Fact Check: Kamala Harris Has NOT Been Chosen (Yet) As Biden's Veep, She IS A Natural-Born U.S. Citizen And Is Eligible To Be President

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Kamala Harris Has NOT Been Chosen (Yet) As Biden's Veep, She IS A Natural-Born U.S. Citizen And Is Eligible To Be President She's Eligible

Has Joe Biden already chosen Kamala Harris as his running mate, but she is not eligible to be president since her parents were not American citizens at the time of her birth? No, that's not true. While Sen. Harris was reportedly on Biden's short, short list of potential Democratic vice presidential picks, his decision had not been announced as of August 7, 2020. A claim has gone viral that Harris would not be eligible to take over the presidency should something happen to Joe Biden because her parents were not U.S. citizens when she was born in California in 1964. The United States Constitution requires a president to be a natural-born citizen, but the 14th amendment guarantees citizenship for anyone born in the United States, regardless of their parents' immigration status.

The claims appeared as a post (archived here) where it was published on Facebook on August 6, 2020. It opened:

Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his VP.
If crazy Joe cannot serve his full term, Kamala cannot by constitutional law become President. She is an anchor baby, mother is from India, father is Jamaican, and neither were american citizens at time of her birth.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Aug 7 20:41:44 2020 UTC)

Here is the full text of the post:

Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his VP.
If crazy Joe cannot serve his full term, Kamala cannot by constitutional law become President. She is an anchor baby, mother is from India, father is Jamaican, and neither were american citizens at time of her birth.
That means the Presidency would fall on Speaker of the house. Recently Nancy Pelosi stated that she was next in line to become President. THAT in itself is reason to vote her out in November.
Democrats have worked the whole scenario out and I believe that is why they chose Kamala Harris. Voter fraud is in the works to get Nancy Pelosi as President.
Cast your votes carefully in November."

Harris' bio on Encyclopedia Britannica notes she was born in in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964.

The claim is that Harris' parents were not yet United States citizens when she was born. The Constitution does not require parents to be citizens for their children born here to be citizens. American citizens. A child is a citizen if they are born in the United States.

Her father is Jamaican and taught at Stanford University and her mother was the daughter of an Indian diplomat and was a cancer researcher.

USA.gov, an official government website, lists the U.S. Constitutional Requirements for Presidential Candidates:

The president must:

Be a natural-born citizen of the United States
Be at least 35 years old
Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years

Being born in the United States automatically makes you a natural-born citizen of the United States. This is called "birthright citizenship," and is guaranteed by the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution:

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The post claims if something happened to a theoretical President Joe Biden, Harris as vice president would be ineligible to be the president and the job would go to the next in line -- the Speaker of the House.

This chain of succession is correct. If the president and vice president can no longer serve, then according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 6, of the U.S. Constitution, the Speaker of the House becomes president, as CNN reported here.

However, a Vice President Kamala Harris would be eligible to become president if something were to happen to the president.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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