Is Superman and illegal alien?

Anything in the canons of DC to suggest that Superman ever naturalized?

Well, in an “alternate future” sort of story, Superman was running for President, and the Supreme Court ruled that since his “Birthing Matrix” rocket opened on American soil, he was born in America (and certainly a citizen).

I don’t know if that was ever confirmed in an in-continuity story, but presumably the court ruling would have been the same if it had ever been an issue.

Whether the new “Birthright” origin for Superman still allows for this, I’m not certain.

My understanding is that the birthing matrix has been retconned out of Superman’s origin. If that’s true (I think it is, but I’m not sure), Superman would indeed be an illegal alien. Although if the issue ever came to light, Congress could and most likely would pass a private bill naturalizing him.


Wasn’t he adopted by the Kents? Wouldn’t that make him legal?

Unless they’ve changed the backstory since I was reading the comics (mumble) ago, the Kents passed him off as their natural child. So, he has fraudulent papers as Clark. Now, as Kal-El, he arrived without papers, so he’s illegal (a skyback? :wink: )

However, Supe has almost always been shown as a friend of everyone governmental, surely he’s been naturalized at some time. Would that cover Clark? I dunno.

What I’d like to know is, how can he legally enter any country without a passport? Seems to me DC addressed this issue at some point, where the UN granted him a special right to travel into any nation or place on Earth…

Yeah, you try asking Superman to leave the country.

But if he’s Moral, he should get his ass naturalized.

Ah, well oficially superman doesn’t live in the US. His official address, as far as the public knows, is : Fortress Of Solitude, Secret Location, Antarctica (or Andes, or North Pole, it changes)He is assumed to be a visitor, and given the same status as any oither guest going to the US for business or tourism.

Besides, would you want to be the one asking for his passport?

And the rest of him, too.


Why?! He’s not evil. He shouldn’t yell at me or hurt me for doing a job! He should hie himself (ass and all, Bosda) down to the local Post Office and get the forms and submit them.

Alternately he could just fly round and round the earth and change it so he was always naturalized, and then fly around giving everyone a passionate kiss so they forget he wasn’t originally. :dubious:

Unless he’s been naturalised, Superman is stateless. I suppose he could apply for refugee status, given that he can’t return to the planet that he came from. (And all of this overlooks the big question of whether Superman is a human being, and hence a person to whom all these citizenship questions apply.)

Ah, but one can argue that he’s is an American citizen, under TITLE 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter III, Part I, § 1401:

I’m not sure what that phrase “until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years” means, but it presumably means more than just common gossip about someone’s extraterrestrial origins, which, let’s face it, is a rather improbable hypothesis. I would have thought that to deprive someone of citizenship under this section, it would mean “shown in a court of law”. If the INS (or whatever it was called at the relevant time) didn’t take any steps to prove Supes’ extra-terrestrial birth prior to him turning 21, then’s he’s a natural born US citizen, and can run for President.

But this is a question that would need to be answered. What about if an alien, a real alien, was born in the States?

Back in the 1950s (or maybe early 1960s) Superman was made a citizen of the planet by the United Nations, IIRC. Of course, that was many retcons ago.

I don’t even know whether Superman is a known alien, these days. And what about the rest of the superheroes? Since nobody knows their secret identities, none of them can have passports either. I wouldn’t be surprised if there had been a story in which the Justice Society (and maybe also the Justice League) were given permission to do battle against evil anywhere.

It would be very funny if some supervillain were to be imprisoned on a lack of passport violation. But then, whose court would try them?

It’s really, really best not to think about these things.

Even if we reject the “birthing matrix” idea as being retconned, silly, or both, I believe there’s a principle in law that an abandoned infant found in a country’s territory is legally presumed to have been born in that country. And being born on Krypton doesn’t even necessarily preclude the possibility that he was born in the US, if one takes the principle of ad coelum et ad inferos literally. Most likely, it would be impossible to determine whether Krypton were in American space at the moment of Kal-El’s birth, so the presumption based on where the infant was found would still be valid.

Um…could you explain this for the benefit of us stoopid ones?

I Googled it.

Thanks! From your link:

Chronos, any more info? Is it observed?

I don’t think adoption automatically confers citizenship in all cases. But anyway, that would apply to Clark Kent only. If Superman wanted to claim that, he would have to reveal his identity.