The next round of Cruz birther gambits falls a bit short

posted at 12:41 pm on January 18, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

I’ve honestly tried to avoid most of this mess the majority of the time, but enough people have sent this Examiner piece to me over the weekend that it’s clearly making the rounds and we should get it out of the way. Here’s the basic premise of this one, or at least one of them: Some Cruz detractors have been researching musty old Canadian law resources and stumbled upon a rather unique aspect of their history in terms of the citizenship process in the Great White North. There’s an odd codicil in there which indicates that from the period when Canada first started officially designating their own citizenship standards in 1947 (as opposed to being a citizen of the British Crown) until 1977, Canada didn’t officially recognize dual citizenship with any other country. This has tongues wagging in terms of what it meant to Cruz’ mother when he was born.

In order for Ted Cruz to have “become” a US citizen at birth in 1970, his mother would have had to retain exclusive citizenship to the US and filed a CRBA (Consular Report of Birth Abroad) to “obtain” exclusive US citizenship at the time for her son Ted and renounced his automatic “naturally acquired” Canadian citizenship. The process in itself is considered a very abbreviated form of “naturalization”, thereby making such persons born outside of the OFFICIAL territories of the United States absolutely ineligible to become President of these United States in at least this one circumstance alone. Given that Canadian law did not allow dual citizenship at the time, then IF his mother filed a CRBA in 1970, his Canadian citizenship would likely have needed to be renounced before a new US citizenship could be granted.

You can read the rest for yourself since it’s actually an interesting, if obscure, bit of Canadian history. Unfortunately for those looking to shake Cruz off his perch on a technicality, there are multiple problems with this theory and I already consulted one attorney about it this morning. First of all, the scenario described for the worst case timeline assumes a number of facts not in evidence. These include the question of whether or not her first husband was a Canadian citizen. (Not that it matters, but we don’t seem to have confirmation of that.) The authors also want to know if there was a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) filed by his mother to “assign” American citizenship to her son, but again… there’s not a shred of evidence I’ve seen to indicate that such a document ever existed.

But the real nail in the coffin of this theory is the primary premise that Canada didn’t recognize dual citizenship at the time of Ted’s birth. The resounding answer to this question should be, “Yeah… and?” While that seems to be true from the documentation offered, whether or not Canada recognizes American citizenship is completely irrelevant to the discussion because Canada doesn’t get to determine who is or isn’t a citizen of the United States of America. Even if they were making a federal case out of it for any given US citizen it wouldn’t be an issue unless the person was trying to cross the border into Canada without a passport. If United States law recognizes you as a citizen, that’s the end of the discussion in terms of this constitutional qualifications question.

Look, if you don’t like Ted Cruz – for whatever reason – I get it. We all have to pick our own favorite candidates and make a case against the rest. But this dog just isn’t going to hunt, folks.

ted cruz


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Comments

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 1:33 PM

I’m not happy about it. In fact, I think he’s a James Bond villain with a lab under an obscure volcanic island.

But I think he’s going to win.

MJBrutus on January 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM

OT

Hey Jazz, are you and/or Ed going to be doing a thread about how today is the 1 year anniversary of DeflateGate?

Dr. Michael McCann, who teaches a DeflateGate course at the University of New Hampshire and has also lectured on the subject at M.I.T., has a nice piece out today in Sports Illustrated to celebrate the occasion. McCann is also the distinguished visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law.

Deflategate, one year later: The anatomy of a failed controversy

Del Dolemonte on January 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM

You have the nerve to call someone else dumb when your supporting someone so dumb…well that’s just dumb.

:)

Someone who is not dumb, chess master Kasparov. Thinks Rubio is the best person to deal with Putin, etc.

:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBWgzOkclv8

Again folks, if you want to keep Hillary from the White House, only one choice
Rubio 2016

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 1:05 PM

:)

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:37 PM

Rubio will be a shyster layer when all this is over.

He has betrayed all he ever met, is for amnesty and continued illegalities in the USA, but the little punk appears to be simpatico to some ninnies.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:39 PM

“Birther”, the very pejorative and degrading B-word rhymes with you-know-what, the very pejorative and degrading N-word,

VorDaj on January 18, 2016 at 1:16 PM

“Nerfer?” No such word.

Maybe you mean “Flat-Earther,” but it starts with F.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 18, 2016 at 1:39 PM

But I think he’s going to win.

MJBrutus on January 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM

You actually do think.

sheryl only emotes.

