Trump birther question

Twofold question:

Trump was born in the US in 1946.
His mother was born on the Isle of Lewis in 1912.

According to current British nationality law (wikipedia), since 2009, Trump had qualified as someone born to a British mother before 1983.

  1. Is it correct that Trump could be a British citizen for the asking? I assume the “good character” largely means “no negative police record.”

  2. If so, how does this relate the the petition to ban him from the UK? If he were to apply for citizenship by descent, would he be able to override that ban, or would that put him into the “bad character” camp?

I’m also curious as to why none of his opponents, particularly Cruz, bring up the question of potential divided loyalties or some such, though I doubt Cruz is a poster here to answer definitively.

The legal issue in any birther debate is the “natural born citizen” clause in the Constitution, which apparently has not been tested to any great degree in the courts. We do know for sure that it includes people actually born here in the states, and the typical birther argument uses that narrow interpretation, but there haven’t been a lot of test cases at the fringes.

Snopes has a good article talking about this in reference to John McCain’s 2008 candidacy. http://www.snopes.com/politics/mccain/citizen.asp

But in terms of Trump… I can’t imagine anyone defining it so narrowly that an unused optional citizenship would disqualify them.

It’s not a question if he could be President, it’s a question of whether he could be banned from entry to the UK if he is a UK citizen as well as an American citizen.

I can’t answer, but I have an addition to the question. Let’s suppose he DOES get banned, and then gets elected President. Would the ban hold against the President of the US?

It may be that Trump can become a UK citizen simply by applying and paying a fee. However, that does not mean that he is a UK citizen.

(The first few presidents of the US were all British subjects, but nothing in the Constitution made them ineligible to be president for that reason.)

Oops, sorry, didn’t read closely enough. But that is why Cruz or others wouldn’t bring it up as some kind of domestic issue. It’s just not a big enough deal either legally or voter-wise. Any accusation that causes Trump problems contradicts the party’s prior position on McCain and Cruz’s own arguments about himself.

In my personal situation, I am an Irish citizen as well as an American one, but I have no documentation to prove the former. My dad (an Irish immigrant) told me some years back that Irish law says I am, NOT can become, their citizen. I was so doubtful of this that I called the Irish embassy in DC and spoke to someone to verify it. I would have to submit papers and pay a fee to get an Irish passport, but that’s merely documentation of the citizenship I already possess.

I can’t say that English law works the same way, however.

Trump didn’t accuse Cruz of divided loyalties, he addressed the legal question which is unresolved. But Cruz or anyone else with standing can bring this issue up in court, Trump’s status is no more resolved than Cruz’ or anyone else’s. It’s just difficult to see a legal decision that says you have to be born in one of the 50 states following it’s statehood, and both of your parents must be born US citizens in order to become president. It’s only slightly less difficult to see a legal decision that would exclude Cruz, McCain, Obama, or any other credible candidate whose eligibility has been questioned.

Well, GWBush had to get a waiver to visit Canada, as they refuse to allow anyone who ever got a DUI into their country by default. I find it impossible to believe the UK would follow through with a ban on the President of the US entering their country. They’re like our biggest ally.

I could see it being a widely discussed scandal though. The sort of thing they put on TV to avoid talking about real issues. But there is no way the UK will ban the sitting US President from entering their country.

Unless the President brings Air Force bombers and landing troops with him, it’s up to the British to decide who may enter their country. If he wants to stage a military invasion, then the question is up for grabs.

Trump is not a British Citizen, but he is entitled to become a British Citizen by registration, provided he is of “good character”. His bizarre and sinister views and complete lack of moral principle do not, in themselves, disqualify him on the “character” ground; that ground mainly looks towards breaches of the law, and support for terrorism or genocide.

The basis for an entry ban in the UK is not lack of good character, but having engaged in “unacceptable behaviour”. Thus, even if Trump were banned from entering the UK (and he hasn’t been), that would indicate that the government thought that he had engaged in unacceptable behaviour. Were he to apply for citizenship by registration, the question to be considered would be whether he was of “good character”, which is a different question, and from the published guidance it seems to be decided by reference to a narrower range of behaviours

As I see it, being eligible for birthright citizenship is not the same as having it. I cite the case of Conrad Black, who was born in Canada but chose to renounce his citizenship in order to accept a British title. Now he wants it back but having been thrown in jail for fraud he probably won’t get it, despite having been actually born in Canada --the most unambiguous possible claim to citizenship – and is lucky to have been allowed into the country at all by the good graces of his friends in government.

It seems very unlikely that Trump will be banned from the UK because Cameron doesn’t support the Parliamentary motion and it would require his own Home Secretary to enact such a ban. But obviously a number of MPs feel otherwise despite whatever claims to citizenship he might have. If it so happened that there was real support for a ban, it seems unlikely under those circumstances that he would get a positive ruling on a citizenship application from the same Home Office that banned him from entry.

