, Black men, American women, and children.
The restriction on foreign men and their of-age sons was manifested in the Civil War military draft act of 1862 (the Enrollment Act) They were plainly excluded from subjection to the U.S. Government’s authority to force American men to do their duty to defend their nation. It spelled out that only white citizens and immigrants who had officially declared their intention to become citizens were subject to the draft.
Those foreign men were viewed as what they were, namely permanent members of American society who had adopted the United States as their home, and its government as the only authority over them. They were no longer subject to their homeland and its king or government.
But foreign men who were only visiting or merely living in the U.S., -but with no expressed intent to become Americans, were viewed as aliens who remained under the authority of a foreign power and had a citizen’s duty to obey its orders, including serving in its military.
From the perspective of the U.S. Government, any child born to them in the U.S. was in the same category as their father. Alien.
At maturity such sons could choose to naturalize and become citizens or they could remain as citizens of their father’s country. They could not do both from the standpoint of the American government. There was no dual-citizenship based on native-birth (other than within individual states that allowed it of their immigrants’ children).
That was the situation by the choice of the American law-makers and it was executed by the executive branch as the law of the land. But six justices of the high court overthrew the status quo using stealth, deception and silence, -without even addressing it.
They may, or may not, have been aware of the implications of what they decided, but its implications were recognized by the executive branch and its Attorney General when the next war involving conscription appeared a generation later (World War I).
What was the implication? It was that since the subjection that a child, -a son, is born under is that of his father, then it could only be assumed that if the sons of foreigners were declared to be U.S. citizens per the 14th Amendment (by the high court in the U.S. v Wong Kim Ark decision of 1898), and it was based on fulfilling the subjection requirement of the amendment, then, by extrapolation, the father must have been subject also, -subject to the American government’s authority over male American citizens even though he was still subject to a foreign power and had expressed no intent to change that.
The consequence for immigrant men was that they became, contrary to the law in the Civil War, subject to conscription and military service in war.
I knew an elderly Mexican national who told me that he didn’t agree with that view, -one which the government sought to force him to comply with while living in the U.S. during WW II. They arrested him, tried him, convicted him, and sent him to a federal penitentiary, -and all because of the Supreme Court ruling that alien-born children are Americans if born within U.S. borders.
The amendment does not spell-out who is subject and who is not, so the court imposed its choice and thereby made maybe millions of native-born aliens into Americans. That was citizenship by jus soli.
Because of that decision, and the vague, philosophically non-descript constitutionally elegant wording of the amendment, it became erroneously assumed that we had officially become a jus soli nation that was no longer a jus sanguinis nation. That impression was totally wrong. There was no change except for freed slaves and the tiny fraction of children born to foreign immigrants living permanently in America.
By contrast, the Mexican Constitution states that all persons born in Mexico possess Mexican citizenship at adulthood, -being born as Mexican nationals. It has no secondary or accompanying requirement of subjection because it is assumed to be automatic. That seemed to establish Mexico as a jus soli nation by law. We have no such law because the 14th Amendment is not that simple. It has two requirements, -not just the one of native-birth alone. But now, our subjection requirement is ignored, and misunderstood as if it doesn’t even exist.
We are ignorantly viewed by all as being a jus soli nation when in fact we are not. It is not spelled-out anywhere that we are,…not by any legislation or court opinion or constitutional amendment.
There is nothing other than presumption based on misunderstanding. What goes unrecognized is the fact that the citizenship of natural citizens is of the same source as it has always been. And they constitute 97% of the citizenry of the nation. They are/ were citizens by blood inheritance,…as before the formation of the United States, -before the passage of the 14th Amendment, and before and after the Wong decision of the court.
The foolishness of considering the United States as being a jus soli nation can be illustrated by several analogies. A precious metals collector has a supply of gold, and also a supply of lead. If he is dishonest, he might mix 10% lead into his gold. If so, he would have what? A gold alloy. But if he mixed 90% lead into some gold, what would he have? Not a gold alloy but a lead alloy. It’s all about percentage.
Similarly, if a painter mixed a cup of black paint into a gallon of white, what would that produce? Would it be a “color” in the white family (beige, egg-shell, cream, etc.) or in the black-gray family? Everyone would consider it to not be in the white family regardless of the fact that it would be only one sixteenth black. That description wouldn’t reflect reality.
