The United States and Mexican Claims Commission

It has for several years on various forums been repeatedly pointed out the conflicts of law created by:

º Claims that Naturalization Acts do not apply to alien parents’ US born children

º Claims that the 14th Amendment “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause applies to those alien children, that they are “subject to the jurisdiction” and therefore are citizens

º Claims that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 “not subject to any foreign power” clause somehow means other than what is plainly stated.

International conflicts of law may be settled by a commission.

In accord with Art. XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, to settle differences “by the arbitration of commissioners appointed on each side” [1], the United States and Mexican Claims Commission was established July 4, 1868.

The Commission consisted primarily of two commissioners, one to be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice of the Senate, and the other by the President of Mexico. A third person was to act as an umpire in cases of disagreement. [2]

The commissioners were to hear “one person on each side on behalf of each government on each and every separate claim” and they were to decide “according to public law, justice, and equity” all claims laid before them.

Members of the Commission hearing the cases cited below were:

The commissioner for the United States was William Henry Wadsworth, with counsel Joseph Ashton, former Assistant Attorney-General of the United States.

The commissioner for Mexico was Francisco Palacio, also with counsel.

The umpire was Sir Edward Thornton, British minister to the United States.

Some of the more than 2000 cases heard by the Commission dealt with citizenship. Here, excerpted for space, are two such cases. Both cases are post 14th Amendment.

Thornton, umpire, April 22, 1876, Beniguo Santos Suarez v. Mexico, No. 716, convention of July 4, 1868

“The umpire is of the opinion that it is not proved that the claimant was a citizen of the United States. The ground that he is so, is his own statement that he was born at New York, together with a certificate of baptism of a child who was born at New York, Beniguo being one of the names which were given to him; but it is not proved that the child then born and baptised was one and the same person with the claimant. Nor would the mere fact of his having been born at New York be sufficient evidence of citizenship. It is clear that his parents were both aliens at the time of his birth, and it is not shown that they were naturalized or that they or the child remained in the United States. The inference is to the contrary, and the umpire believes that the child in question, even if that child was really the claimant, though born in the United States, was subject to a foreign power and cannot without further proof be considered to be a citizen of the United States” (emphasis added) [3]

Bernard J. Gautier v. Mexico, No. 958, United States and Mexican claims commission, convention of July 4, 1868

Claimant was born in Texas of French parents, and at the age of 19 years removed to Matamoras, Mexico, with his mother, a widow, where they established a commercial house. When Maximillian was sent to Mexico by Napolean III to establish an empire, a treaty was agreed upon between the two by which the so called Mexican Empire became bound to pay such claims of French subjects against Mexico as might be approved by a mixed commission. Claimant appeared before that commission… The French and Mexican mixed commission considered him entitled to French nationality, admitted his claim, and made an award in his favor for $1,000.

The commissioners, Mr. Palacio delivering the opinion, held that, as it did not appear that the parents of the claimant were naturalized during their residence in Texas, it was to be presumed that they retained their original French nationality; that the claimant, who left the United States before arriving at the age of 21 years, was entitled, according the the French code, to retain the nationality transmitted by his parents; that the laws of Mexico did not forbid such election; but that he was not entitled to renounce his French nationality and elect that of the United States, after he had abandoned that latter country to establish himself in another, and after he had made a valid act of adoption of French nationality.” (emphasis added) [4]

Had the claimant remained in the United States he would have retained the right of election, his right to renounce his French nationality or elect that of the United States.

These cases illustrate:

º Naturalization Acts do apply to alien parents’ US born children

º The 14th Amendment “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause does not produce citizens from alien parents’ US born children, the children are themselves alien

º The Civil Rights Act of 1866 “not subject to any foreign power” clause means what is plainly stated

Finally, it is my great pleasure to point out the case of Christian Gatter [5].

“The claimant was brought to the United States while a minor by his father from Germany. He claimed citizenship though the naturalization of his father, but did not prove the naturalization.

The umpire, observing that there was no proof of the naturalization of the father, said: ‘The fact that he (the father) voted or even held office in the State of Illinois is no proof that he was a citizen of the United States. And if he was not, neither was his son, who does not pretend to have been naturalized.” (excerpted, emphasis added)

Note well judge Carroll (Voeltz v. Obama): contrary to your “miracle”, holding office is not proof of citizenship.

[1] Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement with The Republic of Mexico, 9 Stat. 922, 939 (1848) available at

[2] John Bassett Moore, 2 History And Digest Of The International Arbitrations To Which The United States Has Been A Party, 1287 (1898) available at

[3] Id. at 2449

[4] Id. at 2450

[5] Id. at 2547

By grace of Providence, with prayer for protection


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