Harry Emtman (Letters, March 18) argues that Canada-born Ted Cruz “does not qualify as a natural born citizen of the USA” as required to be president. Not necessarily.
Federal law — U.S. Code Title 8, sections 1401 and following — makes exceptions for persons born outside the United States if at least one parent is an American. Circumstances vary, such as length of residence within the U.S. or its “outlying possessions” of the American parent(s) before the birth, and military service or government employment outside the U.S. For example, section 1403 cleared Sen. John McCain to be president had he beaten Barack Obama in 2008. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone when his father was stationed there in the military.
Even Obama would have been a “citizen at birth,” likely under Section 1401, subsection G, had he actually been born in Kenya. (Sorry, “birthers.”)
The statutes don’t specifically define “natural born,” the Constitution’s wording, but use “citizens of the United States at birth.” Congress can fix this easily by adding to federal law: “The terms ‘citizens of the United States at birth,’ ‘citizen at birth’ and similarly-worded terms shall satisfy the meaning of ‘natural born citizen’ in the Constitution.”
Jim Bacon, Richland