Heh, Rubiolito Bendicto Arnold

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:40 PM

It won’t be Hillary, for starters.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:41 PM

MJBrutus on January 18, 2016 at 1:33 PM

slimy ageist attack.

She is a hell of a lot sharper than you. read it and weep.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/12/21/conservative-icon-phyllis-schlafly-trump-last-hope-america-omnibus-betrayal/

Senator Philip Bluster on January 18, 2016 at 1:43 PM

nice try, but the ICON of conservatism, Phyllis Schafly, says Trump is the “only hope” for conservatives.

Senator Philip Bluster on January 18, 2016 at 1:29 PM

You’re delusional if you think Phyllis Schafly is a powerful opinion maker. Limbaugh, Levin, John Nolte at Breitbart who’ve all been for Trump for months are now falling off the Trump train, it’s going to derail because they provided tons of free “ads” promotion for him.

Trump is a loser.

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 1:45 PM

He has betrayed all he ever met, is for amnesty and continued illegalities in the USA, but the little punk appears to be simpatico to some ninnies.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:39 PM

The GOP establishment has to have something to pin their hopes on; otherwise they’re stuck with Trump vs. Cruz, and that is unacceptable.

If Jeb! and Christie keep their one-winged campaigns flopping around long enough though, Rubio is toast and we’re down to two. I just wonder to what level of devilment that the Party Poobahs will sink if that is the case.

hillbillyjim on January 18, 2016 at 1:45 PM

If Cruz is a Natural Born American, then the term has been dumbed down to the point of being worthless. Talk about Grade Inflation and lowered Ranger standards for women, and the like, this puts all them to shame.

VorDaj on January 18, 2016 at 1:20 PM

Yeah, those things are exactly the same.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 18, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Senator Philip Bluster on January 18, 2016 at 1:43 PM

I read the headline and a paragraph. And I do weep for my beloved America and what will become of her if tRump wins.

MJBrutus on January 18, 2016 at 1:46 PM

is a loser.

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Mittens

:)

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:49 PM

Again folks, if you want to keep Hillary from the White House, only one choice
Rubio 2016

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Rubio must speak French.

libfreesMom on January 18, 2016 at 1:49 PM

I just wonder to what level of devilment that the Party Poobahs will sink if that is the case.

hillbillyjim on January 18, 2016 at 1:45 PM

3 feet into the outhouse slush, but they are still drowned in it :)

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:50 PM

the GOPe is probably very happy right now to see T and C bashing each other. it is the only hope left for the estab, and they are still hoping to pull a convention stunt to get their Chamber boy the nom.

Senator Philip Bluster on January 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM

If there is any question about someones legality, it should be about Rubio.

Neither of his parents were citizens when he was born.

Just putting that out there…:)

Barred on January 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM

MJBrutus on January 18, 2016 at 1:46 PM

What will become of her if any of the other R/D Uniparty, crony capitalists bought hos, crony media supported ones win?

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM

Oddly, opinions are like rectums, everybody has one some stink. Until a court of law decides based upon facts this is undecided. But there are some facts to view. One, Cruz was born in Canada, which would make him a Canadian by birth, just as a child born in this country is American by birth. The citizenship of the parents is not relevant at the time. Since Cruz was born in a foreign country of parents who were residing there legally, and he has a birth certificate as to his place of birth, He was a Canadian citizen without question. I do not believe the founders thought it prudent nor inclusive for people who’s citizenship could be questioned to hold the Presidency, hence the term “natural born” citizen. Cruz was not born in this country and one of his parents was a Cuban citizen. His only tie to America was it was his mothers birthplace. He had to ask State for citizenship. No natural born citizen has to ask anyone for citizenship. As much as I like Cruz, for VP, he is no eligible and the Democrats WILL sue to challenge if he is the nominee.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on January 18, 2016 at 1:55 PM

LOL, Rush just said the establishment not shills for Trump!

Hahaha…..for months he was the anti-establishment candidate, now the king of conservative radio has labeled Trump ESTABLISHMENT, code for don’t vote for Trump folks.

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 1:21 PM

Read what you wrote. The Establishment is certainly NOT shills for Trump which means that he is an anti-establishment candidate.

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 1:55 PM

The term “natural born citizen” only makes sense with AT LEAST 1 American citizen parent, AND born on the land. Anything less stringent is insanity. It’s why the media got it exactly wrong when thinking Cruz won the birther exchange while Trump won the NY values exchange. Quite the opposite was true.

