Is Mitt Romney a “natural born citizen”?
In regards to the missionaries, I point that out to show that the expatriate Mormons HAD to become Mexican citizens since missionary work by foreigners was prohibited by Mexican law at the time.
Geometry, “if this and this, therefore that.” If Mexico only allowed citizens to conduct missions/missionary work. The Mormons operated missions in Mexico, therefore, the Mormons were Mexican citizens.
Since George W. Romney was born in Mexico, son of the head elder, there for about 3 decades before his birth, said elder must have been a Mexican citizen, therefore, could not bestow American citizenship, let alone “natural born” to George W. Romney. Since George W. Romney was therefore NOT A natural born American citizen, he could not bestow natural born to his son Mitt Romney. It does not matter what state Mitt Romney was born in.
The operative immigration law of nations at the time, each government had a tacit agreement about such expatriates as a matter of being put into delicate situations of having to defend Americans on foreign soil. This procedure was operative when the Mormons fled Utah, the standard being that if an American stayed (at the time the accepted time frame was) 5 or so years, each country would consider they had rejected their native country’s citizenship.
Since the family was in Mexico, depending on the story, 1870’s or 80’s, the USA would have considered them Mexican and Mexico would have too, on that account.
Since Mexican law severely restricted foreign ownership of territory and since Romney’s own family genealogy reports they bought land w/Mexico’s approval, then if this, then that of it concludes that they were Mexican citizens, free to own land and also, do their missionary work.
The Mormons left to escape the US government threats, then passage of two severe laws against polygamy (links below). They were losing or had lost their citizens’ rights to vote, sit on juries, etc. The final legislation banning polygamy and assessing severe sanctions in the 1880s made committed polygamy a crime and while the legislation OFFERED THE EXPATRIATES IN MEXICO a legal way back, all those who were married prior to 1864, (and George W. Romney’s father was), he could have chosen to repatriate with all benefits of American citizenship.
He declined and died in Mexico in 1906 or 1907, never returning, never giving up Mexican citizenship.
Notes to CI from Adrianne:
CI … I went to your site and as I forewarned, said that the “official” accounts are revisionist history.
From your link:
“… While Romney was born in Mexico, he was still considered to be a viable and legal candidate to run for president. His Mormon grandfather and his three wives fled to Mexico in 1886, but none of them ever relinquished their citizenship.”
Actual Chronological History:
Mitt Romney’s paternal great grandfather Miles Park Romney was one of the many families that left the United States in March of 1885 to conlonize Mexico. (why and their citizenship fate explained below)
Mitt’s paternal grandfather Gaskell Romney stayed in Mexico until the Mexican Revolution forced his family to move back to the United States.
Mitt’s father George W. Romeny was also born in Colonia Dublán, Galeana, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua – one of the Mormon colonies in Mexico – on July 8, 1907.
Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather, George W. Romney’s maternal grandfather, Helamen Pratt:
Pratt was one of the first missionaries to Mexico, and in 1876 at Hermosillo, Sonora, Pratt and Meliton Trejo performed the first baptisms recorded by the LDS Church in that country. Pratt latter served as president of the Mexican Mission based in Mexico City for part of the 1880s. After his release he moved to Colonia Dublan in Galeana, state of Chihuahua, Mexico, where he died.
He married in Salt Lake City, Utah, 20 April 1874 German Anna Johanna Dorothy (“Dora”) Wilcken (Dahme, Zarpin, Rheinfeld, Ostholstein, Schleswig-Holstein, 25 July 1854 – Colonia Dublán, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico, 22 June 1929), daughter of Carl Heinrich Wilcken (Eckhorst, Holstein, Schleswig-Holstein, 5 October 1831 – Salt Lake City, Utah, 9 April 1914) and the first of at least four wives (m. Neustadt in Holstein, Ostholstein, Schleswig-Holstein, 10 August 1853) Eliza Christina Carolina Reiche (Neustadt in Holstein, Ostholstein, Schleswig-Holstein, 1 May 1830 – Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 August 1906), both of whom also became LDS Church members. He was also a polygamist.
His maternal great grandfather, Helaman Pratt’s Obituary:
Helaman Pratt, a Frontiersman From Birth, Closes Long Missionary Life at 63
In the death of Helaman Pratt, the Juares stake has suffered an irretrievable loss. He died of apoplexy, Nov. 26, 1909, at his house in Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico. Few have done more for the spreading of the gospel among the natives of Mexico than he. None have taken a more general interest in the work both temporal and spiritual. ….”
Would you agree then, that despite the claim on the official page, the link I give from the FAMILY genealogy page would show that Romney’s great grandfather and his descendants all considered him a missionary?
