Time for the 28th Amendment - let foreign-born Americans seek the presidency
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Time for the 28th Amendment - let foreign-born Americans seek the presidency

Washington : DC : USA | Aug 05, 2012 at 4:58 AM PDT
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It really shouldn't even matter what Donald Trump does, or does not, think.

With an election upon us, Trump is once again hinting that Barack Obama shouldn't be president, because perhaps he wasn't really born in the United States.

It really shouldn't make a difference.

The time has come for a change in the U.S. Constitution which would remove the requirement that all candidates seeking the presidency must be native-born Americans.

In the interest of fairness, the Constitution should be revised to reflect the possibility that anyone arriving to this country from another land can live the complete American Dream. Why can't someone like that grow up to be president?

Right now, they can't. The current restriction is clear. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states that "no person except a natural born citizen...shall be eligible to the office of president..."

That may have made sense some 200 years ago, when the nation feared foreign entanglements, but the waves of immigration which made our later history have made that restriction an insult, not a protection.

It doesn't even make practical sense. In recent history, the nation has had two Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger (born in Germany) and Madeline Albright (born in then-Czechoslovakia) who, under the extreme circumstances which would include the deaths of the president, vice-president and Speaker of the House, could actually become the president, but never could they run to be elected to that same office. Even one of our Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, who served in the Revolution, ran a Cabinet post and virtually created the American economy before he lost his life in a duel, could never have served as president. He was born in the-then West Indies.

If circumstances exist under which they could be president, then it's only fair also that they can deliberately choose to seek the presidency.

The nation has, in its history, passed only 27 Amendments to the Constitution, the first in 1791, and the last in 1992.

It's time for No. 28.

One can never choose where they're born, but they can choose later the nation they want to serve.

Let's allow that opportunity.

We'll all be better for it.

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Bruce Squiers is a recently retired newspaper photojournalist who lives in upstate New York. American history and politics are among his passions.

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Time for the 28th Amendment?
Is it time to change the U.S. Constitution so foreign-born American citizens can run for president? (Image from www.whitehouse.gov)
Bruceguy is based in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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