Stoic Patriot on January 18, 2016 at 12:53 PM

Senator John McCain was born in Panama, but both of his parents were American citizens–they were in Panama at the time of his birth because his father was a Navy Admiral stationed in Panama. According to Stoic Patriot, would that make John McCain ineligible to be President?

The “natural born citizen” clause was written into the original Constitution written in 1787, but the first 6 Presidents were born prior to 1776, before the United States of America existed as a nation, so they were born in the American colonies as subjects of Great Britain. At the time of the writing of the Constitution, what was the intent of the Founders? That a President be a citizen of the United States by birth within the 13 colonies, or some land that had become a state by the time of a President’s birth, or that the President profess his own loyalty to the United States over some other country where he may have been born?

A baby doesn’t get to choose where he or she is born, but since Presidents must be at least 35 years old, an adult over 35 years old can choose the nation to which he or she is loyal, of which he or she desires citizenship. Ted Cruz is every bit as eligible as Barack Obama, who had been a citizen of Indonesia as a child.

Steve Z on January 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Ted Cruz is every bit as eligible as Barack Obama

wow, that is not helpful to him.

Senator Philip Bluster on January 18, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Just putting that out there…:)

You. Are. Not. Helping.

Jazz Shaw on January 18, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Oddly, opinions are like rectums, everybody has one some stink. Until a court of law decides based upon facts this is undecided. But there are some facts to view. One, Cruz was born in Canada, which would make him a Canadian by birth, just as a child born in this country is American by birth. The citizenship of the parents is not relevant at the time.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on January 18, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Straight off the rails, you did go.

Please explain to every single child born of a service member overseas how they are not American citizens. Also please explain to all of these children how the nation they were born in somehow wrongly denied them citizenship.

NotCoach on January 18, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Jazz,

Another reason the CRBA maynot be on file is that is it possible that Cruz’s mother had to be a Canadian citizen to be an owner of a Canadian Business.

That would yet another issue for the lawyers

EricPWJohnson on January 18, 2016 at 2:03 PM

We use our standards when considering the quality of someone’s foreign citizenship. Although I don’t know how it ever became a US standard to allow dual citizenship at all. But it’s kinda cute how the inclusivists like to pick a sentence out of an old naturalization acts that is as repealed as the 18th amendment but totally dismiss the language in the acts that weren’t repealed that require US citizens to not have any other allegiances.

Buddahpundit on January 18, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Jazz, you need to go back and look at what the term Natural Born Citizen meant to the founders, not to a bunch of modern day Shylocks who seem to have no knowledge of what the founders intended. A natural born citizen is different than a naturalized or natural citizen, otherwise it would not have been written that way. Just like they did not mean 34 1/2 years old. Cruz held Canadian citizenship. No natural born citizen could hold citizenship of another country, the founders would have intended, and still qualify to be President.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on January 18, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Trumps goal is to bash cruz with ‘birther’uncertainty.

Without a definitive Supreme Court adjudication it will stay a theoretical excercise.

I do get amused with Cruz people saying they’ll stop this because filers will have no ‘standing’.

stopping it from getting resolved is the goal

gerrym51 on January 18, 2016 at 12:58 PM

You do realize that every bad idea Trump has isn’t actually some masterful Machiavellian, three-dimensional chess move, skillfully crafted to look boorish and low-brow while actually being sophisticated beyond the capacity of mere mortals (except a few Trump supporters) to discern, don’t you?

Ask not to whom Occam’s Razor applies. It applies to thee.

Immolate on January 18, 2016 at 2:06 PM

Further, Ames tweets: Ted Cruz says he’s an ‘outsider.’ Really? Do ‘outsiders’ get bankrolled by commercial & investment banks?

anotherJoe on January 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Why that’s terrible; clearly I shoudl support Trump; he never seeks special deals.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/10/18/trump_im_only_for_eminent_domain_when_its_for_creating_jobs.html

Oh, asking the government to give you someone else’s land for your business at a cheap price against their will?
Yeah, that’s “wonderful”, right?
Or is Trump perhaps not the better choice here?

Go ahead and defend Eminent domain for private business as the “conservative” choice if you like…
Don’t mind my odd cough that sounds a lot like laughing at you.

gekkobear on January 18, 2016 at 2:08 PM

What will become of her if any of the other R/D Uniparty, crony capitalists bought hos, crony media supported ones win?

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM

Trump is the ultimate crony Washington influence peddler, corrupt evil rich guy.