Mexican law, until the 1940’s prohibited foreign missionaries.
I know this because my cousin was a Franciscan missionary and was imprisoned and tossed from Mexico, the third time with a warning he’d be shot.
Interesting old article, some name dropping, too:
Mormons Carry On In Mexico Farm Area
May 03, 1986|By William Stockton, The New York Times
NUEVO CASAS GRANDES, MEXICO — A hundred years ago, a group of Mormons loaded their possessions and families onto wagons and moved to Mexico to seek a place to practice polygamy free from interference and to establish a beachhead from which to convert Mexico to Mormonism.
Polygamy died out not long after the turn of the century, and most of the Mormon colonies disappeared, too. But two survived and prospered in northern Chihuahua, and the descendants carry on their ancestors` religious traditions and work as farmers and ranchers.
Residents have names such as Romney, Taylor, Wagner and Hatch, and some live in two-story Victorian-style brick houses reminiscent of Salt Lake City. But a century of living here has produced a life of dual identities.
On one hand, the Mormons are Mexican citizens, some proudly, ardently Mexican. They speak Spanish, are subject to Mexican laws and economic woes, and must meet the Mexican military service requirement.
But their outlook on life is decidedly American. Their children attend Brigham Young University in Utah, and they receive Bride`s magazine when a daughter`s wedding is imminent. The side of the refrigerator in one Mormon home has a very American set of household rules posted for the children.
Whole Story …
In order to stay and own property, they had to become Mexican Citizens.
” ….Helaman’s duties with the exploration commission did not release him from his duties as Mission President. It was not until after the trouble with the Governor of Chihuahua that he was released and set apart by President Taylor to help in the colonization of the Saints in Mexico. In this new calling he worked hard to help the Saints get land, secure land titles, water rights, spearhead the building of canals, and ditches and all that was necessary to make their new home a happy and prosperous one. At the time he set Helaman apart, President Taylor told him that he was called until death released him, and that he was to become a Mexican citizen and take part in the government. Helaman accepted the call and all its ramifications. ….
Helaman Pratt’s Mexican naturalization paper.
State side persecution from the government only increased as the Mormon Church continued to grow. In 1882, the Edmunds Act, which outlawed cohabitation with more than one woman, was passed. To enforce this, U.S. President Chester A. Arthur sent the Utah Commission. All Mormons who practiced polygamy were disenfranchised, stripped of the right to vote or hold public office. Many of them were also jailed. Although this clearly violated U.S. constitutional law forbidding ex post facto laws, over 1,300 men were jailed. In Idaho, a loyalty oath was instituted in 1885, which required all residents to swear they opposed polygamy or any organization that taught it in order to vote. This effectively disenfranchised all Mormons. Mormons appealed these laws all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, but things only got worse. In 1887, the U.S. Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act, which dis-incorporated the Mormon Church and seized virtually all of its property. It required loyalty oaths from local officials, which kept even Mormons not practicing polygamy from holding office, and allowed the federal government to appoint state officers and even control what textbooks could be allowed in classrooms.
In July of 1862 the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln. Then in March of 1882 the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882 was signed into law.
The Edmunds Act not only reinforced the 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act but also revoked polygamists’ right to vote, made them ineligible for jury service, and prohibited them from holding political office.
Their citizenship was unceremoniously stripped.
According to the anti-polygamists the Mormons were charged with “political treason” by establishing a separatist theocracy in Utah. Second, they saw a social treason (Race Treason) against the nation of White citizens when Mormons adopted a supposedly barbaric marital form (polygamy).
By the time George W. Romney was born, it was quite safe for the Romneys to come back to the United States. They chose not until the revolution in 1912 forced the issue.
The polygamists expatriated.
They went to Mexico planning to convert Mexico and stay in Mexico.
And the bottom line is that immigration law then, put a time limit for natural citizens to live in a foreign country. Especially with no indication they’d come back. The Mormons bought and owned property. Not to mention that Mexican law at the time severely restricted foreign ownership, they COLONIZED the place, all their literature freely admits that.
Go to the American colonists. How many of them came with the intent of going back? They came to stay. As did the Mormons who because citizens.
Now, here is the link and the pertinent points of law that show that law and protocol at the time considered the Mormons expatriates.
“…….Congress finally got into the act in 1907, passing a new law that essentially codified most of these administrative rules governing expatriation. Loss of citizenship depended on the act—naturalizing elsewhere or assuming lengthy foreign residence, for example—not the conscious choice of the individual to give up US nationality as a result…”
Dual citizenship was rare and frowned upon at the time, if it existed in real terms at all.
But the idea is moot since dual is not natural born.