Born in the USA

Aug 11, 2009 • alan


We can all thank Bruce Springsteen for planting the idea in our heads that a person has to be born in the United States in order to be eligible to become president.

Article II of the US Constitution clearly states the requirements, that a president must be “a natural born Citizen”. Nowhere does it state that the person must be born in the United States. It is true that most people who are born in the US are granted citizenship at birth. It is also true that people who are born outside of the US, from one or more US citizen parents, can also be granted US citizenship at birth.

When my daughter was born in Singapore, many of my friends made the comment that “she can never become president”. However, shortly after her birth, the US Consulate in Singapore presented us with a “Consular Report of Birth of a Citizen of the United States of America”, or Form FS-240. This form clearly declares that my daughter was born a US Citizen, and it is recognized by the US government as proof.

I bring this up because of the current scuttlebutt, claiming that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and therefore can not legitimately act as president. I am not going to get into that argument.

But I do want to clarify that being born in the US is not a requirement for citizenship, and it is not a requirement for becoming president.

I can only hope that Audrey has this same problem in 30 years.