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Ted Cruz's US citizenship problem

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I have written about this before in my August 2013 post: Ted Cruz Supporter: "Canada is not really foreign soil"

    I'll extract from that post and make a few new observations. But first this is what I wrote in that post:

    "I looked at Ted Cruz's birth certificate online and it's a true Canadian Alberta birth certificate...which means, of course, that he is a Canadian citizen. It doesn't say diddly about his US citizenship...only Canadian. He has not produced his Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) which is the US equivalent of a birth certificate. It's kind of like a long form of a US birth certificate with all kinds of legal stuff stamped on it. Both of my children were born abroad and their official US birth certificates are the Consular Reports of Birth Abroad that I applied for at their births. My wife was Canadian at the time. Both of my children needed those forms to get US passports to travel out of the country.

    "So if Ted Cruz is indeed a US citizen, why has he shown us only his Canadian birth certificate and not his Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate? Yes Ted Cruz is entitled to USA citizenship, but if his mother never made that election at birth or later by filing Form DS 2029 with the US Consulate in Calgary, then he has never been officially recognized as a US citizen...at least legally.

    "Legally he is still only a Canadian unless at some point later his mother applied for that US citizen status before he turned age 18. If she did do that later I wonder when? But if his mother never made that election before age 18, then he would have to go through some kind of naturalization process. Perhaps at the same time his father Rafael Cruz applied for citizenship in 2005? He may not want that fact to get out.

    "Show us your US birth report or equivalent Ted Cruz...with dates. But does it really matter if "Canada is not really foreign soil." Ha.

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    The only difference between my situation and Ted Cruz's mother's situation is that my children were born overseas...across the Atlantic, and I absolutely needed the Consular Report of Birth Abroad to get a US passport to travel outside of the USA. In Ted Cruz's situation, they lived in Calgary, and traveling back and forth across the border to the US was easy...no passports, birth certificates or anything other than a driver's license was required at the time (1970s). So Cruz's mother may have not have even considered or known that it was necessary to file for a Consular Report Abroad at the US Consular office in Calgary for Ted to acquire US citizenship. The point is, that contrary to many media reports, Ted Cruz's US citizenship was NOT automatic. I believe it would have been eventually granted, but not until that paperwork was done. If it wasn't done, then there are problems.

    I filed the paperwork for both of my children born overseas, and as a part of that process I had to prove my own legal status at the time, which included proof that I was born in the USA, that I lived at least 10 years in the USA before my children were born, and that at least five of those years were after my 14th birthday. That was the law when Ted Cruz was born in Calgary in 1970 and that was the law when both of my children were born overseas in the 1970s.

    If Ted Cruz's mother did that paperwork she would have received a US Consular Report of Birth Abroad for Ted, which would have served as Cruz's official birth certificate in all legal matters, getting a driver's license, etc. It's what my children have always used. They never once used the birth certificates of the country of their births.

    So when Ted Cruz provides his birth certificate issued by the Canadian province of Alberta, it is NOT proof that he is a US citizen...only that his mother was a US citizen. It also did not entitle him, based on the laws at the time, to automatic US citizenship. His mother would have had to prove her legal status just like I did.

    And if his mother did not get him a Consular Report of Birth Abroad report before his 18th birthday (1988) then he would have to go through the naturalization process to obtain legal US citizenship status.

    Ted Cruz, back in August 2013 when all this controversy came to light, said he would renounce his Canadian Citizenship. Yet this is February, some seven months later and he still has not renounced his Canadian citizenship. Why not? Is it because his own legal status as a US citizen is in question? He would have to first resolve his US citizenship status, if there were problems, before he renounced his Canadian citizenship.

    Just asking questions that the media won't ask. All he needs to do is show his "long form of the birth certificate"...his US Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Why not?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Okay to belabor the point, not that anyone is interested, I got this from the Canadians:

    Application to Renounce Canadian Citizenship Under Subsection 9(1)

    "This application is for an adult Canadian citizen who wishes to renounce his or her Canadian citizenship. To renounce your Canadian citizenship you must prove you are a Canadian citizen. You must also prove that you are, or will become, a citizen of a country other than Canada, if this application to renounce is approved."

    I added the bolding. The process to renounce your Canadian citizenship is easy and quick. I looked at the application form at the above link and it's no more onerous than filling out an application for a passport. Ted could have filled it out and submitted it in less than an hour....unless he had problems with his US citizenship.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    So what might be the problem I alluded to above with Ted Cruz's US citizenship?

    The US laws were changed in 1978 and again in 2000 making "automatic US citizenship" much easier, but Ted Cruz would not have fallen under those provisions of the new law. The laws were not made retroactive.