Similarly, if a person is one sixteenth Negro, are they considered to be black or white? Did you know that there are names for people who are half, fourth, and eighth African-American. The slave-owner societies used them to accurately describe their human property. Does calling someone “ Black” -though only one sixteenth Black, make sense? Did it make sense for Elizabeth Warren to consider herself of Native-American descent when her word-of-mouth history meant she was only one thirty-second Indian?
Does it make sense to label the United States a jus soli nation when the annual number of legal alien-born babies is only about .1 % of the nation’s population? -when only about ten percent of the babies born annually are born of Green Card immigrants? If that figure was over 50% then it would make sense, but ten percent? If there were no abortions and no contraception, that figure might be less that three percent.
So the facts and sane thinking dictate that America is not a jus soli nation and should not be labeled as such on the basis of a sliver of its newborns.
If the court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment had been the opposite, then alien-born children would not even be U.S. citizens, -much less mis-identified as natural born citizens.
By that Supreme Court ruling, alien-born jus soli children delivered from the womb on U.S. soil are declared to be U.S. citizens, but no ruling nor any fiction of law can make them actual natural citizens because that results solely from nature, by parentage, by blood, by natural inheritance.
I wrote that America is founded on a belief in equality, including a belief in the equality of all male citizens regardless of how they became citizens. That doctrine is the basis of the legal fiction that all citizens are natural citizens, -either by birth to citizens or by natural-ization. That is not the case in Mexico. They do not have a doctrine of equality. Their naturalized citizens are not equal to their native-born and natural citizens.
Mexican law distinguishes between naturalized citizens and natural-born citizens in many ways. Under the Mexican Constitution, naturalized citizens are prohibited from serving in a wide array of positions, mostly governmental. Naturalized Mexicans cannot occupy any of following posts:
The Mexican military during peacetime
Policeman or Mayor
A member of the legislature of Mexico City
Governor of a Mexican state
Member of the Congress of Mexico
Member of the Supreme Court of Mexico
President of Mexico
In the United States, only the office of President is off-limits to naturalized citizens because he who wields the power of the American military must be a natural born American. Citizen born. Any would-be candidate who is only “a citizen of the United States” and is not born of Americans, is prohibited by the Constitution from holding that office.
Acquisition of Nationality in Mexico
According to the 30th article of the Constitution of Mexico, there are two ways in which a person can acquire the Mexican nationality; by birth and by naturalization.
Nationality via birth:
Those who are Mexicans by birth (or born Mexican) include all those:
born in Mexican territory regardless of their parents’ nationality;
born abroad if one or both of their parents was a Mexican national by naturalization or was born in Mexican territory;
or born abroad if one or both of their parents was a natural Mexican national.
What is missing is any mention of any principle. The phrase “Mexican by birth” does not mean only what it says but instead means also “Mexican by law”.
“By birth” is distorted to included “by birth location”, -which is NOT birth but merely a measure of geography. Birth can take place in outer space. What are the boundaries or borders up there? What would “space-born” have to do with birth location? Nothing, because birth is a biological event, and is not connected to earth coordinates.
So the correct terminology is; “at birth or by birth”, and not “Mexican born” or “Mexican by birth”. “At birth” relates to a prescription of law mandated by government and based on a native-birth location. “Mexican by birth” tells us nothing about whether a child was alien-born or citizen-born. It contains no clue as to parentage because natural Mexicans are lumped in together with jus soli Mexicans who obtain citizenship by allowance of the Mexican Constitution and not by natural means.
It’s like jus soli and jus sanguinis are placed into a blender together, mixed well, and then the result is described in law as their national policy. Neither principle is explained or mentioned as a controlling principle. Since they follow both they ignore both in the constitution’s wording.
But that absence of specificity and clarity does not mean that neither are adhered to when in fact both are. That’s the simple solution to proving nationality, -just describe the circumstances and don’t illuminate the principles involved. It’s much easier to prove where you were born (thanks to the invention of birth certificates) than to prove that your parents were citizens at the time of your birth, and you therefore were a natural inheritor of their nationality. That complication is a huge part of most of the confusion regarding citizenship principles.
PS. Mexican nationality entails several obligations set forth in the 31st article of the Constitution, namely:
Ensure one’s children attend public or private schools; as well as military education as and if required by the law;
to attend their municipality’s lessons of civic and military instruction;
to enlist and serve in the National Guard to defend the independence, territory, honor, rights and interests of the nation;
to contribute to the public expenditures through their taxes;…
We should be so patriotic in America, but atheists hate American patriotism because it is so rife with mentions of God and war. That’s why it’s been banished from the schools and it’s songs are avoided. They are now MIA in America.
