"Permit me to hint whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government ; and to declare expressly that the command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on any but a natural born citizen." (as found here: John Jay to George Washington) [ Images of the letter and its draft are here: 10627, 12782]
A commenter said that the founders were concerned over foreign ties among immigrants; at his site he reasons in this way: http://muddythoughts.blogspot.com/2008/02/panmanchurian-candidate-mccain.html
"1. The 14th Amendment and matching policy limit citizenship to either natural born or naturalized, but not both.
2. John McCain was born in 1936 in the Canal Zone to citizen parents.
3. 8 USC 1403(a) declares naturalized citizenship in 1952 on persons born in the Canal Zone to citizen parents.
4. Therefore, 8 USC 1403(a) applies to John McCain at age 16.
5. Therefore, John McCain is a naturalized citizen.
6.By treaty, the Canal Zone was not part of the United States.
7. Therefore, John McCain was not born in the United States.
8. Therefore, John McCain is a citizen not born in the United States.
9. Therefore, John McCain is not a natural born citizen.
10. Article II of the Constitution states to be President a person must be a natural born citizen.
11. THEREFORE, John McCain is not eligible to be President of the United States under Article II of the Constitution; he should be decertified and removed from all present and future Presidential ballots; and his past results should be disallowed, including unbinding all of his committed delegates. "
The explanation of the natural born citizen requirement, being that it was desired to forestall damaging foreign influences from coalescing around an immigrant, would sound right if it were taken as referring to immigration after 1789. What about all the foreign-born who were citizens at that point already, and eligible by the specified exception, for the citizens of 1789, though? Wouldn't they be a greater threat than a potential immigration in the future? This is why I bring up the special case of the emigre Tories whose parents were Americans, and whose valuable lands had been taken and later sold to the great Whig families here. If one of them came back, claiming natural born citizenship by parentage if that were allowed in the clause, and became president, he would threaten the upset of those land acquisitions by those most important families, and perhaps more and worse, if trying for recolonization. Jay would not want any such in our military officer's ranks, nor in high office of any kind, much less the presidency. Of the foreigners he sees as most threatening, the hundred thousand Tories on the northern border, with their claims on the great landed fortunes, might appear the most motivated and close-situated, to even cause a lasting disinterest in repeating the experiment in a new kind of government.
Writes John Jay to Lansdown"There are, indeed, certain characters who can never return with safety...", referring to Tory exiles. Referring to British occupation of certain American border
lands, John Jay to Gilbert Du Motier Lafayette writes that: "It is certain that they pay great attention to the Indians, and give great encouragement to emigrants from us. Their expectations from the latter circumstance will fail them. I wish that every acre of ground they hold in America was settled by natives of the United States." Why was Jay taken so seriously on the subject of possible skulduggery by foreigners, and especially regarding the Tory settlers on those borders?
"...No person heretofore proscribed by any state, or who has been legally convicted of having joined the army of Great Britain during the late war, shall be admitted as foresaid, without the consent of the legislature of the state in which such person was proscribed."