Thursday, January 7, 2016

Seriously, is this the best they can do?

Cruz must have a squeaky clean past if the best that his opponents can do is come up with some legislative maneuvering around the Gang of 8 bill and his natural born citizen status.  On the Gang of 8 bill they first were trying to smear him as pro-amnesty because of an amendment that he proposed which closed the pathway to citizenship, as if he supported amnesty, just not citizenship.  Now they have even gone through 1,000 pages of transcripts of a 5 day markup of a bill to show that he differed on a few points with the anti-immigrant Jeff Sessions.  This is just so lame.  First, as the anti-immigrant folks are firmly behind Cruz, nobody is going to really doubt his bona fide's on this issue.  Second, the criticisms are so nitpicky that no ordinary person will have the attention span long enough to be reached by the criticism.  It's a total waste of time.  And no matter how much they try to smear Cruz with this, he is stronger on immigration than just about every other candidate on that stage.  You really think people will say "Oh, Cruz is weak on immigration, I'm going to vote for Rubio".  Give me a break.

On the natural born citizen issue, it is just lame.  Luckily, the leftist media has actually served a purpose for once by branding birtherism as crazy (though they did it to defend Obama).  And no matter what, Cruz is a natural born citizen.  He is a US citizen and never had to be "naturalized", hence he is a natural born citizen.  It's pretty clear. And don't take my word for it, take the word of two former Solicitor Generals in the Harvard Law Review:

No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 1790 provided that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States . . . .”

The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of “natural born Citizen” that included persons born abroad to citizen parents.

The proviso in the Naturalization Act of 1790 underscores that while the concept of “natural born Citizen” has remained constant and plainly includes someone who is a citizen from birth by descent without the need to undergo naturalization proceedings, the details of which individuals born abroad to a citizen parent qualify as citizens from birth have changed. The pre-Revolution British statutes sometimes focused on paternity such that only children of citizen fathers were granted citizenship at birth.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 expanded the class of citizens at birth to include children born abroad of citizen mothers as long as the father had at least been resident in the United States at some point. But Congress eliminated that differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers before any of the potential candidates in the current presidential election were born. Thus, in the relevant time period, and subject to certain residency requirements, children born abroad of a citizen parent were citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are “natural born Citizens.”

While the field of candidates for the next presidential election is still taking shape, at least one potential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, was born in a Canadian hospital to a U.S. citizen mother. Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.

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