The constitution says in Article II Section 1:
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President
Some people think that the 14th Amendment adds to this. I don’t believe it does. It reads:
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.
The purpose of the 14th Amendment is to give legal equality to the freed slaves and to reintegrate the South into the Union, and it’s my contention that the only purpose of this sentence is to affirm the citizenship of anyone who might have not been considered a citizen because they were born a slave or because they were citizens of a state that claimed to secede from the United States. I don’t believe the intent was to grant birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens, but that’s the topic of another post.
While the Constitution gives Congress the right to grant citizenship to anyone it wants, Congress can’t rewrite the intent of the what the Constitution means by “natural born citizen” in Article II Section1. So for example, Congress can grant automatic citizenship to anyone born to an American citizen anywhere in the world, but that doesn’t make such children “natural born citizens” who qualify to be president.
At this Wikipedia article, there is compelling evidence that in the early 19th century, it was believed that in order to be a natural born citizen, one needed to meet three requirements: (1) born in one of the states of the United States; (2) mother was a U.S. citizen at time of birth; and (3) father was a U.S. citizen at time of birth.
And then, Chester Arthur became president after Garfield was assassinated, but like Obama, Chester Arthur’s father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth. Nevertheless, the nation acquiesced to this broadening of the meaning of natural born citizenship.
What happens if the mother doesn’t know who the father is? Perhaps at the time of the founding of the Constitution, the Framers assumed only a prostitute would sleep around with many men and therefore not know who the father of her own baby was, and maybe they naively assumed that the child of a woman with such loose morals would never become president.
I think we need to put a stop to the further watering down of the natural-born-citizen clause. Cruz is not a natural born citizen. He was born in a foreign country and not in the United States, his mother was domiciled in that foreign country at the time he was born (and continued living there until he was 4 years old), his father was neither a citizen or even a resident of the United States at the time he was born.