National Review is calling for him to do so, to “debunk” some rumors I’ve never heard before myself.
Rumor one: Obama was born in Kenya. Rather unlikely, as it would require everyone in his family to lie about this in every interview and discussion with those outside the family since young Obama appeared on the scene. However, if it were true, it would probably raise a major question of â€œdoes he qualify as a natural-born citizenâ€? If Obama were born outside the United States, one could argue that he would not meet the legal definition of natural-born citizen under because U.S. law at the time of his birth required his natural-born parent (his mother) to have resided in the United States for â€œten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.â€
Ann Dunham was 18 when Obama was born â€“ so she wouldnâ€™t have met the requirement of five years after the age of 16.
(Interestingly, apparently there isnâ€™t much paperwork on Obamaâ€™s parentsâ€™ marriage. Obama: From Promise to Power, page. 27: â€œObama later confessed that he never searched for the government documents on the marriage, although Madelyn (Obamaâ€™s maternal grandmother) insisted they were legally married.â€ Also note that Obamaâ€™s father apparently was not legally divorced from his first wife back in Kenya at the time, a point of contention that ultimately led to their separation.)
Rumor Two: Obamaâ€™s middle name is not â€œHusseinâ€ but â€œMuhammad.â€ …
Rumor Three: His mother did not want to name him after his father, and his birth certificate says â€œBarry.â€ Perhaps the most plausible of the rumors, as Obama was known by that name through much of his childhood and young adulthood. If true, this would spur a new round of â€œWhen Barry Became Barackâ€ stories â€“ a minor headache for the campaign, but hardly a major scandal.
Three could be true, I suppose, but I doubt it would be all that damaging if proven.
Two does not seem very likely.
And, as for One, my own understanding is that the US law is currently based on both jus sanguinis and jus soli. At the present time, if you’re born in the United States, you are automatically a citizen, and any child of a US citizen is a citizen. But the NR author may be correct: back in 1961, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 would have been the ruling law and it might have contained some residency provision. I’m still looking for a functioning on-line copy of the text. Maybe I’m having problems getting one site to load because so many democrats are also trying to read it.