Roger Conklin asks, “Is Romney an accidental Mexican Citizen as reported?”

Since Arrow has been having fun at the Vancouver Sun, with his “What if” scenario of Kenya adopting the U.S. citizenship taxation regime, why stop there?  Roger Conklin suggests that maybe we could get Romney’s campaign attention on a similar issue that may relate to him.  Since Mitt’s father George was born in Mexico where he apparently obtained Mexican Citizenship, he then passed on his Mexican citizenship to Romney automatically when Romney was born in America. (see note below)  What opportunity does this provide us for getting more attention on the U.S.citizenship taxation issue?  Could we not create other “What if” stories centered around Romney just  like that was published at the Vancouver Sun?

Two articles at the beginning of the year got Roger thinking, and investigating, and he asked that I share them as a post on his behalf.

Mitt Romney’s Mexican Roots; His Father Was Born In Mexico, Could Choose Dual Citizenship

Mitt Romney’s Mexican Roots: GOP Frontrunner A Potential Mexican Citizen?

Roger writes:

I have checked the Mexican Nationality law and the facts are clear on how citizenship is passed to a son.  Under Mexico ’s citizenship laws, Romney may be considered a dual-US Mexican citizen. Perhaps this could be useful in bringing this citizenship-based taxation monster to his attention in pressing him for a commitment on the issue.

His father was born in Mexico to U.S.citizen parents and may have been considered a Mexican.  Since Mitt was born in the U.S. to a father with possible Mexican citizenship, he could also a Mexican citizen by birth if these reports are true.  In this respect, Mexican citizenship laws treat persons born to a Mexican parent outside of Mexico in almost the same way as U.S. citizens treat persons born to an American parent outside of their U.S. Mexican law imposes no minimum residency requirements on Mexicans parenting a child born outside of Mexico .

Until fairly recently, Mexican law provided that a child born to a Mexican father outside of Mexico was Mexican from birth, but not a child born of a Mexican mother. The most recent version of Mexico ’s nationality law removes that distinction so that if either parent is Mexican, the child has Mexican citizenship. (Before that time there was no way for a person born outside of Mexico to a Mexican mother to ever acquire Mexican citizenship.)

But since Mitt’s father George was born in Mexico, and if Mexico therefore considered him a Mexican citizen, he passed on his Mexican citizenship to Romney automatically. His father George came to the U.S. when his parents, who never gave up their U.S. citizenship or become Mexican citizens, returned to the U.S. As far as I know Mitt has never requested of the Mexican government that he be recognized as a Mexican citizen, but that is a mere formality since he would have automatically had Mexican citizenship from the moment of birth in the U.S. With proof of his father’s Mexican birth he could walk into a Mexican consulate any where in the world, and they would issue him a Mexican passport.

These being the facts, as we understand them, (cognizant of the possibility that this is just the liberal equivalent of the Obama birther controversies) how can we exploit the issue for greater visibility of the U.S. Citizen taxation issue?  Just the uncertainty associated with how Citizenship is bestowed shows the absurdity of a taxation system based upon it.

When you think about it, Mexico could really have a financial bonanza on their hands, if they just claim him now as their own, even if it takes some retroactive legislation.  The U.S. provides some good examples to follow for our amigos down south.  Maybe someone in the Cámara de Senadores del H. Congreso de la Unión could propose a citizenship taxation program to collect some easy money from accidental Mexicans with a net worth more than, oh let’s just use a meaningfully arbitrary number of say, $2 million?  🙂

Note:  Roger uses qualifiers throughout this post, as there maybe some dispute on this issue as reported in a CNN report which says…  

Miles Park Romney never became a Mexican citizen, and neither did his son, Gaskell, or grandson, George. They were all denied Mexican citizenship because statutes on the books in Mexico denied that right to American settlers and their offspring.  

In Roger’s research, never has anyone referred to any specific Mexican legislation that barred children born in Mexico to American “settlers” from Mexican citizenship. George was born in Mexico, and until someone produces the specifics of Mexican law that would have barred him or anyone else born in Mexico from Mexican citizenship Roger put zeros credence in that statement, but in fairness wanted it referenced here.

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26 thoughts on “Roger Conklin asks, “Is Romney an accidental Mexican Citizen as reported?”

