Cruz Faces New Questions As Birth Certificate Is Published

Image: Cruz Faces New Questions As Birth Certificate Is Published

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 10:59 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The publication of Sen. Ted Cruz' Canadian birth certificate is rekindling arguments about whether he is qualified to be president.

Under Canadian law, Cruz's birth in Canada automatically makes him a Canadian citizen and opens him up to claims that his loyalties may potentially be divided, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Canadian immigration officials declined to directly discuss Cruz's case without a signed privacy waiver.

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“Generally speaking, under the Citizenship Act of 1947, those born in Canada were automatically citizens at birth unless their parent was a foreign diplomat,” immigration ministry spokeswoman Julie Lafortune told the Dallas Morning News.

The United States Constitution allows only "natural-born" American citizens to serve as president, a definition that has caused confusion going back two centuries, when President Chester A. Arthur fought off claims that he was born in Canada.

In recent years there have been more controversies.

John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee,was born to American parents on a naval air base in the Panama Canal Zone.  Many people still maintain that President Barack Obama has failed to prove that he was born in Hawaii. He had an American mother and Kenyan father.

Sen. Marco Rubio, another potential Republican presidential candidate, was born in the United States to two Cuban nationals.

Cruz — a first-term Texas Republican and tea party favorite — was born on Dec. 22 1970 in Calgary to a Cuban father and an American mother. Should he run for president, he could encounter the same accusations that have dogged Obama. The so-called "birther" movement continues to insists Obama was born in Africa.

Donald Trump, who demanded Obama's birth certificate, said on Aug. 11 on ABC's "This Week" that he questions whether Cruz will be eligible to run for the presidency.

"If he was born in Canada, perhaps not," Trump said. "I don’t know the circumstances."

Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Cruz, told the Dallas Morning News that Cruz "became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen. To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce.”

For his part, Cruz has asserted he is an American by birth, and is eligible to run.

His father, Rafael, was born in Cuba, and fled the native country for Texas in 1957. He did not become a naturalized American until 2005. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were living in Canada when their son was born, and they remained until he was 4.

“If you leave when you’re 2 minutes old, you’re still an American. It’s the same in Canada,” said Allison Christians, a law professor at McGill University in Montreal. “He’s a Canadian citizen. The question of citizenship is determined by the law of the territory in which you were physically born,” she said. “It’s not up to the Cruz family to decide whether they’re citizens.”

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