    Chapter 3: United States Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309)

    "Until the Act of October 10, 1978, persons who had acquired U.S. citizenship through birth outside of the United States to one U.S. citizen parent had to meet certain physical presence requirements to retain their citizenship. This legislation eliminated retention requirements for persons who were born after October 10, 1952. There may be cases where a person who was born before that date, and therefore subject to the retention requirements, may have failed to retain citizenship."

    "An officer should determine whether a person acquired citizenship at birth by referring to the applicable statutory provisions and conditions that existed at the time of the person’s birth. These provisions have been modified extensively over the years."

    C. Acquisition of Citizenship Prior to Child Citizenship Act of 2000

    "The CCA applies only to those children born on or after February 27, 2001, or those who were under 18 years of age as of that date. Persons who were 18 years of age or older on February 27, 2001, do not qualify for citizenship under INA 320. For such persons, the law in effect at the time the last condition was met before reaching 18 years of age is the relevant law to determine whether they acquired citizenship.[7]

    "In general, former INA 321 applies to children who were already 18 years of age on February 27, 2001, but who were under 18 years of age in 1952, when the current Immigration and Nationality Act became effective."

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    I added the bolding in the statements above.

    Ted Cruz was born in Canada in 1970 and therefore subject to the immigration and naturalization laws in effect at the time of his birth. He didn't turn 18 until 1988. Therefore, to be classified legally as a US citizen, his mother would have had to apply for a Counsular Report of Birth Abroad. If she didn't do it and he never applied on his own accord, then technically Ted Cruz is an "illegal."

    I guess I'm the only person on this planet that is raising this issue, but I challenge any expert on immigration law to check out what I am saying.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Send him back home immediately!
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I agree. If sent back... we'd have one less idiot. Good info Schmidt. Democrats won't usually take the low roads that the repubs take or it would be a long term debate. What's Ted's middle name ? Maybe we can paint him as a Muslim as well.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz

    I guess he didn't want to use "Rafael" for whatever reason.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy.

    I guess he didn't want to use his given names either.

    Not uncommon but considering he was born into royalty I'd guess it is more uncommon with them than us mere mortals.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    Fact is that Ted Cruz is a United States citizen. This can be proven quite easily. He is a United States Senator. One of the requirements to be in the Senate or House of Representatives is that you must be a United States Citizen. By this point if he wasn't then he would have been removed from office and would not hold a security clearance required for all in the Senate or House of Representatives. The question, which I am not a lawyer and as such am not sure on, is whether he is a citizen by birth.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    RanmaMOJ Wrote: Fact is that Ted Cruz is a United States citizen. This can be proven quite easily. He is a United States Senator. One of the requirements to be in the Senate or House of Representatives is that you must be a United States Citizen. By this point if he wasn't then he would have been removed from office and would not hold a security clearance required for all in the Senate or House of Representatives. The question, which I am not a lawyer and as such am not sure on, is whether he is a citizen by birth.
    This is true, but with one major caveat. The 14th Amendment constitutes what a citizen is and Title 8 § 1401 legally defines what a "natural born citizen" is. His mother was a U.S. citizen, meaning that Ted Cruz is automatically a US citizen by birthright. The caveat is that the Supreme Court has never ruled on this issue. Since they are the final arbiter, they could, if they wish, have the final and definitive say.

    I think this is as much of a non-issue as Republican claims that President Obama was born in Kenya. Regardless of the racial implications inherent in that charge, it still wouldn't have mattered even if he was born in Kenya because his mother was a US citizen. The hypocrisy of the Republicans raising hell about President Obama's citizenship yet being woefully silent about Cruz being born in Canada only exposes their real agenda. We shouldn't be sucked in to it though.

    I would love to see Ted Cruz win the Republican nomination. He is widely popular in the Tea Party, but the rest of the country and a huge percentage of Republicans can't stand him. There is little to zero chance that someone that divisive would ever be elected to the highest office in the land. It would be one hell of a show to watch though.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    jared you are right that it will never be an issue because he'll probably never get close to the nomination. As much as you would love to see Cruz get the nomination I don't think there's much of a chance. Never say never but I think it is very unlikely.

    One thing you are right about: it WOULD be one hell of a show. If he tries his luck in the primaries THAT may get interesting, too.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Let me just clarify my thinking. Take a look at Ted Cruz's Canadian birth certificate here compliments of the Dallas Morning News. It lists his father's name and mother's name and their respective countries of birth. Are the US immigration authorities going to accept that birth certificate data on face value that Ted Cruz is "automatically" a US citizen? Absolutely not. As you know, mothers giving birth to babies can list whatever father they want...babies can be a product of a one night stand or a casual affair. No proof is required. I'm sure that Rafael Cruz had to show proof that he was entitled to National Health Care in the birth of his son, but I doubt very much that the hospital or province of Alberta cared at all what was listed as the mother's place of birth...or for that matter the father's place of birth. They are not in the business of doing those background checks.

