Citizenship questions cloud candidate’s eligibility

The constitutional requirement that the president be a “natural-born citizen” of the United States isn’t as clear cut as many suppose.

By Miguel De La Torre

A candidate for the presidency of the United States of America was not born in the United States. Not only was his father not an American, born in some third-world country, but so was the candidate. And yet, no state removed his name from the election ballot.

President obamaNineteenth-century case law clearly shows that our founding fathers wanted to prevent any future president from being embroiled in citizenship conflicts. And yet, the wisdom of the framers of the Constitution is ignored because the presidential candidate is supported by a small, yet powerful, segment of the population wanting to impose their will on the nation. The Constitution can be ignored because the foreign-born candidate is in the pocket of those who will benefit by his election.

No, I’m not talking about Barack Obama. He was born in Hawaii and has the papers to prove it. The presidential candidate who ran for president that was not born in the United States is Gov. Romney -- not Mitt, but George.

George W  RomneyGeorge W. Romney was born on July 8, 1907, in Colonia Dublán of Galeana in the state of Chihuahua (one of the Mormon colonies in Mexico). In 1968, George Romney was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.

Initially he was a front-runner; but as the campaign progressed, he fell behind Richard Nixon in the polls. Claiming he was “brain washed” into previously supporting the Vietnam War doomed his candidacy. And yet, no one seemed to mind that he was not born in the United States.

Here is where it gets interesting. Because George Romney was born in Mexico and was a Mexican citizen, questions exist if he was ever naturalized as a U.S. citizen. I was born in Cuba, naturalized in 1969, and have the papers to prove it. George Romney’s papers were never made available.

Mitt Romney, according to the law, is thus considered a Mexican because his father was born there, and a U.S. citizen because he was born here. Mitt Romney is the original “anchor baby.”

This may prove problematic if Republicans in Congress get their way and pass legislation stripping the children of undocumented immigrants of their U.S. citizenship. Romney may find that he would have to “self-deport” to Mexico.

Under Mexican law, children of Mexican citizens are also considered to have Mexican nationality. If Mitt Romney were to travel to Mexico to visit his ancestral home, he would be considered a Mexican by local authorities. If he gets into trouble with Mexican law, his dual nationality status would hamper U.S. government efforts to provide consular protection.

While Mexico sees Mitt Romney as having dual nationality, the U.S. government considers that Romney has dual citizenship, thus complicating the situation. According to the U.S. State Department, “The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time.”

Mitt RomneyIf this is true, then Mitt Romney, under Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution, is not a natural-born citizen and therefore ineligible for the office of president of the United States.

Here is the irony of our presidential political process and the way racism plays a major part. Obama was born in the United States, but he doesn’t “look” like a U.S. president. In other words, he is black, the son of an African Kenyan.

For some, their racism chafes against the reality of a black president. Thus they argue that he cannot be president because he really is not an American -- regardless of how many times he produces his Hawaiian birth certificate.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, “looks” like a U.S. president. If we are going to question anyone’s citizenship it should be his, but we don’t. If anyone should be showing their papers, it is Romney who should make his father’s nationalization papers available.

This will never be an issue, of course. Why? Because he has the proper skin hue.

OPINION: Views expressed in Baptist News Global columns and commentaries are solely those of the authors.