I once searched an elementary school’s library to find the words to America The Beautiful. No book of patriotic songs existed in that library, and I assume, that school. And that was in “Republican Orange County”, California.
The Liberal, Progressive, Secular Humanist, Socialist, Atheist movement has won in American public schools. They have been gutted of references that inspire patriotism (‘cause that fosters nationalism and nationalism is bad because it fosters wars) and faith (because it comes with doctrines of morality that produce a sense of guilt, and guilt and shame are to be avoided. So patriotism, faith, and morality are pretty much passe wherever the “transformers” of society continue to succeed in having their unAmerican way.
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by Adrien Nash Jan. 2014 http://obama–nation.com
Wikipedia: As the British Empire came into existence by expansion of the territory claimed by the Crown, the dominion (or power & authority) of the monarchy and government expanded. British subjects included not only persons within the United Kingdom but also those throughout the British Empire. Individuals born under the British dominion were subject either as a result of birth to subjects or as a result of the allowance of or claim of the Crown over all souls born on its soil, which added the alien-born children of foreign immigrants.
Under the Divine Right of Kings, they both were claimed to be naturally subject to the King by obligation, having “a ‘natural allegiance’ to the crown as a ‘debt of gratitude’ to the crown for protecting them through childhood. Therefore, citizenship by birth was perpetual and could not be, at common law, removed or revoked” regardless of emigration outside of the empire and naturalization as citizens of other non-British nations. The crown owned them for life by the doctrine that legitimized his dictatorship, -with him serving as the divinely-determined ruler of men chosen by divine fiat.
“By the same reasoning, an ‘alien’, or foreign born resident, was seen as unable to revoke their relationship with their place of birth [the sovereign under whose dominion they were born]. Therefore, at English common law, foreign-born individuals could not become British subjects through any procedure or ceremony.
Some exceptions to this general principle [i.e., concept, idea, philosophy, position] existed in the common law, to recognize the situation of children born on foreign soil to English (or British after the Act of Union 1707) subjects. The earliest exception was the children of the King’s ambassadors, who acquired English citizenship even if not born in England [via Natural Law, patrilineal descent, political inheritance, blood, -not borders].
A later, broader, exception was enacted by the Status of Children Born Abroad Act 1350 (25 Edw. 3 Stat. 1) to allow children born abroad to two English parents to be English. Later, the British Nationality Act 1772 (13 Geo. 3 c. 21), made general provision allowing natural-born allegiance (citizenship) to be assumed if the father alone were British.
Generally then, there was no process by which a ‘foreigner’, not of British parents, (owing life-long allegiance to a foreign king) could become a British subject. [no dual-subjects] However, two procedures existed by which the individual could become a British subject with some of the rights of subjects. Firstly, ‘naturalisation’ granted all the legal rights of subjects except political rights (e.g. holding office) but required an act of Parliament be passed. [no doubt it wasn't cheap] Alternatively, denization allowed a person to gain the rights of subjects other than political rights and was granted by the monarch as an exercise of royal prerogative.
Denization remained the usual form by which foreign-born subjects swore allegiance to the crown [before an agent of the Crown] until general naturalisation acts were passed [beginning] in 1844,…
The 1870 legislation introduced the concept of renunciation of British nationality, and provided for the first time that British women who married foreign men should lose their British nationality. This was a radical break from the common law doctrine that citizenship could not be removed, renounced, or revoked.
The loss of nationality at marriage [which the U.S. copied in the Naturalization Act of 1907] was changed with the adoption of the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914. This codified for the first time the law relating to British nationality.
British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914
On 1 January 1915. British subject status was acquired as follows:
- birth within His Majesty’s dominions
- naturalisation in the United Kingdom…
- descent through the legitimate male line (child born outside His Majesty’s dominions to a British subject father)…
- foreign women who married British subject men
- former British subjects who had lost British subject status on marriage or through a parent’s loss of status could resume it in specific circumstances (e.g. if a woman became widowed, or children upon turning 21).
British subject status was normally lost by:
- naturalisation in a foreign state, such as the United States of America or France
- in the case of a woman, upon marriage to a foreign man. Prior to 1933, British subject status was lost even if the woman did not acquire her husband’s nationality.
- a child of a father who lost British subject status, provided the child also had the father’s new nationality. [the children follow the status of the father, -that was American law or policy as well]
Citizenship by Descent
Prior to 1983, as a general rule, British nationality could be transmitted from only the father, and parents were required to be married.