Naturalized citizens should be able to become president

Tamara Juarez, Editor-in-Chief, Puma Press

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The 2016 Presidential election is just around the corner, and as the competition heats up, more and more candidates have had to come forth to justify their political beliefs, executive plans, and eligibility.

Unlike any other candidate, Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas, faces a unique problem that may jeopardize his ability to run for president: his birthplace.

In order to claim the oval office, the Canadian-born candidate must convince the American public, and perhaps even the Supreme Court should the issue escalate, that his birthplace should not disqualify him from becoming president.

Although most experts on constitutionality and law agree that birthplace should not matter, the general public is much more divided; there seems to be a widespread fear that “some foreigner” may be handed one of the highest positions of power in the world, which is understandable. There’s a sense of pride that comes from being able to proudly state one’s nationality, but it’s also important to remember that patriotism and dedication to a country are human characteristics that develop over the course of many, many years.

Naturalized citizens, such as Ted Cruz, who moved to the U.S. at the young age of 4, deserve the right to become president because depriving them of this opportunity invalidates the process of true patriotism.

Ted Cruz isn’t the first presidential hopeful to face this problem. During the 2008 election, Barack Obama and John McCain faced a similar challenge despite their extensive dedication and service to the United States government and military.

As many may remember, the former senator from Illinois faced severe criticism from conspiracy theorists who claimed that Obama was not born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but in Kenya like his father.

One of the most outspoken skeptics of Obama’s birthplace was Donald Trump, the 2016 presidential hopeful who is now threatening to sue Cruz for the same reason.

According to the U.S. Constitution, a person must be a “natural born citizen” to become

U.S. president, but the Supreme Court has yet to rule an exact interpretation, hence the widespread controversy that has arisen during the most recent national elections.

As a naturalized U.S. citizen, the idea that some candidates may not be “American enough,” as many put it, seems inherently un-American and should be addressed with the clarification of the first section in Article II. It is time that the Supreme Court decides on a single interpretation. In a country composed of many countries and languages, it is important for the Supreme Court to finally pass a ruling, and put an end to the unreasonable and illogical belief that birthplace should restrict eligibility.

To put it in perspective, imagine a simple scenario: A child is born in Germany to an American mother and German father. Within months of the child’s birth, the family decides to move to the U.S. and become U.S. citizens through naturalization. The child learns to speak German first but slowly learns to adopt English.

Soon, he or she begins to attend school, learn the pledge of allegiance and recite it each morning before the start of class. This child learns about U.S. history and how the U.S. government operates. In high school, the child learns about U.S. politics and becomes passionate about the subject. Upon turning 18, he or she enlists in the U.S. Army and eventually rises to the rank of captain and serve in the U.S. military for 20 years before retiring with numerous awards and decorations.

Not long after, this person get immersed in the world of politics and become a senator. He or she remains a senator for another 15 years, gaining the love and respect of their fellow citizens. At the age of 58, he or she decides to run for president, but as soon as they make the announcement, they are told that they are not eligible because they were born in Germany….

This scenario may seem far-fetched, but it’s actually not too different from the story of a handful of candidates who have run for the oval office, such as U.S. Navy retiree John McCain, who was born on a naval base in Coco Solo, Panama.

By adding a new amendment that omits “natural born citizen” from Clause V in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, people who have devoted most of their lives to the United States government and are U.S. citizens could run for president regardless of their original birthplace. A person’s life-long work, display of patriotism, and dedication to one nation should not be invalidated solely because of what’s printed on their birth certificate.

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Naturalized citizens should be able to become president