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Mitt Romney is not running for President of Mexico

Mexican Presidential Palace detail (Wiki Commons)Sometimes the comments on this web site wander into speculation about things tangential to the main theme of the site. One such discussion is about whether Mitt Romney is a dual citizen of Mexico.

An over-simplified statement of the thesis is: Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico, making him a Mexican citizen and under Mexican law Mitt inherited his father’s Mexican citizenship. A counterargument says that this theory is OK today, but that the Mexican Constitution has been changed a couple of times since George Romney’s birth, and it’s not clear whether the newer provisions are retroactive.

While this speculative discussion is entertaining, it strikes me as profoundly silly in the context of deciding whether Mitt Romney is eligible to run for President of the United States. Why should nitpicking analysis of the Mexican Constitution matter in the United States? Mitt Romney is not running for President of Mexico.

This same type of argument has been raised in all seriousness by the birthers against Barack Obama, with folks like Mario Apuzzo delving into the various changes in the British Nationality Act to try to show that Obama is a dual citizen of the UK and the US. Barack Obama is not running for office in the UK, any more than Mitt Romney is running for office in Mexico. These examinations of foreign nationality law should have no relevance as to who can be President of the United States, with the sole exception of the fact that the Constitution itself used terms of art borrowed from English Common Law, and so “natural born citizen” is defined by that context.

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31 Responses to Mitt Romney is not running for President of Mexico

  1. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    so, if he were president of Mexico you’d think he were ineligible
    in USA ? Or why the headline

  2. avatar
    G September 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    NO. you clearly missed the entire point of the article. try reading again slowly and in full.

    foreigner: so, if he were president of Mexico you’d think he were ineligiblein USA ? Or why the headline

  3. avatar
    Jim September 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Now that might be interesting…Rmoney wins the Presidency in the US, then wins the Presidency in Mexico and is the leader of 2 countries. He could then sign a military agreement with himself to send US troops into Mexico to go after the Cartels. Maybe sell all the Mexican resort areas to the US too…or to all his rich friends. There’s possibilities there folks. It’s a conspiracy of huge proportions! hehehe

  4. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    merge all countries

  5. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    announcing a run for Mexican presidency might bring him Latino voters
    OTOH he could lose the Arpaio-birther-support.
    If candidates get desperate about the polls they try
    the “gamechanger” things …

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Being from Germany, I assume you are aware of the labor shortages and difficulty in integrating immigrants into society. That is one area where America is particularly strong, in the integration of immigrants.

    foreigner: merge all countries

  7. avatar
    Origuy September 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I suspect Romney could never be the President of Mexico; he just couldn’t do the grito right.

  8. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    being from Germany, I did experience successful merging of countries.
    Hispanics are projected to constitute 30% of the US-population in 2050…

  9. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    well, searching,..now I find a 25% hispanics projection by the US-census for 2050 (in 1999)
    and a 33% projection for 2100 (in 2009)

  10. avatar
    American Mzungu September 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    “Barack Obama is not running for office in the UK, any more than Mitt Romney is running for office in Mexico. These examinations of foreign nationality law should have no relevance as to who can be President of the United States, with the sole exception of the fact that the Constitution itself used terms of art borrowed from English Common Law, and so “natural born citizen” is defined by that context.”

    I nominate this quote for QUOTE OF THE DAY.

    I also think you should start a new feature called IDIOT OF THE DAY. I nominate “foreigner” as today’s recipient.

  11. avatar
    Jules September 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    This same type of argument has been raised in all seriousness by the birthers against Barack Obama, with folks like Mario Apuzzo delving into the various changes in the British Nationality Act to try to show that Obama is a dual citizen of the UK and the US.

    Please forgive me if I have not been paying attention, but does Apuzzo seriously argue that Obama has British nationality? If so, then he is appears to be just as awful at intepreting 20th century British law as he is at interpreting centuries-old English common law.

    The Kenya Independence Act 1963 was abundantly clear.

    In any event, if Obama had somehow remained a British national, it seems clear that he would have not been granted the right of abode when the Immigration Act 1971 came into force. Thus, any such nationality would not have conferred British citizenship when the British Nationality Act 1981 came into force.

  12. avatar
    Welsh Dragon September 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Jules: Please forgive me if I have not been paying attention, but does Apuzzo seriously argue that Obama has British nationality? If so, then he is appears to be just as awful at intepreting 20th century British law as he is at interpreting centuries-old English common law.
    The Kenya Independence Act 1963 was abundantly clear.

    Believe it or not Mario has made that argument (in 2009), and he is that awful.. IIRC the crux of his argument BNA 1981 repealed the relevent part of the KIA1963,thus restoring Obama’s status as a citizen of the UK and Colonies. That of course is absurd. Mario then tried to navigate through the BNA 1981 to show that as a result Obama then became and remained a “British Overseas Citizen” and he made a mess of that part of the argument too.

