Like Senator McCain, I am an American citizen born overseas to American citizens. As a result, I'm deeply and personally interested in the latest furor over whether McCain's birth in the Canal Zone disqualifies him from running for the US presidency. All my life, I've been told that because I was born in Germany I was a kind of "second class citizen," unable to even consider running for President.
Unlike McCain, whose father was in the military, my father was an American diplomat. Thus, I must admit that I'm not sure what to think about Senate bill S.2678, introduced yesterday in the US Senate by Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The bill is entitled: "A bill to clarify the law and ensure that children born to United States citizens while serving overseas in the military are eligible to become President." Of course, my question is: What about the kids of US Diplomats? What about the kids of folk that worked for Agriculture, Customs, FAA, CIA, or any of the many other US agencies? Are we somehow less worthy, less American, less good than the military kids? In fact, what about the kids born to US citizens who weren't working for the government at all? (Does the fact that one's parents worked overseas or had an unexpected birth while on vacation in the Carribean make one less of an American?)
I strongly encourage Congress to finally resolve the long standing debate over the quality of citizenship experienced by American kids born overseas. However, I feel it will be insulting and counter-productive if only the children of military families are to have their status clarified.