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Why Nationality Matters in 2016

To secure the presidency there are only three requirements that are mandated by the constitution. These are that the person must be at least 35 years of age, that one must be living in the United States for at least 14 consecutive years, and that the person be a native-born U.S. citizen.[1] In the 2016 Election, frontrunner Donald Trump has stated that the 2nd in the polls Ted Cruz, being born in Canada, could be “very precarious” stating “Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court (meaning that if elected the other party would bring him to court on his eligibility) for two years? That’d be a big problem?”[2] Political as this move may be, it does raise some important concerns.

What defines naturally born?

Should Ted Cruz not have to validate his natural born status, then the election is quite apt to see a shift in what defines a natural born citizen. Let us consider the debate held by The View on this. Where the discussion was filled with sarcasm and joking, there was a question raised on whether a person that is a natural citizen of the United States but has joint citizenship could in reality run for the head of that country. Specifically, a person that is born in Miami with a German father could run for leadership in Germany.

By making the requirements dim, the door is thrown wide open to interpret what constitutes a natural born citizen. It is a dangerous thing when this occurs. For example: If there are two parents who were not born in the United States and that person has gone through the process to become a legal citizen, does this make the child a naturally born citizen? Where some would state that this is not the same issue, I would state that it is a tangent from this.

Constitutionally, the language is clear. This is why elementary students can be taught the information. It is simple. You must be born in the United States to be eligible. When we add into the constitution our interpretations of what these laws are we make the constitution a subjective piece of paper open to the interpretation and wills of other men.

Could this breed terrorism?

While it is clear that Ted Cruz is not a terrorist, the redefining of a natural citizen could open the door to such. Consider if a person that is in ISIS or another radical group had citizenship through one parent in the United States. In a fox news report, it was stated that citizenship and immigration law is causing ISIS to come into the United States. Now, keeping with the one parent in the United States makes you a citizen thought, if a person has a radical parent and has one that is a United States Citizen, then legally that person can run for presidency. Granted, I would hope that there would be an outcry from the people should a person prove to be the son/daughter of a radical if they run for president. Yet, if we allow a person to be considered a person based upon the one parent is a citizen, then that person can be breed for terrorism.

Here is the real threat. If a person is considered a natural citizen by these standards but has a dual citizenship, that person can be breed for terroristic acts. If the mental state of that person is to cause harm to the United States, it is not likely that the person will be forthcoming with information regarding their citizenship. Could a radical be placed in the white house with these standards? Most definitively. A person that believes that radicals are just in certain countries is naive.

Would this issue cause the other two issues to be bent?

As a result of who is a natural citizen, it can be concluded that at least one of the other two stipulations will bend as a result. This would be the duration of residency. If the person is a “natural-born” citizen and spends the first 1 years of his or her life in another country going to their schools and learning their theology government and then comes to the United States and lives from the age of 21 to 35 is that, does this make them eligible? They are naturally born, but their upbringing and their major schooling was done in another country.

Additionally, there is not specification on the consecutive years. In theory a person could live every other year in another country (which is a security issue in itself) and still be eligible to run for presidency so long as he or she is naturally born.

Let’s keep it simple

Politicians should know the constitution before putting their hat into the race, and where I am not stating that Ted Cruz should drop out, I am stating that he should validate his citizenship. Interpretations of the requirements should not take place, and those which try to manipulate the constitution should be called upon the manipulation. Of course, if we really wanted to fix the problem, we could always go and ask an elementary student as I am sure they can grasp the simplicity of the text.

Sources and references:
[1] http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/presrequire.htm

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/05/politics/donald-trump-ted-cruz-eligibility/index.html

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