Ted Cruz renounces Canadian citizenship in statement
August 19th, 2013
11:03 PM ET
10 years ago

Ted Cruz renounces Canadian citizenship in statement

(CNN) – Lest any questions remain about Sen. Ted Cruz's national allegiance, the Texas Republican announced Monday he was renouncing his Canadian citizenship.

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, and over the weekend he released his birth certificate to put to rest any questions about his background. In an analysis, the Dallas Morning News speculated Cruz – considered a potential candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination – was a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.

"Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter," Cruz wrote in his statement.

"Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship. Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship," he continued. "Nothing against Canada, but I'm an American by birth, and as a U.S. Senator, I believe I should be only an American."

As speculation ramps up about Cruz's political future, some have questioned his eligibility to become president. Most legal experts have said Cruz qualifies as a "natural born citizen," a requirement for the White House job, as stated in the Constitution.

In the Dallas Morning News Sunday, legal experts told the paper that Cruz is not only eligible for president in the United States, he's also technically a Canadian citizen and can even run for Parliament. Unless he renounces his citizenship there, he could also obtain a Canadian passport, according to the newspaper.

The senator's office, however, said Cruz has never embraced his legal rights in Canada.

"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," spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the newspaper. "To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce."

CNN's Jim Acosta, Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Ted Cruz
soundoff (942 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    The hypocrisy of the Republican party is laughable

    Oh, indeed it is! The TeaPers are finally understanding that all along they have been laughed "at" ... not "with". And from none other than their own Tea Party members (Ted Cruz comes to mind).

    From the sounds of it, they are none to happy. An understandable and well deserved comeuppance.

    August 20, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    One more time. McCain was born in the Canal Zone, which at the time of his birth was an American Territory, thus making him an American citizen. There is no arguement to that fact.
    There you go again. You're too committed to being against everything I might write;.

    Learn how to read. That's what I said, that McCain is natural born. In fact, McCain's status was never an issue because Clinton and Obama introduced a measure in the Senate validating McCain. Cruz has a problem with that precedent, too. But, like I said before. All of this is a misinformation campaign by the Cruz camp to establishment hims as legitimate, so that come 2015 he can point back and so his status was settled years ago.

    Please note that Cruz is blurring the lines of distinction between, "natural born" and "naturalized" citizen. He's doing an excellent job of shifting the conversation away from does meet the natural born criteria to is he a U.S. citizen. Hey, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a U.S. citizen but he's not eligible to be POTUS.

    August 20, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Wake up People!

    Because the Constitution says so Matilda.

    August 20, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Andrea Silverthorne

    Really. If he was born in America and grew up in Cuba could– or would– he say he was never an American.

    What a boo boo he has made.

    Apparently he is unaware of the increasing interrelations of the countries, including the joint operations proposed for border forces. The dual citizenship could have been an asset. Canada has no future water problem. America does. Remember the Lion and the Mouse story. Who would vote for a man that would insult America's best friend. But its OK there are other dual citizens around that can help America negotiate resources with the country of Canada.

    And he was born in Canada. He is therefore a citizen. iI he was born in America and grew up in Cuba, would he say he was not an American. How rude. What an example of poor decision making. We surely do not what an opportunist without foresight in the White House.

    August 20, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Matt

    So when the GOP does it, it's okay?

    August 20, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Carl Almar

    Legal Eagles out there! Why is a child born to a U.S. Citizen mother who was a Canadian resident married to a Cuban automatically a U.S. Citizen? I thought the Tea Party and Conservatives were stridently opposed to "birth-right" citizenship? And how can it be so clear that Cruz is "naturally born" as a citizen when the statute making him so was enacted long after the Constitution was written and adopted. That document was not amended to allow this! Congress simply passed an ordinary bill. Opinions?

    August 20, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. MeanOldMan

    He was also born to a Cuban Father so is he also a Cuban citizen also?

    August 20, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Canadian

    Don't renounce your Canadian citizenship Ted!! Run for both offices – President of the United States and Prime Minister of Canada. We need a guy like you up here to shake things up a bit.

    August 20, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. HappyCanadian

    As a Canadian, please allow me to just say GOOD.

    August 20, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Rudy NYC


    Actually, being born to a US parent DOES automatically make you a US citizen by birth. There is no "application" to actually become a citizen, nor is it difficult. You are applying to get paperwork (which serves as your birth certificate) that certifies that fact. The only thing needed is proof that the parent is a US citizen. I know because I was born outside of the states to an American parent and so was my first child.
    See what I mean. The smoke screen is shifting the deflecting the question away from "natural born" to "U.S. citizen." Not every U.S. citizen is eligible to run for POTUS. Naturalized citizens are not eligible. According to the laws of the US and Canada, you are not allowed to hold dual citizenship.

    If Crux is just now renouncing his Canadian citizenship, just what exactly does that mean for his now alleged US citizenship?

    August 20, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. rker321

    Ted Cruz father became a US citizen in 2005. So, whatever that means. To me, he was born in Canada, with an US mother and a Cuban father. period.

