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Immigrants for President?

The pros and cons of amending the Constitution to allow for a foreign-born president.

12:00 AM, Oct 24, 2003 • By ERIN MONTGOMERY
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STILL, THE LANGUAGE of the Constitution implies that foreign-born citizens are less trustworthy than native-borns. As a nation founded by immigrants, do we have the right to maintain that the more than 12 million Americans who were born elsewhere and who pay taxes, serve on juries, vote, and die in combat cannot have the same opportunities? On the other hand, how do we measure patriotism, and is it a compelling enough reason to amend the Constitution?

When we consider how slow-moving the legislative process has been for both bills, such questions begin to sound premature. The Legislative Status Office at the Senate says Hatch's bill is still in the Committee on the Judiciary. No action has been taken since it was first introduced in July. As for the House bill, it was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution in June, but a hearing has not yet been held. Neither bill is scheduled for committee action at this time.

Erin Montgomery is an editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard.