Saturday, March 01, 2008

John McCain's Citizenship

I keep hearing callers to radio talk shows raise the question of whether or not John McCain qualifies as a "natural born citizen" because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, then a US territory, now a part of the Republic of Panama. My understanding has always been that as long as one or both of your parents is a US citizen, then any children they have, no matter where they are born, are considered natural born citizens also. As it turns out, the first Congress took care of seeing to it that was made clear:
"The First Congress, in the first law that it enacted concerning citizenship, declared 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”, with the proviso that their fathers must have resided in the United States at some point. I Stat. 104 (1790)."

Now, can we please get on with discussing real issues?
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