JOHN McCAIN AN ILLEGAL ALIEN?
OR JUST A NATURALIZED CITIZEN?
He is one or the
other. Either way, he is constitutionally disqualified to be elected President. He is not
a natural born citizen.
Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5 of the
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; neither shall any Person be
eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and
been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
John McCain was born on August 29, 1936 at
the Coco Solo Air Base in the Panama Canal Zone. The Panama Canal
Zone was not even a territory of the United States but was
leased property. To learn more on the background of John McCain
III and his father Admiral John S. Jack McCain click here.
The issue of whether the
Constitution should be amended in order for a naturalized citizen to be president is not
an unfamiliar topic in the GOP primaries. Chris Matthews of Hardball on MSNBC posed this question with regard to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to all the candidates.
The following is the relevant
excerpt from the transcript of that first
GOP debate held on May 03, 2007.
MATTHEWS: Okay. Let me ask you a question regarding immigration. One of prized guests here
today, Governor Schwarzenegger. Looking this man in the eye, answer this question.
Im going to go down the line starting with Governor Romney.
change our Constitution which we believe is divinely inspired (laughter) to
allow men like Mel Martinez, the chairman of your party,
born in Cuba , great patriot, senator from Florida , and Arnold Schwarzenegger to stand here some night?
Never given that a lot of thought, but with Arnold sitting there, Ill give it some thought, but probably
MATTHEWS: No. Woah.
Yes or no?
MR. : I love
the governator, but
MATTHEWS: (Laughs.) Well, weve got two nos.
MR. : -- no,
because I think there are other ideas that we can should be putting forward.
MATTHEWS: Governor Gilmore. Two nos. Were moving here.
No, I dont tend to want to amend this Constitution in a variety of different ways,
and this would be not a good start to do it that way.
MATTHEWS: So thats a no.
Thats a no.
MATTHEWS: Three nos in a row.
After Ive served eight years as president, Id be happy to change the
Constitution for Governor Schwarzenegger. (Laughter.)
MATTHEWS: Three to one.
THOMPSON: We havent seen his endorsement yet, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Okay. Three to one; the nos show.
THOMPSON: Thats a no.
MATTHEWS: Okay. Four nos to one.
MATTHEWS: Five to one.
SEN. MCCAIN: That
depends on whether he endorses me or not. (Laughter.) He and I have many similar
attributes, so I have to seriously consider it.
MATTHEWS: Okay. We dont know there. We got an overwhelming vote against you,
Governor, in your own house. (Laughter.)
REP. PAUL: Im no because I am a strong
supporter of the original intent.
MATTHEWS: Oh, God.
GIULIANI: When he called me up to endorse him, he got me on the phone he said, Will
you endorse me, and I was too afraid to say no. (Laughter.) So
MATTHEWS: Okay, Congressman Tancredo, is it a no or yes?
GIULIANI: I would say yes.
Intimidating as he might be, Im saying no.
MATTHEWS: Okay, we got two yeses here.
mean John. Jim. Im sorry.
was clearly understood by Chris Matthews and all the candidates, including Senator John McCain that:
- Only someone physically born within one of
the States is lawfully qualified to be elected president, and that
- In order for naturalized citizens like
Arnold and John McCain to be qualified an Amendment to the
Constitution under Article V would have to be passed before a naturalized citizen could
legally be elected President.
It has been assumed
incorrectly that children born overseas to US citizens are considered to be
"natural born". They are automatically "naturalized citizens" as a
result of their parents but they are not "natural born citizens".
That misunderstanding is likely rooted in the Naturalization Act of 1790. First
Congress, Session II, Chapter 4, pages 103-104, wherein the relevant part states:
"... And 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
The use of the phrase
"natural born" in the Act of 1790 raises the issue of it having
been unconstitutional, since it was in
conflict with the language of Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 cited
above. The Act of 1790 was not an Article V modification and could not
lawfully change the Constitution.