The latest target is Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg. In this bit of tripe, Is Mayor Pete a Natural Born Citizen, submitted by Joseph DeMaio he writes:
(Feb. 9, 2020) — Well, faithful P&E readers, the “eligibility” issue surfaces again, this time with regard to one of the Democrat presidential candidates vying for the opportunity to be bludgeoned in the November general election by President Trump. That lucky fellow is Pete Buttigieg. Memo to all you other non-P&E readers who have accidentally stumbled onto this offering: you can go back to whatever else you were doing, as you will be unable to follow the rest of this post.
OK, here is the preface: in connection with the intrepid editor’s recent P&E post found here, one of the regular commenters (CDR Kerchner, Ret.) has noted (2/5/20 at 8:07 PM) that he had searched the Wikipedia website entry for Pete Buttigieg’s father, Joseph Buttigieg.
There is little doubt that candidate Buttigieg’s mother, Jennifer Anne Buttigieg (née Montgomery), was also, at minimum, a “native-born” U.S. citizen, so the “two citizen parents” requirement of § 212 would seem to be satisfied, provided that Joseph Buttigieg can be proved to have been naturalized before Jan. 19, 1982. Nor is there any doubt that Joseph Buttigieg was an educated, upstanding member of society. That acknowledgment, however, does not eliminate the question of whether he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen before Pete Buttigieg was born.
First I have to wonder where this eligibility issue “surfaced” other than in some dark corner of DeMaio’s warped mind. Second this nonsense speculation about Buttigieg’s father is based on more nonsense that Pete’s father’s citizenship status matters. It doesn’t. Pete is a natural born citizen because he was born on US soil, period, end of story. There is no requirement based on de Vattel’s writings or otherwise that a natural born citizen must have parents who are citizens.
This article in itself points out the absurdity of such a theory. It would require that not only documentation of the candidates birth be produced but that every candidate’s parents’ birth certificates or naturalization records be produced to establish if they were citizens at the time of the candidates birth. What about adopted children? What about children born from in vitro fertilization? I doubt de Vattel covered those situations. I could go on…
That got me thinking. What about the current resident of the White House? Well, it turns out that things aren’t completely settled under this nonsense two citizen parent theory. Trump’s mother, Mary Anne MaCleod immigrated from Scotland to the USA in 1929. In 1936 she married a wealthy builder named Fred Trump. (Fred Trump’s father, Donald’s grandfather, had been born in Bavaria as Friedrich Drumpf 1 2; he anglicized his name to Frederic Trump after coming to America).
Now back to Mary Anne. She supposedly became a citizen in 1942 and some documentation of her naturalization card from the Eastern District of NY has been published by Snopes:
However, on the 1940 census Mary Trump reported that she was a naturalized US citizen already:
Notice the “Na” in column 16 of the form. that would denote she was a naturalized US citizen. We know that could not have been the case however. The “(X)” denotes that Mary Trump is the person reporting for the family.
Donald Trump was born in 1946 so in all likelihood Mary was a citizen by that time. This exercise was done merely to illustrate that digging back a generation into every candidates background is not a straightforward exercise and could lead to doubts from those who wish to doubt.
However, this discussion is all ridiculous. The idea that to be a natural born citizen requires more than birth on US soil under the jurisdiction of the Untied States and that both of you parents have to be citizens at the time is just plain wrong. It has lost in every court case that incorporated the argument and no worthy Constitutional scholar agrees with it.
1 Friedrich Drumpf’s biography is quite interesting in case you have not read it. Trump (Drumpf) emigrated from Bavaria to the USA at age 16 in 1885. After working for a barber in New York City for five years he moved to Seattle, WA. He purchased a restaurant that was also a brothel. Trump moved north to the town of Monte Cristo. Trump wanted to build a hotel (restaurant and brothel) there but could not afford the land. He obtained the mineral rights on a piece of land for nothing and then quickly moved in lumber and began building his hotel before the real owner of the land one Nicholas Rudebeck could do anything about it. Rudebeck tried unsuccessfully to collect rent from Trump. Trump eventually paid Rudebeck for the land.
Trump moved on and operated hotel/brothels in the Yukon and amassed a tidy sum. When the gold rush played out Trump returned to Bavaria in 1901. He married Elizabeth Christ whiled there and returned to New York City in 1902. He worked as a barber and hotel operator. In 1904 after the birth of a daughter the Trump’s returned to Bavaria because of Elizabeth’s homesickness. The Trump’s were deported however because Bavarian authorities had determined Trump’s earlier emigration had been done to avoid the draft. (Sounds like cowardice runs in the family).
2Like several things in Trump’s backgrounds there is confusion as to when the family name was changed from “Drumpf” to “Trump”. Some sources say the name was changed in the 1600’s while some say it was changed later. Immigration records list Donald Trump’s grandfather’s name as Friedr. Trumpf.
Trump claimed in the 1987 book Art of the Deal that his grandfather had come from Sweden. One article I read said that the Swedish ancestry lie was invented by Fred Trump after World War II because when was trying to market apartments to Jewish couples in New York. Fred also got into trouble with the Federal government for discriminating against blacks. Among other things Fred and Donald were accused of telling blacks there buildings had no vacancies to avoid renting to them.
The Department of Justice filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Trumps and their property management company in 1974 but later dropped the lawsuit when they determined the Trumps had stopped the practices that had led to the lawsuit.