Neither Chester Arthur nor Wong Kim Ark ‘natural born’ citizens

By Linda Bentley | September 2, 2009

‘Obama … a dual citizen owing allegiance to the very monarchy our founding fathers shed their blood to rid themselves of …’

Leo DonofrioTRENTON, N.J. – Leo Donofrio, the attorney who voluntarily suspended his law license to play professional poker and whose complaint challenging the New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells for her failure to verify the eligibility of presidential candidates was dismissed without being heard on its merits, has since completely immersed himself in the constitutional eligibility issue of the President of the United States (POTUS) and the definition of “natural born” citizen.

Donofrio says it doesn’t matter if Obama provides proof stating he was “born in the White House,” due to the fact Obama Sr. was a foreign national of Kenya with a nonresident student visa.

According to Obama’s website
“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.’s children.”

Donofrio said, if he was born in Hawaii, Obama would have been a dual citizen who owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at birth and therefore cannot be a “natural born” citizen of the United States in accordance with Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. State Department addresses dual nationality by stating, “The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law ... The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person’s allegiance. However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries …”

Donofrio says, “Obama can’t provide any document which makes him eligible under the legal theory that a person such as him, a dual citizen owing allegiance to the very monarchy our founding fathers shed their blood to rid themselves of, was not at birth and therefore can never be, a natural born citizen of the United States.”

Last week, Donofrio exclaimed profound excitement upon receiving an article by George D. Collins, Esq., Secretary of the California Bar Association, that appeared in the Sept./Oct. 1884 edition of “The American Law Review,” titled, “Are persons born in the United States Ipso Facto Citizens Thereof?”

president chester aurthurDonofrio said the article makes it “perfectly clear” in order to be a natural born citizen one must be born to a U.S. citizen father. Although it was virtually unknown at the time, Arthur’s father William was not naturalized until 1843, 14 years after Arthur was born, making Arthur a British subject.

Chester Arthur was elected the 20th vice president of the United States and became the 21st president on Sept. 19, 1881 when President James Garfield died, serving until March 1885.

Arthur was able to successfully hide his parental heritage from the public.

Collins’ article, which never mentions Arthur, goes into great detail about exactly what constitutes a natural born citizen.

Donofrio notes, “Collins steadfastly denies that a person born on U.S. soil to an alien father could be a natural born citizen.”

Then there’s the oft-cited U.S. Supreme Court decision in Wong Kim Ark, which, according to Donofrio, “has caused more confusion regarding the natural born citizenship issue than any other case in U.S. history.”

Wong Kim ArtWong Kim Ark was a laborer born in 1873 in San Francisco, Calif. to permanent resident alien parents who were subjects of the Emperor of China.

In 1890, when Ark was 17, he departed for a temporary visit to China, from which he returned that same year and was permitted by the collector of customs to enter as a “native-born citizen of the United States.”

In 1894, at the age of 21, Ark again departed for China on a temporary visit, returning by sea in August 1895, this time only to be denied entry by the collector of customs who claimed Ark was not a citizen of the United States.

In 1898, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Ark, conceding he was indeed a citizen of the United States and that the Chinese Exclusion Acts, prohibiting persons of the Chinese race, especially laborers, from coming into the United States, did not and could not apply to him.

Donofrio says the one infamous passage, “fervently relied upon by Obama eligibility supporters” to claim the case establishes children of aliens born in the United States are natural-born citizens, and which Donofrio admitted confused him at first, states:
“The foregoing considerations and authorities irresistibly lead us to these conclusions: The fourteenth amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens … Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate … and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, ‘If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen …’”

Donofrio states, “It appears at first glance that the passage claims children of aliens born on U.S. soil are themselves natural-born citizens … But a closer inspection reveals this is not what the court held,” as he explains Justice Gray is comparing two children; one, a U.S. born child of a resident alien, the other, a “natural-born” child of a citizen, while noting both are citizens.

“So the holding indicates Wong Kim Ark was as much a citizen as any other citizen despite not being natural-born,” said Donofrio.

However, Ark could still not be POTUS.

Donofrio said, “Being eligible to be President is not a right or protection of citizenship,” citing not all natural born citizens can be President, as there are also age and residency requirements.

Donofrio concluded, “Based upon my review of history and law, I don’t believe Obama is eligible to be President,” and said he continues to press this issue “for fear that it will continue to erode the chain of command. The brave men and women of our military deserve to know for certain that their Commander is constitutionally eligible to lead them.”
For a wealth of education on the subject, visit Donofrio’s blog: