“All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens. Gentleman can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution relating to Indians.” (Cong. Globe, 37th, 2nd Sess., 1639 (1862)).He then stated the following a few years later:
“Every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” (Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866)).
To be sure, Bingham later pondered the status of a Dr. Houard who had been incarcerated in Spain. The issue was raised during debate on the floor whether he was a U.S. citizen. Rep. Bingham explained:
“As to the question of citizenship I am willing to resolve all doubts in favor of a citizen of the United States. That Dr. Houard is a natural-born citizen of the United States there is not room for the shadow of a doubt. He was born of naturalized parents within the jurisdiction of the United States, and by the express words of the Constitution, as amended to-day, he is declared to all the world to be a citizen of the United States by birth.” (The term “to-day”, as used by Bingham, means “to date”. Obviously, the Constitution had not been amended on April 25, 1872.).As Leo Donofrio has explained at his Natural Born Citizen blog, Bingham was an abolitionist who prosecuted Lincoln's assassins. Donofrio notes the Congressional Record does not indicate any disagreement with the views he expressed on the meaning of the term "natural born citizen" both before and after the adoption of the 14th Amendment which he authored.
The debate over whether Obama was born in Hawaii or elsewhere has really been a diversion from the real constitutional issue based on the undisputed fact that Obama was a dual citizen at birth. The matter is further clouded by evidence he and his mother immigrated to Indonesia where he was adopted by an Indonesian citizen, Lolo Soetoro, and became a citizen of Indonesia according to his school records under the adopted name, "Barry Soetoro."
This is not unlike the situation that arose over the eligibility of Chester Arthur to serve as president. Arthur was the Vice-President to President James Garfield who succeeded him as president after Garfield was assassinated in 1881. Some of Arthur's opponents claimed he was not a natural born citizen because he allegedly was born in Canada. His father immigrated from Scotland to Canada and then later to Vermont where family records showed he was born. In recent years, a discovery has been made that Arthur lied about several matters concerning his biographical narrative, a task not easily undertaken because Arthur had ordered all of his personal and official papers burned. As it turned out, Arthur lied about his date of birth and that of his father, who had not yet become a naturalized citizen at the time of his birth, thus calling into doubt his natural born citizenship status. By focusing on the allegation he was born in Canada instead of Vermont, he was able to avoid the issue of not being born to U.S. citizen parents. The distraction over Obama's place of birth has similarly succeeded in diverting attention from the real question: Can a dual citizen at birth by virtue of a parent's foreign citizenship be considered a natural born citizen?
UPDATE: Leo Donofrio offers his reaction to Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate. He bemoans like me the fact that the debate over his place of birth has succeeded in diverting attention away from the legal question of his dual citizenship at birth rendering him ineligible to hold the office:
I predicted multiple times that President Obama would produce the original long form birth certificate when it best served him to do so. Today that prophecy was fulfilled. I have always maintained that the birth certificate issue was a red herring smoke screen protecting Obama from facing the true issue of his ineligibility – dual nationality.Donald Trump, who pushed the issue onto the front-burner through his persistent demands in recent weeks that Obama produce his long-form certificate, is taking credit for its release today. "I am so proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," Trump said from Portsmouth, N.H., where he was giving early primary voters a close-up look at a potential presidential campaign. "I feel I've accomplished something really, really important and I'm honored for it," Trump said.
Like Chester Arthur before him, Obama was protected from genuine questions regarding his birth status having been governed, as he admits, by the United Kingdom via the faux BC issue until October 27, 2008 when I instituted my law suit against the New Jersey Secretary of State alleging that neither Obama nor McCain were eligible.
I predicted over and again that when it served Obama best, he would feed you an original birth certificate on national TV. Bon appetit to those who allowed this conspiracy theory to take precedence over the genuine legal issue: how a person born owing certain allegiance to a foreign nation can be a natural born citizen of the United States?. Since the BC was played so perfectly by the Obama team, the genuine legal issue will now be more marginalized than ever.
They simply played a better game of chess. And due to this sick game, Obama now sets a precedent that anyone who hates this country, from Osama Bin Laden to Kim Jong Il, can have a child with an American woman and that child can be President. Obama’s defeat of the dual nationality issue, in both the courts and the media, means that the President’s parents do not have to be US citizens. If that is true, then the natural born citizen requirement in Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution is basically rendered meaningless.
If a person born with dual allegiance can be President, then I don’t see the difference between a citizen and a natural born citizen. To become naturalized as a US citizen, one must at least swear an oath of allegiance to the US by renouncing all other allegiances. But a person such as Obama, who was born with dual allegiance is apparently not even required to renounce all previous allegiances under oath.
The BC was a conspiracy theory. The dual nationality issue is a legal question. Obama always controlled the issue of whether or not he would produce the BC. But the legal issue was never under his control. So he exercised as much control over it as possible by allowing the birth certificate to fester casting a huge shadow over his dual allegiance. Well played, sir.
Locally, WISH-TV's State House reporter Jim Shella, never known for objective reporting, is continuing to dog Sen. Mike Delph for his continued pursued of presidential eligibility legislation that would require all presidential candidates to furnish their birth certificates as proof of their eligibility to hold the office in order to gain access to Indiana's ballot. “Why aren’t we already doing this?,” Delph responded rhetorically to Shella's question.
UPDATE: Document experts are already saying the document is forged. Check out one analysis here. A YouTube illustration here shows layering of the PDF document. I'm not a document expert so I don't know whether their points are legit or just a smoke and mirrors attempt to delegitimize the document. The former health director claims she saw his long-form birth certificate in the archives.