  13. avatar
    Keith September 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    foreigner:
    so, if he were president of Mexico you’d think he were ineligible
    in USA ? Or why the headline

    Tattoo: Da Point, Da Point!
    Mr. Roarke: No its “the plane”, Tattoo. A plane is flat, a point is sharp, hehehe!
    Tattoo: No, Boss, Da Plane just crashed into da point and now they are both flat!

  14. avatar
    G September 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    terrible idea. There is very little benefit to the US to contemplate absorbing such a large, crime-ridden, corrupt and impoverished nation.

    Cananda would be a nice complement to us (but I’m pretty sure that Canada would NOT want to lose its independence to the US), but that’s not going to happen either. Many Canadians may like America, but wouldn’t want to be subjugated under our laws and politics.

    foreigner: merge all countries

  15. avatar
    CarlOrcas September 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    foreigner: now I find a 25% hispanics projection by the US-census for 2050 (in 1999)
    and a 33% projection for 2100 (in 2009)

    What’s your point?

  16. avatar
    Paper September 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    You continue not to understand this country, particularly why people come here. Just to make it particularly obvious and clear, the European Americans making up much of our population, for example, are not interested in Europe merging with America, thank you very much.

    foreigner:
    being from Germany, I did experience successful merging of countries.
    Hispanics are projected to constitute 30% of the US-population in 2050…

  17. avatar
    Scientist September 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    foreigner: merge all countries

    Wasn’t the EU supposed to be a model of how countries would surrender their sovreignity into a single entity with a common currency, social policies and a general one-for-all-and-all-for-one? Perhaps you ought to focus your efforts closer to home, since the EU seems to be having some isues lately.

  18. avatar
    JPotter September 12, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    “foreigner”, in the reunification of E * W Germanies, you didn’t experience the merging of disparate countries, rather the undoing of an occupation.

    Having flushed that silly nonstarter, cleaning up Mexico would be extremely benefical … in the long term. Very expensive and painful in the short-term. We’d ultimately have a much shorter southern border… a whole lot closer to more of the same kinds of problems.

    I know, let’s make a parking lot and call it peace.

  19. avatar
    Lupin September 12, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    Scientist: Wasn’t the EU supposed to be a model of how countries would surrender their sovreignity into a single entity with a common currency, social policies and a general one-for-all-and-all-for-one?

    Arguably, the problem is that they did NOT.

  20. avatar
    The Magic M September 12, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    > but that the Mexican Constitution has been changed a couple of times since George Romney’s birth, and it’s not clear whether the newer provisions are retroactive

    If the birthers were intellectually honest, they would pick the one interpretation by which Mitt isn’t eligible and defend it with all their hearts.

    What you actually see is them either ignoring the issue, glossing over it (“he is eligible because his parents were US citizens”) or explicitly choosing the one interpretation that makes him eligible.

    The funny part is that even the Vattelists suddenly invented an exception to their “must have two citizen parents, must not be a dual citizen”, namely “if both parents were US citizens, it doesn’t matter if they *also* held (and conveyed) another citizenship”.

    The most ironic part was when I pointed those problems (that Mitt may also be a Mexican citizen) out to a birther and he replied “but Mexican laws are irrelevant in the US”. When I wrote back that the same holds for British laws regarding Obama, I was rewarded with crickets…

  21. avatar
    Keith September 12, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    The Magic M: The most ironic part was when I pointed those problems (that Mitt may also be a Mexican citizen) out to a birther and he replied “but Mexican laws are irrelevant in the US”. When I wrote back that the same holds for British laws regarding Obama, I was rewarded with crickets…

    🙂 🙂 🙂 😉

  22. avatar
    Jules September 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Welsh Dragon: Believe it or not Mario has made that argument (in 2009), and he is that awful.. IIRC the crux of his argument BNA 1981 repealed the relevent part of the KIA1963,thus restoring Obama’s status as a citizen of the UK and Colonies. That of course is absurd. Mario then tried to navigate through the BNA 1981 to show that as a result Obama then became and remained a “British Overseas Citizen” and he made a mess of that part of the argument too.

    Wow. Your description of his attempt at statutory construction is quite shocking.

    The very category of Citizenship of the UK and Colonies was abolished at the moment of the 1981 Act coming into force. The repealed parts of the Kenya Independence Act ceased to be remotely relevant because the class of British nationality dealt with in that Act ceased to exist as such. Additionally, s. 26 only granted British overseas citizenship to those who were Citizens of the UK and Colonies “immediately before commencement”, and the repeals contained in the Act would be at rather than immediately before commencement of the Act.

    The people who acquired British Overseas Citizenship when the 1981 Act came into force had been Citizens of the UK and Colonies, had not acquired citizenship of the UK’s former colonies on their independence, and did not have enough link with the UK or one of its remaining Overseas Territories (called Dependent Territories until 2002) to acquire British Citizenship or British Overseas Territories Citizenship (called British Dependent Territories Citizenship until 2002). There were people in Kenya to whom this applied, but they tended to be people of South Asian ethnicity who failed to acquire Kenyan nationality on Kenyan independence.

