I’m working on a definition for Natural Born Citizen to be submitted to the Urban Dictionary. The current definitions there are highly unsatisfactory and have net negative response from those who rate them.
This blog has published definitions before including:
Unfortunately my original article is far too long to fit the 1500 character limit of the Urban Dictionary, and in any case, I want something short and easy to read. So here is a draft for comment. Keep in mind that the following is just 38 characters under the limit, so I can’t add anything substantial without removing something else.
A US Circuit Court said “all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together.” US v. Rhodes (1866). This principle has been cited approvingly by subsequent courts including the US Supreme Court in US v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) that said:
“The 14th Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including children here born of resident aliens, … The Amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born within the territory of the United States, of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States.”
Every nation has the exclusive right to determine by its own laws who are its citizens and who shall rule it, and therefore the Constitution and laws of the US (and no other country) determine who is born within its allegiance.
Current law would include as natural born citizens:
- All persons born within the US (including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands) except the children of ambassadors
- Persons born outside of the US to citizen parents (subject to certain restrictions in the legislation).
Full details of current law are included in the US State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual, Volume 7, Section 1100 http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86755.pdf
Perhaps as an example I could add:
A legal dictionary from 1904 said:
“Every person born within the United States its territories or districts whether the parents are citizens or aliens is a natural born citizen within the sense of the Constitution and entitled to all the rights and privileges pertaining to that capacity Town of New Hartford v Town of Canaan 5 Atl, 360, 364, 54 Conn. 39 (citing Rawle Const. U. S. p. 86). See also Lynch v Clarke (N. Y.) 1 Sandf. Ch. 584, 2 Kent, Comm. (9th Ed.); McKay v Campbell (U. S.) 16 Fed. Cas. 157; Field Int. Code 132, Morse Citizenship § 203.”
The above definition was submitted to the Urban Dictionary and was rejected by the editors (the Urban Dictionary is edited by anybody that signs up to be an editor–all that is required is a valid email address) without explanation. However another accurate and concise definition was submitted and accepted. It has been well received, and I support it.