Marco Rubio, Tea-Party sweetheart from Florida, has become the latest target of the birthers since Obama released his long-form birth certificate earlier this year.
The argument from these birthers, mainly Charles Kerchner and Orly Taitz (who are apparently notable figures within the movement?), is that, despite Rubio being born on American soil, the fact that his parents were not citizens when he was born makes him not a natural citizen. You see, Rubio was born in 1971, but his parents, who had emigrated from Cuba, did not become U.S. citizens until 1975. As a result, these birthers are making the argument that, if he were to run for president (and his name has been thrown around as an option in the future), he would not meet the “natural born citizen” requirement of the office.
As you may have guessed, this argument is complete and utter bullshit.
Whereas their case against Obama was based in rumor, the case against Rubio has absolutely no base at all. Why, you may ask? Well, it might be because the Supreme Court has already ruled on this exact issue.
Enter the United States v Wong Kim Ark. It’s a case from 1898.. you know, back when those darn Chinese Exclusion Acts were still in place. Those, along with treaties, prevented Chinese immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens in America. Wong, however, was born in San Francisco. His parents were immigrants, and therefore not citizens themselves, and they even moved back to China eventually. When Wong was 21, he decided to go visit his parents in China. To his surprise, he could not re-enter the United States after his visit on the grounds that he “was not a citizen”. At this point, I’m assuming Wong yelled, “I was fucking born here, you assholes!” at the customs agents denying him entry. But after that, he decided to appeal to the Supreme Court.
As it turns out, we have this pesky thing called the Fourteenth Amendment which grants anyone born under the jurisdiction of the United States American citizenship. The dissent tried to argue that, since his parents were not citizens, he was not a citizen (sound familiar?). However, in a 6-2 ruling, the SCOTUS decided that Wong was, in fact, a natural born citizen due to the fact that he was born under the jurisdiction of America.
So, I’m no law student (still got that whole “high school” thing going on), but I’m pretty sure that this case rules out any possibility of Rubio being denied the presidency if he were to ever gain it… And trust me, I really hope he doesn’t.