    August 20, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. aj

    so, obviously we haven't learned that no one from Texas politics should be in any sort of federal office... how many thumps on our collective head will it take?

    August 20, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Furby076

    "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," spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the newspaper. "To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce."
    1) He BECAME a US citizen at birth, but that is VERY different then "he was BORN a US Citizen"
    2) "never had to go through a naturalization process after birth" is the same as me saying "I never had to go through a naturalization process after I turned 16".
    3) Renouncing a citizenship takes more effort than spinning around three times, spitting, and saying "i renounce my Canadian citizenship" – there is paperwork involved, and the country has to agree to it. Filling out the paperwork acknowledges you have citizenship, and also leaves you open to being rejected for the renounce. Also, since his mom is a US citizen and his dad is a Cuban citizen why would he have Canadian citizenship unless he was born in Canada – which means he is a Canadian born citizen and NOT a US born citizen.

    Mind you, i know nothing about this guy and having nothing against him.

    August 20, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Darwin

    I guess this must mean that Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria and came to the US in his 20s, must also be eligible for the Presidency? Or maybe we don't consider Canada to be a foreign nation? Yo?

    August 20, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. doug

    makes both countries smarter

    August 20, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Wayne

    Among dual US/Canada citizens, over the past 10 years, 82% have kept their citizenship as-is. 18% have renounced their US citizenship. Nobody but Ted Cruz has been dumb enough to renounce their Canadian one.

    August 20, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Mike

    Ted was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father. Hence, he is not a native born American and cannot run for President unless, somehow, the hospital was an American hospital on Canadian soil. Not likely.

    August 20, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Wake up People!

    Speaking of Arnold..... I remember reading some years back when he was a GOP favorite, that they were trying to have the rules changed so he could run for POTUS. Of course that was prior to him being caught banging the ugliest nanny in history. I wonder what happened to that idea??

    August 20, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Jack Carson

    A lot of posters here don't seem to understand what "natural born citizen" means. All it means is that someone was a citizen at birth, as opposed to someone who became a citizen at a later date. In the US, there are two ways that someone becomes a "natural born citizen", and those are to either be born on US soil, or to have at least one of your parents be a US citizen. Any claims that there is a legal distinction between the two methods, as far as requirements to be president are concerned, are based only on fringe legal interpretations, that have no chance of being recognized by the courts.

    August 20, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Adam

    @Rudy NYC

    "According to the laws of the US and Canada, you are not allowed to hold dual citizenship."

    Actually, Canada and the USA allow people to hold multiple citizenship. Even our Prime Minister can hold multiple citizenships if he/she is eligible. Please research before making false statements.

    August 20, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Rich

    Born in Canada, eh? Don't think he's Merican! Where's Donald Trump. He'll certainly get to the bottom of this.

    August 20, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Kt

    Well there goes free medical.

    August 20, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. Iggymop

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and what's more shocking is that he is a law maker. He was not a U.S. citizen at birth. He only became a U.S. citizen once he moved to the U.S. and took up permanent residence. Up until that point while in Canada his mother would have had to begin a legal process to grant him citizenship while residing in Canada. He was a Canadian citizen immediately upon birth as he was born before 1977 and his parents were residents of Canada.

    August 20, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Michael Siever

    I don't know why he's going through the motion of this.

    1. Renouncing his Canadian citizenship isn't going to magically change the fact that he was born in Canada. The die-hard birthers (Not the ones pretending to be believers in the movement solely because they're Republicans who want a shot at unseating Obama, but the real believers who legitimately believe that Obama is not a born citizen) already have indisputable evidence that Ted Cruz was not born on US soil, and will die by their sword and derail his Presidential bid.

    2. It will be about 50 years before we have another Texas President. Dubya left a rally nasty taste in most Americans' mouths. Sayonara, President Goodhair, btw.

    3. Speaking of Dubya, Ted Cruz worked under him as a campaigner for his presidency, which included conducting legal work on the infamous Florida recount, as well as serving under his presidency as an associate deputy attorney general for the US Justice Department and as a director of public policy for the US Federal Trade Commision. Considering how close he is to Dubya, most people are not going to want to put another fox in charge of the hen house.

    August 20, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. hokiemas

    For all of those posters saying that he's not a natural born US citizen because he wasn't born on US soil and therefore can't be president, check the lawbooks. Anyone who acquires US citizenship at birth is a natural born US citizen and once they meet the age requirement, are eligible to be presidents. How do you acquire US citizenship at birth? By being born on US soil or by being born to at least one parent who holds US citizenship and at one time lived the required amount of time on US soil (since 1986, the law has held that the parent must have lived 5 years in the US, 2 of which must be after the age of 14). My daughter was born in Mexico. 4 months after she was born, I went to the embassy, turned in all the paperwork and showed my transcripts from High School and College to prove I had lived in the US. My daughter was then given a report of birth abroad, which certifies she obtained citizenship at birth. That means my daughter can be the president because by law, she is a natural born citizen. Even if she never lives in the US, she's still a natural born citizen. I suppose you could use the term native born for someone born on US soil, but that's not required in order to be president.

    August 20, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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