PostHeaderIcon Cruz the Canadian

As I have long predicted, the fact that Ted Cruz is not a Natural Born Citizen (NBC) is not going to go away. I can’t be the only principled participant in the past heated debates over the meaning of NBC, to notice that Obama probably comes closer to being eligible for the office of POTUS than Cruz does. Overnight, it seems, it is now being openly discussed everywhere.

Five years ago, I wrote the essay, “Support and Defend,” calling for a halt to the rapid dismantling of our country, by the committed Marxist revolutionary, who had nefariously usurped the office of POTUS. In it, I took great pains to condense my research into the contemporaneous meaning of NBC, as succinctly as possible. For those not tuned into those debates at the time:

There are three ways one may acquire U.S. citizenship, one of which is the “naturalization” process, whereby a foreigner renounces previous allegiances to become an American. For “birthright” natives, we recognize both “jus soli” (right of soil) or “jus sanguinis” (right of blood) citizenship; but the only way to be considered a “Natural Born” citizen is to qualify as both. Please read the following paragraph carefully… at least twice:

We regard those born on our soil as “birthright” natives (jus soli), regardless of parentage; but they may also be regarded as citizens (jus sanguinis) of a foreign parent’s country. We also regard children born to American citizen parents as “birthright” natives (jus sanguinis), regardless of the place of their birth; but if born overseas, they may also be considered citizens (jus soli) by the country wherein they were born. (e.g. “anchor babies” are born citizens of both the U.S. and Mexico). By definition, “Natural Born” citizens are free of such potential divided loyalties, which means they must have been born on our sovereign territory (jus soli), to parents who were both already legal U.S. citizens (jus sanguinis). This legal term specifically means precisely that; it is not a synonym for “native born,” or “birthright,” or just the opposite of “naturalized.” It defines a citizen with no legal ties whatever to any foreign country, who thus could never be conflicted by divided loyalty.

While Cruz wasn’t on anybody’s radar at the time, I did caution:

…two of the rising stars in the Republican Party, who are often mentioned as future Presidential hopefuls, are themselves ineligible for the office for the very same reason. Neither Bobby Jindal nor Marco Rubio’s parents were U.S. citizens when these two were born here. Yes, they were both born legal citizens on our soil, but they are not “Natural Born” citizens, by definition. Too bad for these admirable gentlemen; but either the Constitution is the supreme law of the land or it is meaningless. Amend it if that is thought necessary; but we bend or ignore it for transient causes at our nation’s peril.

(Forgive me. At the time, I didn’t yet realize how the Constitution was already a meaningless dead letter.) 🙁

Now, there is an interesting article in “US News and World Report” entitled, “Congressman Readies Ted Cruz Eligibility Lawsuit With Eye on Mom.” We have discussed Rep. Alan Grayson’s abrasive personality and interest in this matter here before; but he has some new angles on Cruz’ mom:

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump suggested this week his nearest rival for the Republican presidential nomination may be ineligible for office and won a daylong echo across the political press, despite Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s attempt to brush off the commentary.

In raising the issue, Trump said Republicans should be concerned about Democrats hog-tying Cruz with a yearslong legal challenge — and indeed an effort to do just that already is afoot.

Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, an attorney and Democratic Senate candidate, tells U.S. News he will file a lawsuit challenging Cruz’s eligibility should he overtake Trump and win the nomination — a scenario that’s at least plausible with the senator besting Trump in some Iowa polls.

Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada, in 1970 to an American mother and a Cuban father who later gained U.S. citizenship. There’s no court precedent on whether foreign-born Americans meet the Constitution’s “natural-born citizen” requirement, but there’s more to scrutiny of Cruz’s eligibility.

“If he’s not qualified to be president according to our Constitution, then he certainly should not serve,” Grayson says, poring over his notes for the possible lawsuit. “There’s quite a lot of stuff here.”

In addition to the question of whether Cruz’s birth in Canada disqualifies him from being considered a natural-born citizen, for which there are clashing historical claims, Grayson notes there’s disagreement about whether both parents of U.S. citizens born overseas must be citizens.