    British Overseas Citizenship does not, in and of itself, grant the right to live in the UK or anywhere else in the world. It is generally a pretty meaningless form of nationality. (British Overseas Citizens who otherwise lack any nationality and who are not in this position due to their own choice have, for the last ten years, had the ability to become full British Citizens. However, this was not the case for nearly 20 years of the existence of this class of British nationality.)

    The status of “British National (Overseas)” is another form of British nationality that is generally pretty meaningless. All people who held British Dependent Territories Citizenship (the status had yet to be re-named British Overseas Territories Citizenship at the relevant time) by virtue of a connection with Hong Kong lost that status when Hong Kong was given back to China. Prior to the handover, people who were due to otherwise lose all right to British nationality were given the right to register as British Nationals (Overseas). This entitles the holder to a British passport that might be useful when travelling, but it does not actually guarantee the right to live or work in the UK or any of its remaining Overseas territories. The number of people with BN(O) status can only decrease, as nobody has been able to acquire it by any means since the handover.

    The very nature of British Overseas Citizenship demonstrates just how silly it is to say that any foreign nationality disqualifies someone from the US Presidency. Every country has a sovereign right to say who its citizens are. As a result, each country can make anyone or everyone its nationals and make it difficult or impossible to relinquish such nationality. This would give any foreign country veto power over the US Presidency if dual nationality were disqualifying. While such countries as the UK have an incentive to impose some limit on the grant of nationality so as to at least limit immigration, the UK demonstrates that nationality can be disentangled in some cases from such common rights of nationality as the right of abode.

    Just imagine if Parliament decided to declare that every American a “British National (North American)” with the right to hold a British passport describing oneself as such but without the right of abode in the UK and without the ability to relinquish such status. By the theory of some people, the continued existence of the US Presidency would be frustrated by the very country from which the US won independence.

  23. avatar
    John Wayne September 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    A prominent member of Chicago’s homosexual community claims Barack Obama’s participation in the “gay” bar and bathhouse scene was so well known that many who were aware of his lifestyle were shocked when he ran for president and finally won the White House.

    “It was preposterous to the people I knew then to think Obama was going to keep his gay life secret,” said Kevin DuJan, who was a gossip columnist in Chicago for various blogs when Obama was living in the city as a community organizer and later a state senator.

    “Nobody who knew Obama in the gay bar scene thought he could possibly be president,” said DuJan.

    DuJan, founder and editor of the Hillary Clinton-supporting website HillBuzz.org, told WND he has first-hand information from two different sources that “Obama was personally involved in the gay bar scene.”

    “If you just hang out at these bars, the older guys who have been frequenting these gay bars for 25 years will tell you these stories,” DuJan said. “Obama used to go to the gay bars during the week, most often on Wednesday, and they said he was very much into older white guys.”

    Obama, DuJan said, is “not heterosexual and he’s not bisexual. He’s homosexual.”

    Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, who worked with the National Security Agency from 1984 to 1988 as a Navy intelligence analyst, confirmed DuJan’s

  24. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Hey Duke-y, do you have a source to cite for ANY of that garbage?

  25. avatar
    LW September 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    John Wayne: A prominent member of Chicago’s homosexual community claims…

    I thought Corsi was from New Jersey.

  26. avatar
    Rickey September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Fake John Wayne has posted the same garbage in two different threads.

    I believe that Doc needs to consider banning him.

  27. avatar
    G September 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Agreed. It is a sign of extreme desperation that WND and the lowlife Birther trolls like John Wayne are reduced to trying to, yet again, dredge the same swill-level gay smear lies that have repeatedly failed miserably since 2008… pathetic that these folks still trot out this nonsense and think that anyone will pay attention to such obvious dreck and nonsense. Just goes to show what an utter failure WND’s 2012 Swift Boating campaign has been…

    Rickey: Fake John Wayne has posted the same garbage in two different threads.I believe that Doc needs to consider banning him.

  28. avatar
    The Magic M September 13, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Rickey: Fake John Wayne has posted the same garbage in two different threads.

    Those are the stupidest among the birthers. Just like the handful of people on ORYR who copy/post (sic) the same stuff to the 10 newest threads every day. I’d say “little attention whores”.

  29. avatar
    Thomas Brown September 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    John Wayne:
    “If you just hang out at these bars, the older guys who have been frequenting these gay bars for 25 years will tell you these stories…”

    Well, John, then how come you didn’t see him there yourself? I mean, what with your propensity for servicing black men with IQs three times higher than yours, how could you not have ‘first hand’ (so to speak) evidence?

  30. avatar
    John Potter September 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    And the resounding response is …. so what? This mindless smear isn’t going to convince Reds to run from Obama, as they have run from him on sight since …. well, whenever they first saw him.

    And it’s isn’t going to convince any Blue to suppport Romney.

    Way to show your ass, Wayne.

  31. avatar
    Jules September 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Dr C,

    Isn’t this nonsense from John Wayne off topic at best? May I politely request that it please be stricken from the comments to this post?