Since being named as Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential running mate the internet trolls have come out arguing that Kamala Harris does not meet the eligibility requirements as a “natural born” citizen because her mother is Indian and her father is Jamaican. Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California.
These recent claims stem from an op-ed piece written in Newsweek by a man named John Eastman. President Trump has refused to refute his arguments in order to rally his more racist supporters against her.
The question of “what is a natural-born citizen” has already been answered, in 1898. In United States v. Wong Kim Ark stated that even if both parents are foreign citizens that under the Fourteenth Amendment a child born in the United States is a citizen of the United States and does not need to be naturalized. And in 1939 the Supreme Court ruled in Perkins v. Elg that a person born in the United States but raised elsewhere was still an American citizen. And in that ruling, it stated that said person could still be “president of the United States.”
In a 2012 New York case, Strunk v. N.Y. State Board of Elections, the pro se plaintiff challenged Barack Obama’s presence on the presidential ballot, based on his own interpretation that “natural born citizen” required the president “to have been born on United States soil and have two United States born parents” (emphasis added). To this, the Court responded, “Article II, section 1, clause 5 does not state this. No legal authority has ever stated that the Natural Born Citizen clause means what plaintiff Strunk claims it says. … Moreover, President Obama is the sixth U.S. President to have had one or both of his parents not born on U.S. soil”. The opinion then listed Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Chester A. Arthur, Woodrow Wilson, and Herbert Hoover.
So the Supreme Court ruled in 1898 that a person born in the United States is a US citizen. So this “debate” should be over. Kamala Harris has lived all but four years of her life in the United States when her mother took her family to Canada in her teenage years. So what is this debate, really.
Kamala Harris is a mixed raced Black and South Asian woman. She is a first-generation American in her family, but if her parents had been white I do not think there would be an issue.
I was born in Germany to two parents who are both American Citizens. My parents were in the military at the time. Would this be an issue if I ever ran for president? Nope. It wasn’t an issue for John McCain who was similarly born overseas because his father was in the military. Herbert Hoover’s mother was Canadian, and nobody questioned Hoover’s eligibility to be president.
This is another election year smoke screen. President Trump wants to keep you blissfully unaware of what is going on and have you pay attention to something dumb. If you disagree with Kamala Harris, her criminal justice record, or her politics that’s fine. But let’s stop listening to racist conspiracy theories. Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, she has lived all but four years of her teenage life in the United States. She is the American dream, the daughter of immigrants that worked hard and has done well for herself. Isn’t that what the Statue of Liberty is meant to stand for?