Today, the Ladybug and I got letters back from our Senators!
The Ladybug, back in December, sent letters to Senators Round and Thune and Representative Noem asking them to propose an amendment that would allow foreign-born adopted children to run for President. Her letter read:
Dear Senator Thune,
My name is the Ladybug. I am 10 years old and I was adopted from China at 7 months of age. When I grow up I want to become a scientist, but other kids that were adopted from foreign countries may want to become teachers, doctors, chefs, or maybe even the President of the United States. The problem is that right now the United States Constitution says that to become President you have to be at least 35 years old, you have to live in America for at least 14 years, and you have to be a natural born citizen.
Children who are adopted from foreign countries, even if they have lived most of their lives in the United States, are not natural born citizens. They cannot ever become President because of that one reason. I think it is unfair to adopted Americans, because those kids did nothing wrong by being adopted. But right now, just because they have a little bit of a different history than most other kids, an American citizen, who was adopted from a foreign country, is not allowed to do everything a natural born citizen can do. I think that is wrong.
I want to change that part of the Constitution, because it is very unfair to adopted citizens who want to become the President! I personally may not want to become president, but I believe that there are American kids out there right now who were adopted from a foreign country, and who want to become President one day. I am fighting for them, because I believe an adopted citizen can become anything a natural born citizen can, and should have their country support them.
From my research, I learned why the Constitution says Presidents must be natural born citizens. When the Constitution was written, there was no such thing as adopting from foreign countries. The writers of the Constitution never considered someone adopted from another country wanting to become President because, at that time, there wasn’t adoption from other countries. Instead, anyone who was going to be President was already a natural born citizen, and we have never changed that rule since.
Please help me to change that rule and let every adopted citizen do anything a natural born citizen can. Please propose an amendment to the Constitution that would allow American citizens who were adopted from foreign countries as children to be eligible to run for the Presidency of the United States. Thank you for helping adopted Americans like me!
Yesterday, she got a two-page, hand-signed response back from a Rounds staffer who, being the new adoptive father of a Chinese son, felt that her request had merit, and who invited her to meet with both he and the Senator to talk about how to proceed next.
So, YAY DEMOCRACY!
After two weeks of writing letters, sending emails, and calling their Washington and Rapid City offices on a (nearly) daily basis, I got a half-page letter from Senator Thune, expressing his deep appreciation for hearing from me regarding whatever it I was I was concerned about and that, rest-assured, he would consider the merits of whatever it was I was talking about before voting in whatever way Paul Ryan tells him to.
So… yay, democracy.