Trump’s soul is so evil that he stopped health coverage for a disabled infant nephew out of spite.

Trump ugly on the inside and outside.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3382756/Donald-Trump-cut-medical-treatment-nephew-s-sick-baby.html

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 2:12 PM

the GOPe is probably very happy right now to see T and C bashing each other. it is the only hope left for the estab, and they are still hoping to pull a convention stunt to get their Chamber boy the nom.

Senator Philip Bluster on January 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM

Unless something drastic like Trump’s head exploding happens, Trump will be the nominee. All the “infighting” between Trump and Cruz isn’t going to be enough to change the outcome, unless Trump lets it.

I get that part of Trump’s mojo is his chops as a risk taker. That’s fine, but there needs to be some upside to the risk to be worth taking. Die or blow up the Death Star? Yeah we get that. But Trump’s got the nomination locked. What awesome outcome is there to attain beyond that? Winning all fifty states? That is shortsighted. You still need to be able to rally the troops to your standard once the primary is over. Americans like ballsy and we like brash. But we don’t like mean-spirited and vindictive.

Immolate on January 18, 2016 at 2:16 PM

sheryl

oh la la transitioned to “Ay, Dios mìo”

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 2:18 PM

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Can you comprehend and actually answer a question, you dummy?

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Further, Ames tweets: Ted Cruz says he’s an ‘outsider.’ Really? Do ‘outsiders’ get bankrolled by commercial & investment banks?

anotherJoe on January 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Any bank, anywhere, will give you a secured loan. I can get a loan from Fidelity secured by my 401k. Can’t you? Got a problem with New York values Joe?

Immolate on January 18, 2016 at 2:21 PM

Where do the other candidates stand on importing foreign gropers?

dominigan on January 18, 2016 at 1:50 PM

They’re getting paid; they’re all for it.

FloatingRock on January 18, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 2:27 PM

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on January 18, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Again, Cruz held Canadian citizenship under Canadian law. Canadian law is irrelevant when it comes to what US law has to say on the issue. Stop and think for a moment how deciding who is eligible based on another country’s laws fails completely. What if Canada declared tomorrow that every person born in North America is a Canadian citizen. Under your logic does that mean only Hawaiians can now be natural born?

NotCoach on January 18, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) my daughter has one we filed a week after her birth and had the interview 3 weeks later(hell of a lot of fun). Document looks like a birth certificate in USA. French law allows multiple citizenship though at 18 she must reapply for French citizenship if she so chooses

LeeBelieu on January 18, 2016 at 2:35 PM

Honest La Cruz

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 2:36 PM

So what’s happening with the 2 lawsuits filed?
They get tossed yet?

Iblis on January 18, 2016 at 2:48 PM

The question is not so much whether Ted will, ultimately, be found ineligible, but more so whether he will be challenged. On that issue, there can be little debate. One suit has already been filed, and others will certainly follow (as promised by certain leftist political figures already). The Donald was absolutely correct on this issue, and it could easily become an albatross if Ted, gulp, gets the nomination.

guitarman67 on January 18, 2016 at 2:55 PM

Again folks, if you want to keep Hillary from the White House, only one choice
Rubio 2016

sheryl on January 18, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Mitt is very handsome, intelligent, attractive man. He looks like Matthew Fox’s, from Lost, distinguished, older brother. Plus it’s kinda sexy that he can speak French…..ooh la la!

sheryl on January 16, 2008 at 11:06 PM

LOL.

portlandon on January 18, 2016 at 3:04 PM

You. Are. Not. Helping.

Jazz Shaw on January 18, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Just trying to see everyone is informed.. Am I wrong? :)

Barred on January 18, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Stoic, so the American mom who gives birth on a cruise ship , the baby won’t be considered American because the baby was not on American soil?

cmsinaz on January 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM

That’s a completely different situation. The baby isn’t a citizen of the cruise ship. The baby is afforded the citizenship of his parent/parents.

JannyMae on January 18, 2016 at 3:25 PM

That’s a completely different situation. The baby isn’t a citizen of the cruise ship. The baby is afforded the citizenship of his parent/parents.

JannyMae on January 18, 2016 at 3:25 PM

ships are considered to be the soil of the country they’re flagged under. Hence if you’re agreeing that the parents pass citizenship rather than location, you’re agreeing that Cruz is natural born through his mother.

