Kamala Harris is the new pick of Democratic ticket as the VP nominee. She is an interesting woman.
Her mother was a Tamilian Hindu from India, while her father was a black Christian from Jamaica. Her father, Donald Harris, did not really raise her. It was her mother who raised her.
She however goes off as a “black person”.
Now, an interesting piece of information has come to light – that Kamala Harris was not a “natural born citizen.” Even though she was born in the US, her parents were not US citizens. She was an anchor baby. They used her status to stay permanently.
This is called an Anchor baby. Kamala Harris was really an anchor baby. Now, that in itself does not strip her right of being a “natural-born citizen” as many judgments show. However, there are nuances which need to be discussed and clarified.
The leftist media in the US, however, is using the “Birther” epithet to qualify even the question about her as racist. One should ask question about someone who is running for the top office of the land.
A historic candidate of color appears on a national ticket and the Default Twitter Avatar People go wild sharing all the reasons they think that candidate is secretly foreign born and, thus, ineligible for high office. Sound familiar? The birthers are back, posting their claims about where Kamala Harris was born and what her parents’ background really was.Source
No it wasn’t the same thing at all. What was being said about Obama was not the same as what is being said about Kamala Harris. Let us understand.
John Eastman, Professor of Law at Chapman University and Senior Fellow at Claremont Institute has tried to explain.
Harris is ineligible because neither of her parents was an American citizen when she was born in California. Border hawks have been pushing to reinterpret the Fourteenth Amendment that way for years, in order to take away the incentive of illegal aliens to cross the border, give birth on U.S. soil, then use their child’s natural-born citizenship to qualify for remaining here permanently as well. Eastman’s argument is that, under the law as it stood when Harris was born, and given that her parents were then temporary visitors to the U.S., she wasn’t “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States at her birth and therefore wasn’t a natural-born citizen. (Source)
Over the years the US laws have changed and so have the interpretations regarding citizenship. Now, it is understood that the mere act of being born in the US makes you a “natural-born citizen”. It was not so earlier. At least until the late 1960s. Harris was born in 1964.
The real crux is the 14th Amendment’s Citizenship Clause. It stipulates:
“all persons born…in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.”
Birth of a person is not a sufficient cause for citizenship. The “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States laws is a critical piece as well.
In fact, the US Supreme Court has held that view in Slaughter-House Cases in 1872 and in Elk v. Wilkins, in 1884. In fact, the State Department issued directives to this effect as well.
Another important case was decided in 1898 – the Wong Kim Ark case.
Wong Kim Ark was born in San Francisco to parents who were both Chinese citizens who resided in the United States at the time. At age 21, he returned to China to visit his parents who had previously resided in the United States for 20 years. When he returned to the United States, Wong was denied entry on the ground that he was not a citizen.
Although Wong was admitted as a citizen of the US, Eastman discusses what the intent of the court was not in its judgment, even when it is presented as conclusive evidence of people born in the US are natural-born citizens.
The Supreme Court’s subsequent decision in Wong Kim Ark is not to the contrary. At issue there was a child born to Chinese immigrants who had become lawful, permanent residents in the United States—”domiciled” was the legally significant word used by the Court. But that was the extent of the Court’s holding (as opposed to broader language that was dicta, and therefore not binding). Indeed, the Supreme Court has never held that anyone born on U.S. soil, no matter the circumstances of the parents, is automatically a U.S. citizen.(Source)
Eastman further clarifies what he is trying to say. Its a question on clarification of Harris’ situation and what were the facts of the case?
Were Harris’ parents lawful permanent residents at the time of her birth? If so, then under the actual holding of Wong Kim Ark, she should be deemed a citizen at birth—that is, a natural-born citizen—and hence eligible. Or were they instead, as seems to be the case, merely temporary visitors, perhaps on student visas issued pursuant to Section 101(15)(F) of Title I of the 1952 Immigration Act? If the latter were indeed the case, then derivatively from her parents, Harris was not subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States at birth, but instead owed her allegiance to a foreign power or powers—Jamaica, in the case of her father, and India, in the case of her mother—and was therefore not entitled to birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment as originally understood.
Another important question is – when did Kamala Harris’ father become a naturalized citizen? And when did her mother become a naturalized citizen? And did she ever become one?
Interestingly, her election to Senate may have been unlawful as well. Here are the reasons.
Her father’s biographical page at Stanford University identifies his citizenship status as follows: “Jamaica (by birth); U.S. (by naturalization).” But there is some dispute over whether he was in fact ever naturalized, and it is also unclear whether Harris’ mother ever became a naturalized citizen. If neither was ever naturalized, or at least not naturalized before Harris’ 16th birthday (which would have allowed her to obtain citizenship derived from their naturalization under the immigration law, at the time), then she would have had to become naturalized herself in order to be a citizen. That does not appear to have ever happened, yet without it, she could not have been “nine Years a Citizen of the United States” before her election to the U.S. Senate.
The question therefore is – did she become ‘naturalized’ to become a citizen if her father did not become naturalized until Harris’ 16th birthday?
These questions will haunt her campaign going forward. Maybe they won’t disqualify her as the VP or President if she wants to become one, but surely it will be enough to cast doubt on her real status.