Ted Cruz Has an Actual, Honest-to-God Birther Problem

by Ordinary Democrat –

cruz senate
Ted Cruz has a for-real birther problem that may only be resolved if his friends in the government solve it for him the same way they solved it for candidate John McCain in 2008. But that’s assuming that Cruz’s fellow members of Congress don’t think he’s the World’s Biggest Douchenozzle. Unfortunately for him, however, they do.
In 2008, Congress passed a nonbinding resolution recognizing that John McCain is a natural-born American citizen. McCain was born in Panama. Both his mother and father were U.S. citizens. As an Act of Congress ruled in 1790, “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”
     But just to make sure that the McCain-Palin ticket could proceed to the election, the Congress  passed in 2008 a non-binding resolution recognizing that John McCain is a natural-born citizen despite his birth in Panama. They did this because they recognized McCain as an authentic, gritty American patriot, war hero, and U.S. senator who deserves his country’s respect and his right to be given a pass on the birthright issue because of his service to the country.
     Rafael Edward (Ted) Cruz has a much more complicated citizenship problem. Although he asserts that he is a natural-born citizen, eligible to become president, and that any claims that he isn’t a natural-born citizen have been answered with “settled law,” nothing could be farther from the truth. Nothing about Cruz’s intricate birther problems has been solved, much less by settled law, although he no doubt fervently wishes everyone would accept that assertion.
     Like John McCain, Ted Cruz was born in another country. He was born in 1970 in Alberta, Canada, to an American citizen mother, Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson Cruz, born in Wilmington, Delaware. His father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, was a Cuban national. Ted’s mother and father were married in the U.S., although his father was, by Ted Cruz’s own story, estranged from the family and living in the U.S. at Ted’s birth.
     Both Eleanor Darragh Wilson and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz had been previously married and presumably divorced before they met and married in New Orleans in 1969, and then moved to Alberta, Canada where their son Ted was born in 1970.
But Ted Cruz’s particular complication arises because according to a statement by Ted Cruz’s father, both Ted Cruz’s mother and father applied for, and received, Canadian citizenship before Ted’s birth in Alberta in 1970.
     If this is true, then Ted Cruz is a 100% natural-born citizen of Canada, being born on Canadian soil of 2 naturalized Canadian parents.
But is he also a natural-born American citizen, eligible to become president?
     The most simple answer might be yes. Ted Cruz was born overseas of an American mother, and thus inherits his mother’s citizenship. He should be good to go.
     But that conclusion rests on whether his mother, Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson Cruz, could pass her citizenship to her son Ted. Could she?
If it is true that Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson Cruz applied for and received Canadian citizenship before Ted Cruz was born in 1970, did she commit an “expatriating act,” resulting in the loss of her own American citizenship? 
     Dropping your citizenship isn’t all that easy. The government can’t strip your legitimate citizenship from you. You have to drop it yourself by committing a so-called “expatriating act.” One common expatriating act is to formally renounce your citizenship before an official of a U.S. embassy. But that’s not the only way.
     The U.S. State Department explains in Section 349 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1481), as amended) travel.state.gov/…) that U.S. nationals are subject to loss of nationality if they perform certain specified acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality. Briefly stated, these acts include:
  1. obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon one’s own application after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA);
  2. taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or its political subdivisions after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (2) INA);
     According to Ted Cruz’s father’s statement, Ted Cruz’s parents applied for and received Canadian citizenship before his birth in Alberta. Thus his mother committed the act of obtaining naturalization of a foreign state, a potentially expatriating act. 
     In addition, until 1977, Canada required those seeking Canadian citizenship to swear an oath renouncing their allegiance to their previous country. This action, combined with behavior showing the person intended to relinquish his or her U.S. citizenship, has been ruled an expatriating act by U.S. courts. If Ted Cruz’s mother obtained Canadian citizenship before 1977, then she swore this oath before a Canadian government official.
     (Let’s ignore for now the minor problem that no publicly available online birth record exists of Ted Cruz’s mother’s own birth in Delaware in 1935. Nor has Ted Cruz or his mother provided her own birth certificate as her proof of U.S. citizenship).
     An example of a behavior showing the person intended to keep her citizenship despite swearing a renounciation oath would be if that person notified the U.S. State Department that her newborn child should be considered an American citizen at birth. The way you notify the State Department is to file a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA Form FS-240). This form provides proof of the child’s U.S. citizenship.
     Did Ted Cruz’s mother become a Canadian citizen and file this form? We don’t know. Ted Cruz has furnished a copy of his own birth certificate (showing his Canadian birth) but neither Ted Cruz nor his mother nor anyone else has furnished a copy of that form.
     She and Ted lived in Canada for 4 years after his birth, when she returned to the U.S. The question of whether she intended to renounce her American citizenship is murky. If Eleanor Cruz were forced to testify today, no doubt she’d say she intended to keep her American citizenship and thus her son’s. Hopefully she could bolster her case by providing her CRBA FS-240 form or U.S. income tax forms filed during her time in Canada.
     Another solution might be for Congress to issue a resolution finding that Ted Cruz is a natural-born citizen, like they did for McCain. They might be willing to do this even for Ted Cruz, although he is universally despised by virtually everybody who has ever known him.
     But will they? The answer to that question is as muddled and unsettled as Ted Cruz’s own claims to American citizenship. Watching Donald Trump and John McCain throw Ted under the bus on this issue leads me to think it could be a struggle.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos