Senator Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (R-TX), a leading candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, was born on December 22, 1970, at the Foothills General Hospital in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His parents were Eleanor Elizabeth (Wilson) Cruz, a U.S. citizen, born in Wilmington, Delaware, and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, a native of Matanzas, Cuba.
Cruz’s Canadian birth certificate, first uncovered and released by the Dallas Morning News on August 18, 2013, nearly eight months after he was sworn in as the junior senator from Texas, shows that his birth was registered with the Division of Vital Statistics in Edmonton, Alberta, on December 31, 1970. When Ted was three years old his father returned to Texas, leaving his wife and son in Canada. Several months later the parents reunited and the Cruzes moved to Houston.
In a February 11, 2016, recap in the Dallas Morning News, questioning whether Cruz is eligible to serve as president of the United States, campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier attempted to put the best possible face on the issue. Ignoring the existence of his Canadian birth certificate, Frazier said, “Senator 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.”
However, Ms. Frazier’s statement is at odds with Canadian law. When contacted by Dallas Morning News reporter Todd Gillman, spokeswoman Julie LaFortune, of the Canadian Ministry of Health, said, “Generally speaking, under the Citizenship Act of 1947, those born in Canada were automatically (Canadian) citizens at birth… unless their parent was a foreign diplomat.”
So it is clear that, in spite of official “spin” from the Cruz campaign, Ted Cruz was born with Canadian citizenship… which he officially renounced in 2014 when his presidential ambitions reached critical mass. In spite of being a learned lawyer, Cruz apparently felt that he could, at age 43, miraculously acquire status as a “natural born” U.S. citizen. It apparently did not occur to him, or to his legal advisors, that it is no more possible for one to gain “natural born” status at any time beyond the instant of birth than it is for a mother of three to regain her virginity later in life. Either we are “natural born” citizens at birth, or we are not. It cannot be acquired at a later date in the same manner that one would become a “naturalized” citizen.
What is not clear is whether Ted Cruz has ever acquired U.S. citizenship. Spokeswoman Frazier insisted that, shortly after his birth, Cruz’s mother registered his birth with the U.S. Consulate in Calgary, and that he was granted a U.S. passport in 1986, at age fifteen. If true, it would tend to confirm that Cruz’s birth was, in fact, registered with the U.S. Consulate in Canada and that he was recognized as a U.S. citizen at birth. However, to register a birth at a U.S. Consulate in a foreign country is not quite as simple as Ms. Frazier makes it sound.
According to the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Consular Affairs, the U.S. citizen parent(s) of a child born on foreign soil must obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA, Form FS-240) at some time prior to the child’s eighteenth birthday if the parent desires to pass on their U.S. citizenship to their offspring. Published rules of the Bureau read as follows:
“If you determine that the child born abroad qualifies for U.S. citizenship, please follow the instructions below in order to complete the required forms, prepare the necessary documents, and make an appointment at the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal. All applicants will need to provide the following forms and documents:
- Completed Form DS-2029 (50KB PDF). Please complete the form, but do NOT sign.
- Completed Application for a Social Security Number (Form SS-5-FS).
- Child’s original civil birth certificate.
- Proof of parent’s or parents’ U.S. citizenship (i.e. U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization and Citizenship, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, etc.).
- Proof of identity of parents and child (i.e. passports, regardless of nationality).
- Parents’ original civil marriage certificate.
- Termination of any previous marriages of either parent (i.e. divorce decree, death certificate, etc.) if applicable.
- Fee of US$100 payable in cash (U.S. or Canadian), or Visa, Mastercard.
- If only one parent is a U.S. citizen, evidence of his/her physical presence in the United States sufficient to transmit citizenship to the child (as indicated in http://canada.usembassy.gov/consular_services/birth-abroad.html).
- Make an appointment online before you show up at the Consulate.
- All children must appear in person with the parent signing.
Please bring a return Canada Post Express Post envelope with you to your appointment so that we can mail your Consular Report of Birth Abroad to you when it is ready. Alternatively, you can pick it up two weeks later during our public hours.”
In other words, it is not simply a matter of stopping off at the nearest U.S. Consulate with a newborn infant to announce that you are a U.S. citizen, that the child was born on foreign soil, and that you would like to insure that your American citizenship is passed on by descent to the child in question.
So the question arises, did Ted Cruz’s parents assemble all the necessary documents and then drive or fly to the office of the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal, a distance of 2,196 miles? Or did they simply rely on the fact that his mother was a U.S. citizen, assuming that her U.S. citizenship would be automatically passed on to her son?
Everyone, including the top leadership of the Democratic Party, knew as early as the summer of 2008 that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen and was, therefore, ineligible to serve as president of the United States. Yet, Democrats were so blinded by their ambition to win back the White House that every one of the 365 Democrat members of the 2008 Electoral College violated their electoral oaths and cast their electoral ballots for Obama.
Now, in early 2016, ten months before the 2016 General Election, the “shoe appears to be on the other foot.” Millions of conservatives and Republicans, supporters of Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, appear unwilling to even question whether or not these men are eligible to serve in the office they seek. If they would prefer not to be compared favorably in the historical record with the Obama Kool-Ade drinkers, they should demand that Cruz produce a copy of his CRBA (Form FS-240), proof of his foreign-born U.S. citizenship.
Although Barack Obama has put a tight seal on every personal document relating to his past… from birth through his January 20, 2009 inauguration as president of the United States… we cannot allow a Republican presidential candidate to thumb his nose at the American people and the rule of law in the same manner. It is only a matter of time before Donald Trump discovers that it is not the place of Ted Cruz’s birth that raises questions about his eligibility. Rather, it is the citizenship of his parents on the day of his birth that brings his eligibility into question.
It would be a simple matter for a member of the United States Senate to obtain a copy of his own citizenship documentation from the U.S. State Department… if such documentation exists. So one must ask why Cruz has not produced his CRBA Form FS-240. Why does he allow the speculation to rage on if he is able to prove conclusively that he became a U.S. citizen at birth?
However, the production of a CRBA Form FS-240 would prove only that he is a “citizen” of the United States, eligible to serve as a governor, a state legislator, a member of Congress, or a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Form FS-240 does not, and cannot, establish that Cruz came into the world on December 22, 1970 as a “natural born” U.S. citizen.
It is not clear precisely when Cruz’s father renounced his Cuban citizenship in favor of Canadian citizenship. However, what is clear is that he did not apply for U.S. citizenship until 2005. So if it can be shown that his father was not yet a naturalized U.S. citizen on the day he was born, it is clear that he cannot meet the Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 standard of a “natural born Citizen” and is, therefore, ineligible to serve as president of the United States.
When the Founders drafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787, they were not concerned that the day would come when a three-year-old Ted Cruz would be uprooted from his Canadian birthplace and transplanted in Houston, Texas, fully committed to the Canadian single-payer healthcare system and other peculiarities of Canadian governance. What did concern them, greatly, is the possibility that a child such as Ted Cruz, whose father was a supporter of Fidel Castro during the Cuban revolution and who could easily have been a deep-cover Soviet or Cuban agent, could have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the orthodoxy of the international communist conspiracy throughout his childhood and his formative years… the perfect “Manchurian candidate.”
Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution specifies that all members of Congress shall be at least twenty-five years of age and a citizen of the United States for at least ten years when sworn into office. So the question arises, can Ted Cruz produce a U.S. State Department Consular Report of Birth Abroad? If not, he may be able to meet the ten year residency requirement, but if he cannot produce documentary proof showing that he is a U.S. citizen, born abroad, then his eligibility to serve in the United States Senate becomes equally questionable.
Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.