Rogue on January 18, 2016 at 3:40 PM

Jazz, agree this one has little merit. Citizenship recognition in one country has no bearing on the other (unless there is some relevant treaty). But its not the point. We should not even be debating this.

BTW, does Cruz have an actual birth certificate? I assume it’s a Canadian one, unless he got subsequent US documentation. You know, this may be why he’s a bit squishy on immigration in general.

How did he get in the Senate with this kind of documentation? Not looking for a treatise, guys, just a certification that he’s a citizen. This is a case where a ruling is needed.

As a practical matter, whenever you are asked if you are a citizen, on any form, your answer is never checked so its pretty much an honor system, so I think I know the answer to the question above: Cruz voted, became a senator and ran for president thinking he was a citizen. Also being a Canadian citizen would have looked bad, so he shed that. But the rest of his story doesn’t look strong, lacking certification.

virgo on January 18, 2016 at 3:41 PM

As a practical matter, whenever you are asked if you are a citizen, on any form, your answer is never checked so its pretty much an honor system, so I think I know the answer to the question above: Cruz voted, became a senator and ran for president thinking he was a citizen. Also being a Canadian citizen would have looked bad, so he shed that. But the rest of his story doesn’t look strong, lacking certification.

Um…he doesn’t need a ‘story’. Mom’s American. Done.
John McCain (born in Panama; American parents) would understand this, if he weren’t both senile and a scheming RINO turncoat; the NYT and the rest of the liberal media sphere would toss this aside as ‘nothing to see’ if he were a Democratic candidate. Back when people traveled by sea, individuals were assigned citizenship based upon their parents’ citizenship. Would a child born halfway here on an ocean liner 50 years ago be ‘without a country’, AND a non-natural born citizen if his parents were American?
No. Of course not.

This is a non story, peddled solely by the antiCruz set and by journalists who failed their 8th grade Constitution class.

orangemtl on January 18, 2016 at 3:49 PM

Jazz, the CRBA is a red herring for me too. However, the red FLAG this article raises is his mother’s citizenship conferred by her marriages and length of residency in Canada. She would have renounced her U.S. citizenship automatically. Granted, her renouncing would have been in the eyes of Canadian law and not U.S. law. That said, did she enjoy the privileges Canadian EXCLUSIVE citizenship brought with them? Did she have it both ways? IF so, I don’t think it’s as much of a non-issue as you may think.

dannydjmorales on January 18, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Where do the other candidates stand on importing foreign gropers?

dominigan on January 18, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Hillary married an American groper, she doesn’t need foreign ones.

Steve Z on January 18, 2016 at 4:14 PM

The high court is full of liberals. The only ones that will rule against Cruz are Alito, Scalia and Thomas.

cimbri on January 18, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Um…he doesn’t need a ‘story’. Mom’s American. Done.
John McCain (born in Panama; American parents) would understand this, if he weren’t both senile and a scheming RINO turncoat; the NYT and the rest of the liberal media sphere would toss this aside as ‘nothing to see’ if he were a Democratic candidate. Back when people traveled by sea, individuals were assigned citizenship based upon their parents’ citizenship. Would a child born halfway here on an ocean liner 50 years ago be ‘without a country’, AND a non-natural born citizen if his parents were American?
No. Of course not.

This is a non story, peddled solely by the antiCruz set and by journalists who failed their 8th grade Constitution class.

orangemtl on January 18, 2016 at 3:49 PM

Um.. In the cases you mention, the authorities issued certification. In the case of military, US official documentation.

So yes, when all you have is a Canadian birth certificate, you need a “story” hopefully it’s one that ends in a certification we can recognize for the purpose of a presidential election.

Your personal approval of Cruz lineage isn’t relevant to someone running state elections, the DMV or the passport office… Which is another relevant question…does Cruz have a US passport? Presumably his Canadian one, if he ever had it, is no good now.

I’m glad you find this so simple. But it’s not your judgment we are worried about.

virgo on January 18, 2016 at 4:57 PM

Um…he doesn’t need a ‘story’. Mom’s American. Done.
John McCain (born in Panama; American parents) would understand this

orangemtl on January 18, 2016 at 3:49 PM

Obviously, there are critical differences. McCain’s parents were legal residents and Citizens of a home State, and were on the US Canal Zone.

Cruz’s mother did not have residency anywhere in the US. She was a resident of Canada, and we know some of the rest of the story. We need to unlock whatever Cruz is hiding regarding the FOIA

cimbri on January 18, 2016 at 5:02 PM

To be eligible to be president one
must be born to US citizen parents.
Did you notice parents is plural.

