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. Michael Hobart

    I don't know what were the legal requirements at the time of Cruz' birth (they have been changed by Congress from time to time) but at one point a U.S. child born abroad had to be registered with a U.S. consulate or embassy within a certain period of time after birth to be considered a natural-born citizen. I have yet to see an article covering what were the legal requirements at that date and when his mother fulfilled them. I'm not saying he isn't a citizen, I'm just curious.

    August 20, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Poindexter

    The issue isn't whether or not someone can have dual citizenship of the US and Canada, the issue is in which country an individual with dual citizenship can run for head of state. Since he was born in Canada, he is automatically eligible to run for Prime Minister of Canada. An individual cannot legally be eligible to run for either the Prime Minister of Canada or President of the US at their choosing, therefore he must not be eligible for the US Presidency. I was born in the US to Canadian parents, and they returned to Canada with me when I was 2, where I've lived for decades. As such, I am only eligible to run for US president and can never run for Prime Minister of Canada, even though both of my parents are Canadian and I've lived in Canada since I was 2. Also, I had dual citizenship at birth, but being a citizen due to a parent's citizenship does not make one eligible for head of state.

    "To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce."

    So the argument here is that he was born in Canada and lived there for the first 4 years of his life, but didn't know that he was a Canadian citizen? As a representative of the good people of Texas, I'm shocked to hear that he has never heard of "anchor babies," individuals born in the US to non-US citizens, who are automatically US citizens at birth, allowing them the right to run for the US presidency (not the Mexican presidency), regardless of their parents' citizenship. They're the scourge of our time.

    August 20, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Renan

    So how is this different, if Obama had been born overseas (which we know he wasn't) to an American mother?

    August 20, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. Igbo

    Cruz is eligible to run for President, because he was a US Citizen at birth. The same was true for George Romney who ran for President in 1969. He was born in Mexico to US citizens.

    August 20, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. m6hndagrl

    If he was born on Canadian soil he is a Canadian citizen. Period. It is irrelevant who/ what his parents are. In Canada your citizenship is based on where you were born, unless you apply/ relinquish that "birthright". If they moved to the US when he was 4 and applied for US citizenship on his behalf at that time then it is possible he is a dual citizen. I was born in Canada to a US citizen mother. This does not make me a US citizen automatically just because my mother is a US citizen. When I moved to the US many years later I had to apply for US citizenship through my mother.

    August 20, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Searcher

    How IRONIC is it that the BIRTHER CRAP, stoked by the GOP on a quest to harm Obama, is now claiming one of their own. The irony is DELICIOUS! I bet they serve it with a side order of HYPOCRISY!

    August 20, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Frank T

    It doesn't matter for this OLD White Racists Cruz, When one flips a coin it still comes up this Clueless & Useless OLD man was still born In Canada.Hypocrite go home to your Racists Texas, you belong with all the Repub losers..

    August 20, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Arouet

    Canadian born, Cruz de La Habana is clearly also a Subject of her Most Britannic Majesty Elizabeth Regina, an obligation he is alas, powerless to ever renounce. Surely we do not want someone in the White House who is obligated under pain of beheading to follow all orders from a foreign potentate, especially one directly descended from George III of Unhappy Memory to all American Patriots. Where are all the Tea Hags when they are most urgently needed?

    August 20, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Big Guy

    Unless it has changed in the last few years, friends of mine who are canadian (living on the border means you have friends on both sides), had repeatedly told me, you CAN'T renounce canadian citizenship. You can publicly say it, but I guess the Canadian Government has no legal means of actually doing it.

    He found this out because like Cruz, he has dual citizenship as well and looked into it for certain reasons. So, unless that has changed, don't bother... Canada will still consider you to be one of its own.

    August 20, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. FeralUrchin

    How many other members of the House and Senate have dual citizenships? And with which other countries? I believe it is wrong for us to allow ourselves to be governed by politicians with divided loyalty.

    August 20, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Suzanne

    Seriously...you can't have it both ways! Sheesh.

    This guy IS Canadian!

    August 20, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Waltyss

    In Canada, as in the US, if you are born on Canadian soil, you are ipso facto a Canadian citizen. He may also be an American citizen depending on the US laws at the time of his birth. In any event, the Americans are more than welcome to him, as most Canadians would find his views odious.
    What is troubling (because American presidents tend to have an impact on the world outside the US borders) is that he wishes to run for president when he has so little knowledge and so little curiosity of the world beyond the US borders.
    Shouldn't you know what Canadian law is in that regard before you spout off? Shades of Sarah Palin.

    August 20, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. MakeThemEatCake

    So a Texas Republican had no problem running for the Senate as a dual citizen. I wonder if that was brought up by his opponent during the election. If Texas finally gets around to Secceding from the U.S. would he hold citizenship to 3 countries?

    August 20, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. T

    .....In follow up news.......Canada enjoys a .....SPECIAL HOLIDAY today....................

    August 20, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Mike Roberts

    Can't trust Cruz. He'll say anything to get elected. Sound familiar??

    August 20, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Fred

    As a Canadian who became a naturalized US citizen and "signed" for many American children born in Canada (so they could be dual) let me point out how this works. First Cruz would have applied for Canadian citizenship by the time he was 18 or he could never get it. Just because you are born there – even if one of the parents are Canadian, you still have to apply before 18. Obviously Cruz did not apply before 18 so there is nothing to renounce. Second Canada has no mechanism to renounce your citizenship – just ask Conrad Black who ended up in the supreme court trying to renounce. Contrary to what Cruz thinks you can not just stand up and renounce something you never had.

    August 20, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. schaz

    Since his father (was?) is Cuban does he have have a Cuban citizenship that he has to renounce too?

    August 20, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. mbane

    Poindexter, you are wrong. Any Canadian citizen over the age of 18 can run for Prime Minister of Canada. One does not have to be born in Canada to run. Canadians were not paranoid that they would hand the country back to England like we were. As long as you pass their Citizenship test you are good to go.

    August 20, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. PushingBack

    Too bad he renounced Canadian citizenship as he had a much better chance of becoming president there.

    August 20, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. chuck

    According to govtrack.us, Senator Cruz's voting record is one of the farthest left of all current Republican representatives, so all the Liberals on here, stop pretending he's so far right. All that is just political hogwash, ignoring facts. He's just about as close to the center as you're going to get from the Republicans right now. Also, ready some of these liberal comments on here, and continue to presume your party is any better than the Republicans attacking Obama. What about Romney's tax records? Obama could've had that in hand within a week, without even asking for it, but acting like Romney was witholding something, whether or not he was, was just another political ploy. Doubt and fear work better than facts when running for office. Stop being blinded by it all and start looking at facts, please.

    August 20, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Michael in Houston

    Sorry Cruz....you have to be THIS height to get on this ride. And you sir, are not even close.

    August 20, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Okay, he can check renouncing Canada off of his bucket list. When does he plan to renounce his Cuban citizenship?

    August 20, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Lenny Pincus

    You only have to be an intelligent, normal human being to enjoy the ironic hilarity that T-bagging Ted has to respond to questions about his citizenship. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

    August 20, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Soapy Smith

    As a proud 7th generation Texan, this knucklehead does not represent me in any way, shape or form. He should be investigated thoroughly on this citizenship issue and I hope he does NOT pass muster. We would be in real trouble if he gets to the Oval Office. He's too close to it now.

    August 20, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Tim

    It really doesn't matter much what this guy says or what the law is. There is no way that this country votes for Joe McCarthy.

    August 20, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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