Hatch: End Ban on Foreign-Born President

Lawmakers are considering the idea of allowing foreign-born American citizens, like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (search), to become president.

The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Utah's Orrin Hatch (search), opposes the constitutional provision barring naturalized citizens from holding the nation's top office. He calls it "an anachronism that is decidedly un-American."

California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (search) brought up the name that was on the mind of many at the hearing: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another is Democratic Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, born in Canada.

One proposal would allow immigrants to run for president after being U-S citizens for 20 years. Another says 35 years.

Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate, and approval by three-fourths of the states.

The proposed amendments are S.J.Res.15, H.J.Res.104 and H.J.Res.59.