And then there’s Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Cruz.

Grayson says Cruz may have forfeited her U.S. citizenship by taking a Canadian oath of citizenship, and that he’s seen no evidence she actually was born in the U.S.

Cruz’s mother “may have elected to give up her U.S. citizenship — she wasn’t there on a visitor’s visa for five years, that’s for sure,” he says.

Grayson says “if his mother, who clearly worked in Canada for years and years, did so while becoming a Canadian citizen and taking an oath, which is how you do it in Canada, she lost her citizenship by U.S. law, specifically Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

Section 349 says Americans can lose their citizenship if they take loyalty oaths to foreign governments.

“There’s a counter-argument, there are some court cases that have watered down Section 349,” Grayson concedes. “It’s up to some court to decide whether Section 349 means what it say or not or whether it applied to her circumstances. We need more information at this point.”

“Another open question,” he says, “is why is there no record of her birth in the U.S.? Both the senator and others say she was born in Delaware, but there’s no record of it.”

Oh my! I had not heard of any issues with his mom’s citizenship; but that she may have repudiated it when she immigrated to Canada makes sense. Until fairly recent times, the notion of dual citizenship was not accepted in American law, and likely wasn’t in Canada either. A loyal citizen of most countries, could not also be a loyal citizen of another country. One usually had to pick one or the other; but not both.

Mr. and Mrs. Cruz emigrated from here to Canada, to start a business and raise a family. Mr. Cruz was a Cuban exile, and there is no reason to suggest that these ambitious young adventurers, ever intended to return to America. She only returned to the US because their marriage broke up over his drinking and carousing. What steps she may or may not have taken to legally regain her American citizenship, and establish the same for her Canadian son, are unknown to me; but conceivably Ted may have arrived on our shores as an alien immigrant, who by rights needed to be naturalized.

Assuming he was probably never naturalized, he may very well not even be a legal US citizen today, much less an Natural Born one! I have an Arkansas birth certificate, to prove I am an American citizen. Trump has already published his NY birth certificate. I have friends who are proud to show their naturalization papers to prove their citizenship. What documentation does Cruz use to prove his? Since his birth certificate is Canadian, I think it only reasonable that we be shown what documentation he used to get an American passport.

Cruz, the ever skillful lawyer, tries to brush aside the very legitimate question of his eligibility, as a matter of ‘settled law.’  Apparently, his camp even dismissed Grayson as lacking ‘standing’ to bring a challenge to court. Frankly, as much as I detest Grayson, that sticks in my craw, because it reminds me of all the arguments I had several years ago with the ‘Obots,’ who wished to ignore common sense and original intent. They would cite obscure legal scholars and judicial dicta from minor court cases, as ‘settled law,’ unworthy of challenge in the light of current circumstances, or conflicting research produced by their adversaries. If all else failed, they would object on the grounds that nobody had ‘standing’ to get an eligibility case in front of a Federal judge.

Trump is right about one thing. This isn’t going to go away on its own, and Cruz himself needs to get a definitive ruling from a competent court, post haste, to put the issue to rest before the election. The spin is that Trump is stirring the pot to hurt Cruz, because he is doing well in Iowa polls. Given how comparatively gentle Trump has been toward him so far, I suspect it might be more because he wants to keep Cruz on his short list for VP, and wants him to quickly put that issue to rest permanently. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

10 Responses to “Cruz the Canadian”

  • Chris says:

    I agree with your conclusion. I don’t know about the VP part but it’s out there now because they want it put to bed once and for all. I’m confident of how it will be resolved but lets put it to bed. It’s going to come down to the constitution not defining what a NBC is therefore leaving it up to statute enacted by congress to define it. One couldn’t argue that congress doesn’t have the ability to define who is and isn’t a citizen, and when they became a citizen. According to statute Cruz was born a citizen without need for any naturalization. To rule any other way would be saying a foreigner is serving in the US senate as Cruz has never been naturalized. That’s not going to happen. Pay attention to section D

    Not saying it’s right or wrong and many will still argue it. I would like to myself but the futility of it won’t allow it. I have no problem requiring a very high bar for the position. None the less it will be settled in this manner. Cruz was a citizen when he was born therefore he is a natural born citizen.