  1. Yes, this is one of the reasons why I have always felt (the others being his foreign bank accounts and his cottage in Canada) that Romney is a natural ally for us.

    In fact, I believe that we should form an “Expats against Obama” coalition. I bet we would even attract members of Democrats Abroad. We really should reach out to the Romney Campaign. The guy has a summer cottage in Canada. He probably even has or has had – are you ready for this – a Canadian bank account. (I “bet” you ten thousand dollars that he has more than ten thousand dollars in it!)

    But, another interesting question revolves around his father George Romney who was born in Mexico. When he ran for president in 1968, there was an issue as to whether he was a “Natural Born” American. This is yet another reason why I think that Romney might be very sympathetic to all of these citizenship issues. In the case of Obama he may or may not have been born in the U.S. There is, at the very least, evidence that he has not challenged a claim that he was born in Kenya. That said, leaving Obama’s place of birth aside, there are lots of other reasons to get rid of him.

    I believe that the Isaac Brock Society should commit itself to the goal of doing everything possible to prevent the re-election of Obama.

    Here is an interesting article on the Romney situation:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47608339/ns/politics/t/romneys-birth-certificate-evokes-his-fathers-controversy/#.T8aRHPU3rAE

  2. Yes, we are all accidental, unless someone naturalised in the US. No one handed me a brochure as I was leaving the US that says:
    ** YOU ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY, BUT YOU ARE “DISCOURAGED” FROM MAKING A LIFE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY **

    In my book, Romney is a dual US/Mexican national. Obama is a dual US/Kenyan national, and most likely Indonesian. It’s just a shame that the likes of Donald Trump tried to say that Obama wasn’t a natural born American when we all know the US Nationality Law says that he automatically obtained citizenship from his mother. Donald Trump should really read up on the very “generous” US Nationality law. What we need is dual nationality to come to the forefront. But sadly, what WE need the most often gets sidelined.

    If anything too, in their LONG-TERM planning, the ACA and other groups should realise a few things:
    1- A generous gift will eventually turn into a dangerous weapon.
    2- If it’s on the books, it’s going to be used, most likely during “tough times”.

  3. Post 9/11 American’s are oftentimes irrational, even pre 9/11 American’s were sometimes irrational. I don’t think you’ll see either candidate talking about non-American citizenship or dual-citizenship during the campaign, it’s not a vote getter. In a time when patriotism verging on nationalism is en vogue and popular, the population’s mentality is turning against globalization, becoming non-interventionist, and insular. Attracting the huge middle blob of “independent” voters is the topic of the day, and for that the candidate’s will turn populist and rather quickly. The Obama campaign brought up Romney’s oversea’s bank accounts, and the reaction or rather non-reaction of the Romney campaign is all you need to know, foreign = bad, at least until after the election.

    @geeez Birther’s don’t question Obama’s citizenship transferred by blood from his mother, they question his “natural born citizen” claim. Because the Constitution says natural born, it has been interpreted to mean born on US soil, or in special cases where they passed retroactive resolution’s for John McCain born on a US military base. Citizenship passed down by parent’s isn’t enough to get you eligible to be President, you have to be born here.

  4. @WhoaIt’sSteve, I don’t suppose the anti globalization crowd is intelligent enough to realize that switching to a territorial tax system would end up benefiting US workers. Under a territorial system the US government would be incentivized to bring jobs back home since that’s the only way they could collect taxes. They would have to become business friendly.

    With the current worldwide tax system that only the US (and Eritrea) use there is not enough incentive to keep jobs in the United States. It also acts as a deterrent to foreign corporations setting up headquarters in the US and therefore creating more US jobs.

    When Biden says he wants to tax the world, he might as well be saying because God knows there’s not enough Americans with jobs who can pay the kind of taxes needed to support this Administrations’s spending.

  5. Romney’s father often claimed he was a “summer Canadian” because the family spent summers at their Ontario cottage on Lake Huron. Romney did not spend a Fourth of July in the US until he was 15. Now, how unpatriotic is that?!?

