Would you support an amendment to remove the Natural Born Citizen clause?

Everyone is welcome to the conversation, but please only American citizens should be voting in this one. :slight_smile:
Basically, I don’t really get why we still need to make sure our Presidents were born in the United States. In my opinion, people like Schwarzenegger, who I do not support, should be able to run. He loves America, has lived here for years, and has shown deep interest in American politics. I wouldn’t vote for him, but I think he should be allowed to run.

Also, all this “birther” stuff about Obama would go away. I don’t really support him, either, by the way. Still, I don’t care about his birth location(which I believe is Hawaii, by the way).

Anyway, what do you think? I am focused only on the “born in America” part of the clause, not the age restriction.

I feel like removing it entirely, but I voted to remove it and add some residency requirements. I guess someone should have lived in the United States for some amount of time. Then again, I guess I could go either way since I think most Americans would not elect someone who hasn’t lived here for awhile.

I think it should remain intact. I don’t want to open up the Presidency to immigrants.

Even internationally adopted babies(let’s say adopted under age of 1 year old)? And why not open the door to immigrants?

Because it’s America. The President should be American.

Adopted babies - ok, I’ll accept adopted babies.

Amending the Constitution should not be done without a compelling reason. No such compelling reason has been offered here.

I think the most confusing aspect of this is the term natural-born. As opposed to unnaturally-born? What would that mean? Why didn’t they just say ‘citizen born in the USA’?

Think of it as “born natural” as opposed to “naturalized.”

I don’t like the fact that when people become citizens there are restrictions on their citizenship. When you become a citizen you should have the same rights as people born here. And let’s face it, if a naturalized citizen is running for president and his loyalty is in question, he wouldn’t get elected anyway. In fact, the voters wouldn’t even let him run.

The stupid thing is that naturalized citizens generally don’t have an allegiance to their birth countries; that’s why they left and came here.

Just not one of the things that really demands a lot of consideration as far as Constitutional Amendments go. I mean, really, just how many potential candidates are actually removed from the campaign pool by that restriction, in the first place? So what if Arnie can’t run for Prez? It’s not like he’s the only choice, or the best by FAR. Or anyone else who’s been naturalized. Sounds a lot like a solution in search of a problem.

I want it revoked. I want a go at it!

It doesn’t make much sense to me. What does it matter if someone was born in this country, as opposed to being naturalized and having been a long time citizen?

I’m ok with having an age minimum, but how long one should have been a citizen and resident of the US strikes me as an issue for the voters to sort out.

I’m kind of torn on it. I know why it was put in there in the first place, and it was a good reason at the time. On the other hand, I’m not sure that we need to remove it.

And I don’t want to see your birth certificate.

Considering that it’s rather unlikely at this point that a displaced European prince will run for president in order to annex us under Hapsburg rule, i’d say it can be done away with.

My Mother has been a citizen of the United States for 41 years, but was born in England. She can’t run for President.

Is she not American?

I want it removed because I don’t like the idea that a naturalized citizen is different in any way than one born here.

I’m not American but I think that if you have the right to vote, you should have the right to run.

On second thought, I don’t want to get into this.

No, it should not be changed (other than possibly clarifying what “natural born” means). People who are born US citizens naturally have a vested interest in the US. If you allow immigrants to run, you allow for the possibility of foreign “plants”, backed by foreign money, running for president. We’ve already seen how lots of money immediately gets a person a plausibility as president (or other office). We don’t need that possibility.

And really, someone immigrated here and can’t be president? Well boo hoo. I’m not going to be president either. There’s plenty of opportunity to serve the US besides being president or vice-president.

Get rid of it but under these conditions:

  1. The individual must be fourteen years a citizen. Since one must live here as a permanent resident for a considerable time prior to obtaining citizenship, this would effectively mean any “plants” would have to be planted some 17-20 years prior (making it even more ludicrous a prospect than it already is.)

  2. Any candidate for President who is not a natural born citizen must have formally renounced any other citizenship he/she holds. The only exception to this rule will be if the candidate holds citizenship in a country that does not have a procedure or allow official renunciation. In such circumstances it must be shown that the candidate has not exercised any irrevocable citizenship they may hold for a period of 14 years prior to election.

2.a. Any person elected President who was not natural born but satisfied the above two requirements, and possessed any citizenship that they were not able to renounce must, upon leaving office, swear an oath that they shall never exercise any right of citizenship for any country other than the United States. If they violate this oath they immediately forfeit any benefits or privileges that former U.S. Presidents receive. Presently that means: A pension of around $190,000 a year, Franking privileges, Secret Service protection for 10 years after leaving office, $96,000 in office staff salaries, free medical treatment at any U.S. military hospital for the former President and their immediate family, and reimbursement of various travel expenses (Clinton had $56,000 reimbursed in 2008, Bush 1 $56,000, and Carter $2,000.) All told not counting Secret Service protection and free medical benefits, the dollar value of the benefit is around $550,000 in an average year.cite