    • There are all manner of archaic and/or uncommon words used in the Constitution, which our Founders did not define, Chris. Please name one term that actually is defined therein; I don’t recall any. Yet, we have had little trouble over the years divining the original intent of these words, by consulting contemporaneous writings of, and references used by, said Founders.

      That is the key – ‘original intent.’ Not some convenient lawyerly reinterpretation to shoehorn a modern idea or agenda into the Constitution, which our Founders never even considered, much less intended. What were they actually trying to achieve, when they employed the term ‘natural-born?’ Beyond the references to the term in English Common Law and Vattel’s “The Law of Nations” for definition, I think John Jays letter to George Washington best explains their intent. For an extremely well-articulated piece in “Freedom Outpost” on the subject, see: “What Our Framers Knew: The Constitution, Vattel, and “Natural Born Citizen” by a lawyer calling herself ‘Publius Huldah.’ Don’t skip the quote from “The Rights of Man,” by Thomas Paine. His notion of “half a foreigner” is worth pondering. 🙂

      I do not argue Congress’ power to establish who is and isn’t a citizen; but that is not the same as defining the term natural-born as the Founder’s used it. To properly change their original meaning and intent, would require an amendment to the Constitution; a legislative statute or judicial fiat would be insufficient. That, of course, is speaking in the theoretical sense, as if the Constitution still constrained the activities of the three branches of government as written. We have pretty much acknowledged hereabouts that it is a dead letter, which effectively has no meaning to politicians anymore, and is ignored by them with impunity.

      Reviewing the Federal code you referenced, was no help to me. It discusses the statutes on birthright citizenship; but says nothing about the definition of natural-born. Until the above article on Grayson, I had heard of no dissent regarding Cruz entitlement to birthright citizenship; but plenty of dissension regarding whether he could claim NBC, which is NOT the same thing.

      I see no relevance at all in Section D. Cruz father was not in any way a national of the United States at the time of Ted’s birth. He was most likely still considered a national of Cuba. Yes, he had been granted political asylum by the United States; but would have immediately lost even that temporary status, upon emigrating from here to be welcomed by Canada, with whatever immigrant status they would have granted him, so that he could settle and start a business there.

      I too, have no doubt that the issue will be somehow settled in his favor; but your last sentence is a non sequitur. Again, you like most, are conflating the terms natural-born with native-born. Cruz may very well have been entitled to acquire American citizenship (assuming his mother had not lost hers – an open question now on the table); but he was unquestionably born a Canadian citizen to legal residents of Canada. By the act of voluntarily immigrating and taking up residence there, they owed allegiance to the Canadian government at the time of Ted’s birth three years later. It is most unlikely that the U.S. government had any knowledge whatever of the existence of Ted Cruz, during the first 5 years or so of his life, much less have been carrying him on any roster of citizens owing allegiance to Uncle Sam.

      He may not have needed to be naturalized; but his mother damn sure had to somehow apply to establish his American citizenship, when she chose to repatriate to America with her Canadian child in tow. I suspect at the time, he would have needed something in the way of citizenship or legal resident papers, in lieu of an American birth certificate, to even get registered in a public school.

      Anyone asserting that, given these facts, Ted is still a NBC of America, is obliged to admit that he was also a NBC of Canada. Then, perhaps he was likely also a NBC of Cuba, since from their perspective, his father was still a Cuban national, who had fought for Castro during their revolution. He certainly would have as much claim to Cuban citizenship as to American citizenship, would he not? If all natural-born ever meant, was that one is entitled to claim citizenship from the conditions of one’s birth, even in multiple jurisdictions, how could John Jay ever have used it in the context of avoiding divided loyalties, in his letter to George Washington?

