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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Natural-Born Lawmakers

In a discussion of the "natural-born citizen" clause of the Constitution, The New York Times lists 17 members of Congress born outside the United States:

  1. INDIA Senator Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado
  2. ITALY Representative Don Beyer Jr.,Democrat of Virginia
  3. CANADA Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas
  4. JAPAN Representative Diana DeGette,Democrat of Colorado
  5. THAILAND Representative Tammy Duckworth,Democrat of Illinois
  6. PERU Representative Jim Himes,Democrat of Connecticut
  7. JAPAN Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii*
  8. TAIWAN Representative Ted Lieu, Democrat of California*
  9. CANADA Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York
  10. PANAMA Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona
  11. FRANCE Representative Mark Meadows,Republican of North Carolina
  12. CUBA Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida*
  13.  GERMANY Representative David Rouzer,Republican of North Carolina
  14. MEXICO Representative Raul Ruiz,Democrat of California*
  15. CUBA Representative Albio Sires,Democrat of New Jersey*
  16. GUATEMALA Representative Norma J. Torres,Democrat of California* 
  17. PAKISTAN Representative Chris Van Hollen,Democrat of Maryland
* Denotes citizenship by naturalization.

The six members who were born abroad to non-American parents are clearly ineligible to be president.  (As a previous post noted, the number of immigrants in Congress is at an historically low level.) The debate surrounds the situation of the other 11: born abroad, but to at a least one American parent.