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. Ted Cruz is a closet commie

    Ted Cruz renounces Canadian citizenship but retains his Cuban citizenship.

    August 20, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC


    Most legal experts say he's eligible to be president. And STILL, the amateurs in this comments section say otherwise? Please stick to Monday morning complaints about your football team's performance, and leave the legal matters like this to the experts.
    The laws have not changed in over 200 years, but the politics have. For over 200 years the traditionally accepted meaning of "natural born" was considered to be born on US soil. That was the academic interpretation of it 200 years ago, and it stayed that way as recently as 2008 and John McCain.

    The RNC declared McCain as "natural born" because he was birthed in a US territory. The RNC had also declared that had McCain been born in a local hospital outside of the zone, then he would not be eligible to be POTUS. That's not me talking. That's what the RNC's position was in 2008. Like said at the top.

    The laws have not changed in over 200 years, just the politics. Suddenly it is politically convenient for someone like Cruz to alter the long held standing interpretation, and people accept it. Nope. Court justices have written several written opinions in supreme court cases at both the state and federal level, including the infamous Dred Scott case, citing academia at the time that interpreted the phrase to mean "born on US soil."

    The phrase must be examined in the context in which it was written, not how it could be applied today. In that day, place of birth determined one's citizenship. That was the policy of the Britixh and most of western Europe in the 18th century. That intepretation has been held up by the mainstream until some guy named Ted Cruz comes along and tries to change the conversation from "is he naturalized" to "is he a citizen".

    Cruz fails the criteria outlined by the RNC in 2008 for McCain. Clinton and Obama passed a resolution in the Senate accepting the RNC's rationale. That is a precedent that Cruz is not going to be able to pass. It's obvkous what Cruz is doing. He's trying to build a narrative that says he's a citizen eligible to be POTUS that'll be a couple years old come 2015.

    August 20, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Frank

    Wow he chose poorly.

    August 20, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. OrangePekoe

    Rational Canadian-we need more rational Americans just like you.

    August 20, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Chris

    Being a Canadian and not knowing much about Ted Cruzis I have the impression that he is not very popular even in his own state.

    August 20, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Chris

    Sorry I meant Cruz not Cruzis.

    August 20, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. DGP

    You can have him.

    August 20, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Grapefruit

    Actually, I believe it should read that Canada renounced Cruz's citizenship.

    August 20, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Joan

    Cruz is the poster boy for Republican-Tea Party hypocrisy. Isn't karma great?

    August 20, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Tara M.

    He still is NOT a natural-born citizen. Both of his parents would have had to have been citizens when he was born on foreign soil. FAIL Ted Cruz.

    August 20, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. isolate

    He had to act when he did. Next week Canada was planning to state it had renounced Ted Cruz.

    August 20, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. arkmiwi

    Only stupid Texans would want him to denounce his citizenship. Please, Texas, secede from the Union. We are all tired of your stupidity. By far the most ignorant state in the Union. Go away already.

    August 20, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Jake

    "Oh thank god.


    August 20, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Common Slob

    Yet he continues to be a birth-er against Obama. Amazing hypocrite...

    August 20, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. King Quad

    Whew that was close. For a second there I was worried we actually found someone worse than Conservative Harper to be our Prime Minister. Imagine, a Republican Prime Minister??? Shut Canada's doors and let the insanity reign supreme!

    August 20, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Kenneth

    Unless you are born on American Soil you are not an American. Period End of Subject.

    August 20, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Dave

    @Craig – NO!

    August 20, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. carlos

    let congress investigate rafael's status.......pretty sure he will have to resign from the senate.......SECESSIONIST !!!

    August 20, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Dave

    @thinker – (and others) you are focusing on what 0.1% of the population at best was focused on. STOP the INSANITY.

    August 20, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Derek

    I am ashamed he calls himself a Texan. He is no more Texan than hitler was Hawaiin.

    August 20, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Bob C.

    RudyNYC – I have read your previous posts, and they are all wrong.

    We've become accustomed to it.
    Washington Post, May 2, 2008, "The Fact Checker"
    Law dot com, Feb 29, 2008, "McCain Says Citizenship Issue Put to Rest Long Ago"

    Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, and 1798

    Naturalization Law 1802
    14th Amendment (1868)
    Naturalization Act 1870 ·
    Page Act (1875)
    Immigration Act of 1882
    Chinese Exclusion (1882)
    Immigration and Nationality Act 1952
    1965 ·Refugee Act (1980)
    Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986)
    American Homecoming Act (1989
    ·Immigration Act 1990 ·

    Black's Law Dictionary (9th Edition) defines "Natural Born Citizen" as "A person born within the jurisdiction of a national government".

    It's an archaic term. Ted Cruz is obviously trying to redefine for himself. Above was the RNC's position as recently as 2008.

    August 20, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Lawless4U

    He is no American. If BOTH his parents were US citizens, maybe he'd be one. But since only won was and Cruz wasn't born on US soil, he is not an American.

    August 20, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. mad_russian

    First world problems. Yawn.

    August 20, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Les

    So not only can run for president of the United States, He can run for the Canadian parliament and also be the dictator of Cuba!! Trifecta! I don't understand why he would renounce his Canadian citizenship..pretty stupid if you ask me.

    August 20, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. larper2

    Unless his mother was a US Solider and born on a US base, he can't run for US president.

    August 20, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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