      Cruz’ clever legal eagle spin continues. When questioned by a voter today, he dramatically intoned that he had never taken a breath when he wasn’t an American citizen. Again, he is trying to change the subject, because his American citizenship is not really in question. What he glossed over, of course, was that until he finally renounced his birth allegiance and Canadian citizenship, in 2014 (when he decided to run for POTUS), he had never taken a breath when he wasn’t a Canadian citizen, either. I have no information regarding whether he has ever renounced his birth allegiance and Cuban citizenship. 🙂 â—„Daveâ–º

      • Whoa… new data. In an old NPR article, Ted’s father acknowledges that he had become a Canadian Citizen:

        “I worked in Canada for eight years,” Rafael Cruz says. “And while I was in Canada, I became a Canadian citizen.”

        The elder Cruz says he renounced his Canadian citizenship when he finally became a U.S. citizen in 2005 — 48 years after leaving Cuba.

        …that pretty much ends the Section D discussion. Cruz’ camp, however, is denying that his mother ever became a Canadian citizen; even though both their names appeared on voter lists for their 1974 election. The Canadian government will not discuss the matter, citing privacy laws; but you can bet this is not the end of it. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

        • Chris says:

          “…that pretty much ends the Section D discussion. Cruz’ camp, however, is denying that his mother ever became a Canadian citizen;”

          Not really, because Cruz sr. was still a US national at the time of the Ted Cruz birth. Further more his taking on Canadian citizenship couldn’t have affected his US national status otherwise his right of free return and future citizenship would have been effected. It’s a mess and everybody and their brother are throwing out information that may or may not be either true or relevant.

          Mind you I’m not arguing that it should be resolved the way I described. I’m just stating how I believe it will. The only argument that would stop him is one that would also argue that he isn’t an American citizen at all. No chance of that.

          Here’s just some food for thought. Why is all the flap about Cruz? Have you read any articles about Rubio the anchor baby? Is he a NBC? Neither of his parents were citizens when he was born. Without knowing for sure I’m going to say that Cuba probably considered him a Cuban citizen as well. Under the “birther” (I do not use the term to disparage) theory he is not. Problem is the constitution says he is. As is every Mexican gang banger in So. California that happened to drop out of their illegal mother this side of the border. In light of that I find it cognitively difficult to discount Cruz.

          • Not really, because Cruz sr. was still a US national at the time of the Ted Cruz birth. Further more his taking on Canadian citizenship couldn’t have affected his US national status otherwise his right of free return and future citizenship would have been effected.

            I’m not buying that, Chris. “Right of free return?” What is your definition of a ‘US national?’ A US national owes allegiance to America and is required to pay US taxes, wherever domiciled. Rafael originally arrived here on a student visa, valid only for the duration of his studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Did that make him a national? Then, when he graduated and his student visa expired, he applied for asylum and was granted the status of a political refugee, which by definition is only a temporary status. Did that make him a national? I presume that as a refugee, he would have been able to get a Texas driver’s license, a SSN, and legally get a job. Did that make him a national? Then, he married an American citizen. Did that make him a national? Then, together, they emigrated to Canada, which would have immediately terminated his temporary status as a political refugee. To regain asylum, he would have to apply all over again. As purported US nationals, did they continue to pay US Income Tax?

            However, when he did actually return to the US, 8 years later, he did so as a Canadian citizen, with no eligibility or need of asylum. There are no immigration issues with Canada, and no passports required. One can simply drive across the border, in either direction, with nothing more than a driver’s license for ID, and most of the time travelers are waved through, without needing to show even that. There is a very good chance that when he returned to try to reconcile his broken marriage, it was never discussed with the Federal government at all. All he would have needed to do was renew his Texas driver’s license and start using his SSN again for a job. As long as he dutifully paid his taxes, nobody would have noticed or cared.

            By the time he got around to applying for US citizenship, 30 years later, the murky details of his past immigration status wouldn’t have much mattered. By then, the Cuban-American community was politically powerful, he would have 30 years of tax records to prove he met the residency requirement, and his brilliant Princeton/Harvard educated, Cuban-Canadian-American son, was then the Solicitor General of Texas. ¡No hay problema, señor! 🙂

            Have you read any articles about Rubio the anchor baby?

