Proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution is a complex and time-consuming process, but there are crucial opportunities for improving the country’s supreme law. At the moment, with its natural-born-citizen-clause, the law outlines specific criteria for candidates for the presidency. If I could propose one amendment to the supreme law, it would be the decision to repeal the rule regarding being a natural-born citizen to participate in presidential elections.
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The discussed amendment would involve letting the naturalized citizens of the U.S. be considered as presidential candidates if they meet other age- and education-related requirements. The initial purpose of the clause to be repelled is to “prevent people without life-long connections to the United States from becoming President” (Ramsey, 2018, p. 2). Due to the amendment, foreign-born individuals who have been full-fledged citizens of the U.S. for thirty years or more would be able to compete for the presidency just like natural-born citizens. The rule of thirty years would be introduced to exclude recent immigrants who do not have vast experiences with the U.S. school/college education systems, workplaces, and culture. Individuals without such experiences are unlikely to fully recognize the country’s local and systemic issues, which would reduce their effectiveness despite political talents.
Finally, this amendment is needed to maintain equality principles and increase the country’s chances to find the most talented politician to fulfill presidential functions. In its current form, the supreme law prevents foreign-born U.S. citizens naturalized early in life from becoming eligible candidates. Some people, including foreign-born children adopted by American families, become naturalized and experience cultural immersion even before they start to speak properly, resulting in their common national mentality with other U.S. citizens. Having internalized Americans’ cultural values and views of life, some of these citizens can demonstrate exceptional intelligence and communication and crisis management skills. However, presidential elections are closed for them because of the country of origin, which is not fully supportive of the country’s orientation at non-discrimination and freedom of opportunity.
Ramsey, M. D. (2018). Congress’ power to define ‘natural born’: A reply to professor Lee. American University Law Review Forum, 68, 1-11.