    That's why the State Department has a paperwork process and background checks to make sure everything listed on the birth certificate is legitimate if and when they apply for a US citizenship status. If everything checks out in the application of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, then the granting of citizenship to Ted is indeed "automatic." No questions in that regard. The provisions of the 14th Amendment are confirmed.

    But if his mother failed to apply at the time for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or before he turned 18, then it creates problems. And I think that Ted's delays in renouncing his Canadian citizenship are directly related to problems of his mother not filing for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. The Canadians want "proof" that Ted won't be "stateless" upon renouncing his Canadian citizenship. And that proof is paperwork that should have been filed when Ted was born, but perhaps wasn't, not because of any malicious intent, but rather because of ignorance of the law.

    When the overseas consulates that issued the Consular Reports of Birth Abroad for my children, they stipulated quite strongly that these reports were their official US birth certificates. They have never once been asked to produce their original birth certificates from the country of birth.

    So I found it quite strange that Ted Cruz would produce his Canadian birth certificate as proof of his US citizenship and not his "US birth certificate" the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. The Dallas Morning News and other media entities are willing to accept that he is automatically a US citizen at face value of the Canadian birth certificate, but I'm sure that the bureaucrats in the State Department have not.

    I know what the laws were in the 1970s when Ted Cruz was born and my two children were born. The laws have changed since then, but even under current law the granting of US citizenship for a baby born overseas is not automatic...not until the paperwork is filed and the background check completed.

    This would normally not be an issue. Ted Cruz could quietly work out the problems with the State Department and no one would know the difference. Except someone called attention to the fact that Cruz had dual citizenship. And not only that, but Cruz has been an outspoken critic of immigration reform legislation. It would be terribly embarrassing for him if it became public knowledge that his own US citizenship was in question because his mother failed to submit the required paperwork.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    Schmidt, his citizenship is not in question. He is a United States Citizen. Period, end of story. If he is a dual citizen then that's a separate issue. Now let me ask you a question. How long does it take to renounce your citizenship to another country? Meaning, assuming someone filed the paperwork today with Canada, how long would it take for it to become official?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes I believe he probably is a US citizen now...he meets the criteria. But when did he get it and how?

    The point I was arguing is that US citizenship is NOT automatic for anyone born outside the USA to one or more US parents. The paperwork has to be filed, much the same as if you overpaid your income taxes for the year, you have to file your taxes to get a refund. Without doing the paperwork, nothing happens....nothing is automatic...nothing. I speak from experience, and I fully know the laws that were in effect in the early 1970s.

    If a person is born in Canada, Russia, or China, to a US citizen that person is indeed entitled to US citizenship...no question in that regard. But it does not happen automatically, and you can't go through life in the USA showing your Chinese birth certificate or your Russian birth certificate or your Canadian birth certificate like Cruz has done and expect people to accept that as proof of your US citizenship. It just doesn't work that way.

    Regarding being a United States Senator, I looked at the application form for running for that office in Texas. All a person needs to do is pay the filing fee ($5,000) and swear that he is a US citizen eligible to hold such office under the Constitution and laws of this state and has not been convicted of a felony for which he has not been pardoned or had full rights restored by other official action.

    I doubt whether anyone would have any reason to check Ted Cruz's citizenship status, but maybe his criminal record.

    I would have no reason to question his citizenship if he showed us his US equivalent birth certificate instead of his Alberta Canada birth certificate. It just smells fishy.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    Fact is that when he became a senator he also got a security clearance. Part of getting a security clearance (I was a signals analyst in the Army, I had a clearance so I know this) is that they check citizenship status. Also, if Ted Cruz was not a US citizen, don't you think the Democrats in the Senate would have said something by now? As for the whether he's a natural born citizen, lets worry about that if he actually gets the nomination.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I have a friend who recently retired and he called me to say how furious he was because he was denied a concealed carry permit under Act 218, which allows retired Law Enforcement officers to be able to carry Nation wide regardless of the individual State's regulations, anyway he retired with over 30 years on the job plus is a former Marine and he is a military brat, which is where his problem begins, it seems that there was a problem with his birth while his dad was posted in England, the problem is he was born 3 months premature due to an emergency and was delivered in Liverpool a civilian hosp. as opposed to the military facilities, well it seems now that the State department counts that as an overseas birth, and now he needs those documents you described to able to get his CCP under Act 218, he has a passport, he is a citizen , he served his country honorably as a U.S. Marine , but as he repeated to me the requirements for Act 218 under the auspices of Homeland security regulations ,you have to be US born, otherwise up to and until you provide those documents of your birth outside the US and even considering that you are a citizen, these rulings and others stand, so your right about citizenship is not always automatic even if your a citizen. My friend now has asked for the assist of his local Senatorial District office to speed things up.