            I presume you mean recent news articles, since I brought it up myself here, and the Freedom Outpost link I gave you above, was written three years ago in response to several linked discussions of Rubio’s questionable NBC status.

            Interestingly, were it not for the erroneous ‘anchor baby’ misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, Rubio and Jindal would be considered naturalized, rather than birthright, citizens. They would not have become citizens until their parents did. When I was poking around in the immigration statutes at the Cornell law link you provided, I encountered several instances where minor children of immigrants became themselves automatically naturalized, when their parents became naturalized citizens. If the ‘anchor baby’ interpretation were correct, this would be redundant or perhaps a demotion, from a ‘born’ citizen to a naturalized one. 🙂 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Troy says:

    Who really cares? We have long since ceased to be governed in accordance with the Constitution. These days, they (whoever “they” really are) simply make it up as they go along.

    I have decided that I will no longer generate gastric acid over things that I have no control over.

    I have also dropped out of the Libertarian Party because of their insane position relative to open borders and especially welcoming terrorists with open arms.

    Also, I haven’t the slightest need to know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    The present situation is enough to drive an Objectivist (me) even more insane that I naturally am. I simply am becoming unable to cope with the unreality all around me. Were I 50 years younger, I would become a hippie or something similar.

    To top it all off, as of January 1, I can now openly carry my .45! Be afraid, be very afraid!


    • Agreed, Troy; and welcome to my world. 🙂

      I truly don’t care either. I won’t be voting for any of these guys, and don’t much care which one gets crowned the lesser of evils. This is only an intellectual exercise, born out of my principles regarding my past research into this subject, when I still did care who the POTUS actually was, because I had not yet given up on the future of our country. 🙂

      Have you been practicing your quick draw? 😉

      LOL… someday talk me into telling you about the time I accidentally blew the bulls-eye out of a British bristle dartboard, with my .357 mag. in a day-room in Rhodesia, when goaded to demonstrate my quick draw. 🙂 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Troy says:

    Until fairly recent times, the notion of dual citizenship was not accepted in American law, and likely wasn’t in Canada either. A loyal citizen of most countries, could not also be a loyal citizen of another country. One usually had to pick one or the other; but not both.

    American law was changed at the demand of powerful Jewish interests in the United States so that US citizens of the Jewish persuasion could adopt Israeli citizenship as a show of support for that nation without having to renounce their US citizenship in the process.


  • Lawrence Tribe, renowned Constitutional Law scholar of Bush vs Gore fame, was interviewed by email in The Guardian, because Trump had cited him in remarks about Cruz: Harvard scholar: Ted Cruz’s citizenship, eligibility for president ‘unsettled’ He offers a delicious irony:

    “Despite Sen[ator] Cruz’s repeated statements that the legal/constitutional issues around whether he’s a natural-born citizen are clear and settled,” he told the Guardian by email, “the truth is that they’re murky and unsettled.”

    In his emails to the Guardian, Tribe discussed Cruz’s own approach to constitutional issues, noting that under “the kind of judge Cruz says he admires and would appoint to the supreme court – an ‘originalist’ who claims to be bound by the historical meaning of the constitution’s terms at the time of their adoption – Cruz wouldn’t be eligible because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and 90s required that someone be born on US soil to be a ‘natural born’ citizen.”

    He added: “Even having two US parents wouldn’t suffice for a genuine originalist. And having just an American mother, as Cruz did, would clearly have been insufficient at a time that made patrilineal descent decisive.

    “On the other hand, to the kind of judge that I admire and Cruz abhors – a ‘living constitutionalist’ who believes that the constitution’s meaning evolves with the needs of the time – Cruz would ironically be eligible because it no longer makes sense to be bound by so narrow and strict a definition.”

    Tribe said: “There is no single, settled answer. And our supreme court has never addressed the issue.”

    Principles are rather disposable in the blood sport of politics. Winning is everything; integrity…? 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

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