Monday, February 22, 2016

Donald Trump Is Right to Retweet that Marco Rubio Is Not a Natural Born Citizen 

                                  By Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
                                                     February 22, 2016

Image result for image the Fourteenth AmendmentDonald Trump retweeted that both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are not natural born citizens.  See .  George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, February 21, 2016, asked Trump on ABC’s “This Week” about his Saturday retweet and whether he really believed that Marco Rubio was not a natural born citizen.  See at about 1:30 at  ("Donald Trump on His South Carolina Primary Win, the GOP, and the Cruz Campaign Tactics") and and .  Trump responded:  “I think the lawyers have to determine it.”  It was a retweet. Not so much with Marco, I’m not really that familiar with Marco’s circumstances.  I know that Ted has a problem.”  Again, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump why he would retweet the message if he was not be sure whether Rubio was a natural born citizen.  Trump said he did it because “I’m not sure.”  Stephanopoulos responded in amazement:  “You’re really not sure?”  Trump responded:  “I don’t know.  I’ve never really looked at it, honestly George.”  Again, Stephanopoulos forged forward “You’re not sure?”  Trump then said that he has contact with 14 million people on social media and “I retweet things and we start a dialogue.  It’s very interesting.” 

Donald Trump is correct for retweeting that Marco Rubio is not a natural born citizen and therefore not eligible to be President. 

A natural born citizen is a citizen by virtue of birth and birth alone.  But birth does not exist in a vacuum.  There are circumstances that exist at the time of birth.  Those circumstances are, among many, the parents to whom one is born and the place where one is born.  In order to have a valid definition of the natural born citizen, it is necessary that we take these birth circumstances and make them part of a definition.

There does, indeed, exist a definition that contains the necessary and sufficient birth circumstances that must exist in order for one to be a natural born citizen.  The historical and legal record demonstrates that in order to be a citizen by virtue of birth alone, one must be born in the country to parents who were its citizen at the time of the child’s birth.  Indeed, a natural born citizen is a child born or reputed born in the country to parents who were its citizens at the time of the child’s birth.  See Emer de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Sections 212 to 217 (1758) (1797) ("The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens"); Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875) (“The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further, and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction, without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class, there have been doubts, but never as to the first”); accord U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 665 (1898) ("The child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle").  All other birth circumstances, i.e., either not being born in the country or not being born to two citizen parents, do not produce citizenship by virtue of birth alone. 

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