Conrad Black, Lord SingSing, renounced his Canadian citizenship. I imagine, same as American citizenship, renunciation is a one-way street. Once you renounce, you don’t get to claim it back afterwards on the grounds that gave you citizenship in the first place. You burned that bridge. You start like any foreigner asking for the right to enter and reside in a country to which you are not a citizen, and possibly obtain the legal status that leads to naturalization.

If you could claim your citizenship back at any time after renouncing it, then what does that mean? you never renounced it, and you owe all back taxes? Your renunciation is annulled, it never happened like a Vatican divorce? Or does it mean you can take a holiday from being American holed up in Singapore, say, until the capital gains are in the bank, then come back?

In Conrad’s case, money speaks. He lives in Canada with his (still and always Canadian) wife, despite his “issues”. We’ll see if that changes now that we have a less obsequious government.

As for trump, AFAIK, citizenship is a fact. Just the paperwork needs to be applied for. When I got my first UK passport, about age 25, there was nothing on the form to say “I am applying for UK citizenship”. The form simply asked me to prove I was a UK citizen (in my case, based on parentage)… and if I’d had a passport previously. Most countries’ passport applications are like this. Just submit proof you qualify, and - poof! - here’s the documentary proof. You always were a citizen, now you can prove it.

True enough, except for the part about his citizenship being “a fact”. It would be if the claim could be made through his father’s citizenship rather than his mother’s, or if Trump had been born after 1983, but he falls into the category requiring a background check, determination of “good character”, and mandatory attendance at a citizenship ceremony. This only applies in the specific circumstances in which he finds himself. He couldn’t get a passport just by applying for one, because he’s not a British citizen.

Perhaps in canada you can’t simply claim the right to citizenship,in other countries it may be possible.

Ok so an ex-Cadanadian citizen asks for citizenship back ? Does he get an advantage ? yes, they may in fact make it easy if in fact the person is being ejected from the other country… in a way, he could claim that as he is no longer welcome elsewhere , he has to use it birth right to come back

but also if you bring a lot of money with you, you may find it easier…

I’m guessing the USA is similarly non-forgiving about renounced citizenship. Anyone know for sure? Of course, for some, like Britain, you simply cannot renounce it.

Our buddy Conrad, of course, wanted to be a UK Lord. Canada has an informal veto over such titles for Canadian citizens; oddly, the prime minister, after being trashed repeatedly by Conrad in is papers, declined to approve the title. Conrad decided to choose lordship over Candianship, TTFn.

Canada has in fact discussed alterations to citizenship laws for people who leave. A large number of Lebanese, for example, came to Canada during the civil war in the 1970’s. A significant number of naturalized Canadians went back to live in Lebanon after things settled down. In the most recent serious flare-up a few years ago ago, Canadians who had not lived here for up to two decades were suddenly expecting the Canadian embassy to arrange their safe evacuation. There was an uproar here about the massive cost to “save” people who had no connection to Canada for decades. (IIRC Canada will no longer help dual citizens who need evacuation from their other country if they have been abroad something like 10 years… For others now, they’ll bill you. )

Yes, you’re right. before 1983, it was only automatic through the father, from what I am reading. When the law was changed, he now is eligible (through his mother) but needs to apply and pass the check.

And he needs to prove his parents were married. I wonder if a typewritten form is valid proof?

I don’t think that’s true. The previous two prime ministers of Australia (Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard) were both born in the UK, and so both born UK citizens. (They both later acquired Australian citizenship.) Being a UK citizen would have barred them from becoming members of the Australian Parliament, so they must both have renounced their UK citizenship. So, if you have a good enough reason, you must be able to renounce UK citizenship.

As long as it’s the long form and is titled “Marriage Certificate” and not “Certificate of Marriage.”

You can indeed renounce British Citizenship. It’s not difficult, and you don’t need any particular reason. The only conditions are

  • that you are over 18, or are married;
  • that you are of sound mind; and
  • that you hold another citizenship, or will get one on renouncing your British citizenship.

For the record, there is some dispute over whether Abbott ever did renounce his British citizenship. He has stated that he is an Australian citizen and holds no other citizenships, but he was certainly born a British Citizen (he didn’t become an Australian citizen until he was 24) and he has never provided any documentation, or any detail, in support of his claim that he is not now a British citizen.

He was elected to Parliament in 1994; the Hill case, ruling that British citizenship was a foreign citizenship, wasn’t decided until 1996, so it’s at least plausible that Abbot failed to appreciate that he needed to renounce his British citizenship in order to be validly elected in 1994. It may be that he renounced it some time after 1996, and that at the next election any defect in his situation was cured, or it may be that he never renounced it, in which case his claim that he is not now a British citizen would be false.

This lead to a minor birther-type movement in Australia when Abbott was PM. It never got much traction, mainly because if you wanted to oppose Tony Abbott you could easily find much more cogent reasons for doing so.

(By contrast, I think everyone accepts that Julia Gillard did renounce her British citizenship before she was elected to Parliament in 1988.)

Maybe it is possible to ban the man but not the office he holds, in other words he could not come here on a private visit but he could on official buisness