    That must mean Mitt was in Canada on July 1 (Canada Day now, then called Dominion Day) until he was 15. That sure sounds like it meets Canada’s proposed retroactive “substantial presence” criteria. So, surely Canada can claim Mitt as a “Canadian person” and seize a large portion of his immense wealth which he has been stashing in the US, Cayman Islands and elsewhere–and yes, probably even some in a Canadian chequing account.

    Let’s open up Romney’s financial accounts under GATCA.

  6. @omg That is a totally different mindset than the norm, in general it is antithetical to being “American” to move out of the country permanently. That thought won’t even cross most of our mind’s, or they won’t care. In some ways I admire you guys for adventuring out, I don’t think I could do it, I’d miss so much, not just my family, but TV, the choice’s offered in shopping malls, and at the grocery store, Taco Bell and the choice’s offered in restaurant’s. I love traveling around the World but I wouldn’t want to leave the US permanently, to leave everything to make your home in a foreign place very adventurous kind of cool, not for me.

  7. @WhoaIt’sSteve, I understand what you mean about there being more choices in the US. Back when I wasn’t broke, I used to love going to big American cities to buy designer clothes and accessories. The choices we had here in Canada in the same designer stores looked like stuff nobody else wanted.

    I was in Southern California once and mentioned to my American business associate how much I loved Mexican food and how hard it was to find anything other than a Taco Bell in Canada. He took me to an all you can eat Mexican buffet that must have had well over 100 items. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

  8. @WhoaIt’sSteve:

    I guess it hasn’t occurred to most Americans that all those people who left for other places are much happier for doing so? But really, that’s not the point of all this. The point is, the US wants to deprive its citizens of the right to leave. It won’t do it by passing legislation that says “thou shalt not leave” it will do it by depriving you of a big chunk of your hard-earned assets — an even bigger chunk if Schumer gets his way — and it wants to ban you from ever returning, even for a visit.

    Keep in mind that the exit tax is applied to assets that were likely purchased with after-tax dollars. And the tax isn’t applied to just the capital gain of that asset, it’s applied to the entire value. This guy Saverin is being pilloried for renouncing his citizenship for tax reasons, but people like Schumer don’t want to mention that he has paid millions through that exit tax. They don’t seem to be all that concerned that even with a ridiculous exit tax, someone like Saverin is better off out of the country (or at least out of its citizenship obligations).

    There’s an article linked in another post, pointing out that even the old USSR didn’t have an exit tax as onerous as the one the US has (and Schumer hopes to make it worse). Even more to the point, US Congresscritters wanted to impose sanctions on the USSR for doing that. Talk about hypocrisy.

    By the way — leaving the country is a very “American” thing to do. Remember the Mayflower?

  9. @Arrow – ‘leaving the country is a very “American” thing to do. Remember the Mayflower?’
    You could have been quoting my grandmother the night before I left Chicago to begin University in Toronto. My mother was ‘fussing’ that I might meet a Canadian and never return home. My grandmother reminded my mother that I was just doing what my ancestors had done – one side left Ireland for the U.S. and my dad’s side left France (in 1695) for Quebec. I was just going up to the country that my father’s ancestors had first come to as far as my grandmother was concerned.
    However, it turned out my mother was correct – I did meet a Canadian and I did not return to the US to live. However, everyone in my family understood why I stayed in Canada. Quite honestly, I think some of them (my mom included) quite envied my life ‘north of the border’.

  10. @Arrow

    That other article you references is on the HuffPost…

    http://huff.to/LKIZzb

    @WhoaItsSteve…
    I know you think you would miss terribly, those Toco Bells, and that is fine if you never want to leave so you can stay close, but that again only shows how little you understand. It is fine if you never want to leave, that is your right. Just keep your Tax system, your special forces, and your drones within your borders, and we have no complaints! 🙂

  11. @WhoaIt’sSteve
    On my mother’s side, my grandparents left Korea at a time when Koreans couldn’t even so much as leave their village to find a job in the city-but as result of crushing poverty, they left the country in 1902-1905 emigrations to Hawaii. My great grandfather on my dad’s side trekked across the country from Ohio to find gold in Alaska, stopped in Oregon and married my grandmother. My father finally did make it to Alaska in the 1950s. We are migrant people. Don’t tell me it is not “American” to leave country. I retain the Wanderlust of my ancestors. My grandfather moved at the age of 85 from Oregon to Reno to avoid Oregon and California state income taxes. He did nothing sordid or evil or wrong. I moved to Canada to study; I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to study in a foreign country–the school I attended in Vancouver was actually physically closer to Alaska than any of the choices in the United States. Then, I studied in England, Switzerland, and taught in Canada and Central African Republic in the city of Bangui. Is that un-American?

    Is it un-American to renounce your citizenship for tax purposes? Not at all. It is very American, in keeping with the Declaration of Independence.

    And FYI, We have TV and Taco Bell in Canada too.

  12. Let me correct some misconceptions.

    The term “natural-born citizen” has never been interpreted by the courts, so there is no definite answer. However, what most agree is not that it means born in the US, but born a US citizen. In other words, a person who has been a US citizen the whole life, as opposed to the lower qualifications for senators or representatives (US citizen for the last 9 and 7 years, respectively). A person becomes a US citizen at birth if born in the US (except if the parents are foreign diplomats, the only people in the US not subject to US jurisdiction), or if born outside the US from a US parent who satisfies some US residence requirements.

    If Barack Obama were not born in the US, he would not be a US citizen by birth. His father was not a US citizen, and his mother was 18 when he was born. She would have to be at least 19 to pass US citizenship to him (the law at the time required that the US parent had a period of 5 years of US residence after reaching 14 years old). This is the whole “birther” issue, and why having a US birth certificate is critical for Obama. It is not so critical for presidential candidates with both parents as US citizens, or one US parent with a longer period of residence.

    Both John McCain’s parents were US citizens, so the residence requirement for them was lower, only that they had ever resided in the US in the past, which was true, so he is a US citizen since birth. Being born in a US military base does not confer US citizenship.

    Mexico did not forbid American settlers from becoming Mexican citizens, but Mexico did not allow dual citizenship at the time. George Romney’s parents chose US citizenship for him, so he was not Mexican, and neither is Mitt Romney. Today Mexico allows dual citizenship, but I don’t know if this is retroactive.

  13. @WhoIt’sSteve, and @all, the post by Phil Hodgen (can’t quite find it now) that said that an important argument to make to the US politicians) re making compliance simpler, was anything that would speak to creating employment for American (‘homelander’) constituents. Well, there was an article that describes the tax and potential penalty liability mess that US workers would find themselves in if they came up to work in Canada – which of course they would have absolutely no clue about beforehand.

    So if Congress and the US want US workers to be successful in finding employment wherever it might be found, it is against their best interests to make it impossible to do that – by continuing along this path of increasingly burdensome and complex reporting, and draconian fines. Why not make it simpler to comply? And if Alberta wants to attract US workers – then shouldn’t they be telling the US that the impossible tax reporting jeopardy is a liability which works against attracting US employees, as well as a burden for would-be Canadian employers?

    As we know, compliance advice can also be very expensive – given the complexity of the forms, the deadlines and the information required. Can’t quite see how it will be worth it for those workers to come here if they’re not making very very good salaries that make the potential for jeopardy worthwhile – and pays for crossborder tax and legal services. They’ll have to have Canadian bank accounts – and that alone will start off the FBAR fundraising jeopardy.

    ….”It’s up to the U.S. workers to keep abreast of what returns need to filed, the costs associated with them and the timing of each one, but it ultimately becomes a problem for their Canadian employers, too.

    It’s all about educating yourself, Berg says. The penalty regime in the U.S. tends to be much harsher than in Canada and more onerous. “It’s very different.”…

    Read more: Taxes create cross-border issues Do research to avoid fines, experts urge

  14. The Mayflower were religious people looking for a place to escape persecution, nothing to do with taxes. The American Revolution was about taxes though. I didn’t say I thought it was un-American to leave the US, I don’t think it is specifically “American” either, I do think it is in the spirit of adventure and something outside the norm, and kind of cool.

    @Shadow True the Supreme Court has not had a chance to rule on the issue yet. While so far except for McCain who got a resolution declaring him retroactively a natural-born citizen, no one else has been born abroad and got to a place where they could actually conceivably be elected to test the citizen born abroad to American citizens, George Romney came somewhat close but didn’t got the nomination. So in practice it means born on land that is under US jurisdiction.

