"Senator Cruz is a U.S. citizen by birth" but not Pres. Obama? Special Comment by my 75-year-old friend


birther sign racist kenya

My impassioned "72-year-old"  friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about Republican hypocrisy and birtherism. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

Natural Born Citizen

Yesterday, Byron York of the Washington Examiner wrote an article titled, "Spokesman: 'Senator Cruz is a U.S. citizen by birth'." The gist of the article is whether Sen. Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Canada, would be eligible to run for President.

Sen. Cruz's father was born in Cuba and not an American citizen at his time of birth, and his mother was born and raised in America. Since his mother was an American citizen, it made Sen. Cruz a U.S. citizen. The article addresses the Constitution saying that an American President has to be a "natural born citizen", and that currently, it's generally thought to mean a "citizen at birth." The article mentions a U.S. law, 8 U.S. Code 1401,  which defines who is a citizen at birth.  I will only talk about section (g), which reads as follows:

(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years.

This provision makes Sen. Cruz a citizen at birth.

Mr. York,  then quotes Theodore Olson after successfully defending Sen. McCain's eligibility to be president, in a 2008 lawsuit,  “My conclusion would be that if you are a citizen as a consequence of your birth, that’s a natural-born citizen.”

Mr. York then ends the article with this statement,  "That would likely be the conclusion of any challenge to Cruz’s eligibility, as well."

Now we all know President Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu Hawaii. To answer his skeptics  about whether he was born in the United States, President Obama, provided a copy of his long form birth certificate which was certified by the state, proving he is a "natural-born citizen"of the United States.

Still to this day, there are Americans who don't believe President Obama was born in the United States, but was born  in Kenya. I can understand why the Obama campaign staff never wanted to address Section (g) of U.S. Code 1401, as he is a " natural born citizen."

So lets assume, for argument sake, the birthers' far fetched idea that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and look at the facts, as they were used by Mr. York, in his article about Sen. Cruz.

  • Obama's father wasn't a U.S. citizen
  • Obama's mother was an born in Wichita, Kansas in 1942. The family moved to Honolulu Hawaii, in 1960, which became a state in 1959. His mother met both the five year and two year requirements, under section (g)

Therefore, using Mr. Olsen's theory, even if Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, he would be a U.S. citizen by consequence of birth and therefore, considered a natural born citizen, eligible to be President of the United States.

I've known about this provision in the code for over two years and often wondered why it was never discussed, by the media, in addressing the Birther issue.

Why is someone in the media talking about section (g) now? Could it be that it might possibly affect the presidential aspirations of a Republican candidate?

So I guess, should Sen. Cruz decide to run for president in 2016, the issue of what the definition "natural born citizen" really means in the Constitution will have to be addressed.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.