Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Living a lie

Imagine discovering that one of the aspects central
to your definition of Self was revealed to be untrue.

Discovering your ancestors were not Irish (but god forgive us English), or your parents were never married. Imagine learning you were not adopted.

It has been brought to me that I have what might be called...
Unneccessary Citizenship.

And like the kid on the playground who faces there is no Santa, I was brought this package of information in a bar on a hot summer's night. Some of you were there.

To refresh yourself on some of my immigrant's rants, visit here and here.

The topic turned to my naturalized status, and this Revelator-friend says, in the way you say "there are not alligators living in the New York sewer system," "they didn't have to do that." (or words to that effect). They: my parents, the Germans, the US-by-God Government.

I began my usual explanation of yes-why-they-did, and she keeps saying flatly, "That's not true."
That's not true.

I said, "I am telling you that I have citizenship papers." And she says, "I'm saying that wasn't necessary."
Me: "Dean Rusk signed them himself."
She: "You didn't need them."

I am reminded of Karen's college essay on her ancestoral origins when her parents were unable to come up with their ethnic background. "I think we were Portuguese," says her mother.
"Oh yeh," says Karen, "The Perrys were Portuguese."

I had thought at the time, well, it was probably Perez, or something else changed Ellis-style, but I didn't say this out loud. Who am I to question? Apparently that would hjave been perfectly FINE.

But back to the topic at hand:
Let's go to the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, shall we? Oh let's.

8 USC Sec. 1401 - Title 8 being your definitions of Aliens and Nationality.
The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;

Now I know requirements. And I met those.
This is the same requirement John McCain meets. Schwarznegger does not.

Whether McCain is "native born" may also be settled, if a ruling from 1790 is enough to convince you:

“the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”

Full disclosure: this act also defines "any white person" as eligible for citizenship, so...

How about this:

(h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States.

that is a very specific law. Who in the heck was that passed for?

Write me in in November.


  1. Yup, Karen is Portuguese. Perry is the Americanized name for Pereira.

    Now, Miss Bender, onto the White House!

    -Revelator-Friend and Portuguese-American

  2. ouch - my head hurts from dem laws. maybe cause i'm native born.


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