  15. @ those who say natural born citizen has not been interpreted by the courts, what about Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167 [1874]?

    At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.

  16. Interesting so in actuality not only practicality the Supreme Court declared “natural-born” to mean only born on US land?

  17. @WhoaIt’s Steve: I am not familar with the reason the eligibility of McCain was upheld. It probably was argued that Panama Canal Zone was actually held by the United States at the time of his birth, and he was born on a military base.

  18. @Badger…
    Thanks for the link to the Calgary Herald. So that is what Roy Berg looks like. He hasn’t commented here in a while, but if he sees this, I hope he knows how much we appreciate the opportunity for yet another comment…. I couldn’t help myself, so posted this….

    Thanks for this article. I am sure that most Americans have no idea of the tax complexity maze they are in for should they think there is a good job just north of the border.

    The penalties for failing to comply are onerous. Giving up the US Citizenship, so you can live like normal Canadians, will not be easy or cheap.

    The US has raised so many barriers against US emigration, that Ca businesses would be well advised to look to another pool. Sorry you poor Yanks, looking for something more than a hamburger flipping job. Your country really doesn’t want you venturing outside its borders, except for a short holiday. Google earth is ok, as an alternative. 🙂

    I see the Canadian Immigration office is trying to poach those that might be applying for an H1B visa. http://bit.ly/LYVdIc

    It is a good ploy. Immigrants should avoid US person hood as the plague, and you will have a good marketing campaign to attract them.

    And we didn’t even talk about FATCA and what that means! 🙂

  19. @Petros and @Steve, I am aware of this interpretation, but it does not totally define what a natural-born citizen is. The supreme court ruled that the term “natural-born citizen” certainly includes people who satisfy both requirements of being born in the US and having parents who are US citizens, and excludes people who don’t satisfy either requirement, such as foreigners and naturalized citizens.

    However, the court did not say whether the term “natural-born citizen” includes people who satisfy only one of the requirements, such as someone born outside the US from US parents, or someone born in the US from foreign parents, or someone with only one US parent. In most cases, these people are US citizens by birth, but the court did not say whether this means they are also “natural-born citizens”.

  20. @Petros, Congress passed a non-binding resolution declaring John McCain eligible to be president. It is not a legal precedent. However, apparently only Congress can challenge the eligibility of a president, no one else has standing in court to do so.

    Being born in a US military base has no effect on citizenship. The law that declared those born in the Panama Canal Zone US citizens was enacted after John McCain was born. In my view, if his parents were not US citizens, this law would make him a US citizen starting from the date of enactment of the law, similar to naturalization, but not from birth.

  21. @WhoaItsSteve…

    Glad you are still hanging around. The subject is addictive, isn’t it?

    Wonder what you feel about the Ron Paul’s position on the Ex-Patriot Act. You might want to read that link and the comments.

    Also, here is a good comment FromTheWilderness that I recommend to you.

  22. @Just Me Thanks 🙂 I’m a fan of Ron Paul, I think he has most of the right ideas, I’m a registered Democrat since I could vote. But some Libertarian policy speaks to me, I trust Columbus way more than DC, so shrinking the Federal Government down to size is fine with me.

    Regarding Ex-Patriot I was of the opinion that people with extreme wealth who cut their US citizenship should face consequence’s I’ve thought it over and changed my mind, that it should be more of apathy like they are adults no one’s stopping them, good luck.

    For the 3rd part yeah I know lots of people with huge student loan debt, that would be a heart wracking decision, I don’t think I could make it, luckily I’ve found good jobs not a “career” necessarily but I’m well. Also I’m lucky my parents paid for everything, and they’ve provided great support for us so I’m thankful for being born in to the good family that I was born in to.

  23. The Canadian Citizenship act of 1946, the act that was current when I was born used the term “Natural Born Canadian Citizen”. A natural born Canadian citizen included people born in Canada, and Canadian ships. It also included people born outside Canada to a Canadian father, or a Canadian mother if born out of wedlock. I was a Natural Born Canadian Citizen, even though I was born on US soil as my father was Canadian. I can not help but think that the term “natural born” had a well understood meaning when it was included in the Constitution. It would seem careless to use a term that had no meaning at the time, in such an important document, for such an important position.

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