You go on and on about the mother;
who cares? The father was not a
US citizen.

Amjean on January 18, 2016 at 6:29 PM

Location of birth is irrelevant to natural born citizenship status. What is relevant is the nationality of the parents at the time of birth.

NotCoach on January 18, 2016 at 1:22 PM

So Prince Hamzah bin Hussein of Jordan would also be eligible to run for POTUS, because he was born to Queen Noor, who was an American citizen.

He’s a Natural Born American citizen? Seriously?

ceruleanblue on January 18, 2016 at 6:44 PM

Location of birth is irrelevant to natural born citizenship status. What is relevant is the nationality of the parents at the time of birth.

NotCoach on January 18, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Anchor babies? On the citizenship/ nationality issue what we have is a mess, and Cruz is in the middle of it.

virgo on January 19, 2016 at 12:58 AM

Location of birth is irrelevant to natural born citizenship status. What is relevant is the nationality of the parents at the time of birth.

NotCoach on January 18, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Anchor babies? On the citizenship/ nationality issue what we have is a mess, and Cruz is in the middle of it.

virgo on January 19, 2016 at 12:58 AM

What’s really a mess is trying to make the case that there is some difference between “natural born citizen” and “citizen at birth.”

There are people constantly claiming that Congress created a category of citizen by statute that are somehow naturalized by being born. They’re quick to quote this or that law or SCOTUS decision, but somehow never one that actually states that a citizen at birth is not a natural born citizen.

There are still only two categories of citizens: those who are born citizens, and those who are naturalized. I have yet to see any evidence that a third category of citizens exist for those who are born citizens but are still not natural born citizens.

I’ve seen a number of people make the case that there should be a difference, but that’s meaningless in this case, if there IS NOT a difference under existing law.

For example, existing law and precedent says that if you are born on American soil to two parents who are actually citizens of other nations present on a temporary visa, then you are born an American citizen. This is a complete misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, which says you must not only be born or naturalized here to be a citizen, but you must also be under the American jurisdiction. And if you are born on American soil to two illegal aliens, currently you are considered to have American citizenship. And if you are born on American soil to two legal residents seeking to be naturalized, you are considered to have American citizenship by birth.

The first and second categories should certainly not be citizens by birth, because the parents are citizens of a foreign nation. In those cases, it actually makes no difference whether the parents are here legally or not: what matters is that they are still citizens of another nation.

The third example though are parents who are seeking to become naturalized. They can plausibly be considered to be under American political jurisdiction by the fact that they are seeking naturalization. If naturalization didn’t have some stiff requirements that can’t be met quickly, it might be different. But since we require years of residency and a legal process to be naturalized, a legal permanent resident in the process of naturalization is a lot different from the other two examples.

Note that in all three examples given, the current law is exactly what you get when you no longer care whether the parents are citizens, only about the location of birth. Yet the same crowd complaining about Cruz for being born to an American citizen who was temporarily in Canada (citizen by birth because of parentage) is trying to also blame him for the problem of anchor babies (citizens by birth purely because of where they were born.)

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 19, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Natural Born means born on American soil plus some very fuzzy and not quite understood parental requirement.

In Cruz’s case he definitely was not born on American soil, so at this point we can ignore the parentage issue as far as natural-born is concerned.

There is only one statute that uses the term natural-born in relation to naturalization (The Naturalization Act of 1790) but the term was removed by Madison in the superceding act of 1795. Neither act is operative today because they, too, have been superceded but it shows the intention of the founders and the notion that no act of congress can itself change the meaning of natural-born.

Congress is the sole wielder of the power of naturalization, but has never been given the power to change the definition of ‘natural-born’.

Congress has granted several categories of naturalization that are conferred at birth with no further process being necessary. Since they don’t have the power to confer natural-born status those individuals so deemed citizens at birth are not natural-born in the strictest sense.

That said the conventional wisdom has been for quite a while that if you’re ‘born a citizen’ you are natural-born. Perhaps partially due to thinking the original reasons for the jus soli requirement are no longer applicable today (a foreign prince claiming citizenship here for example).

So, in the end, the living constitution would most likely prevail and Cruz would be considered natural-born.

But there is an irony in that Cruz himself would rail against living constitution jurisprudence though he benefits from it here.

MaggiePoo on January 20, 2016 at 12:04 AM

Re Canada, the first time I went to Canada was by accident.

Me and my ex were going to Niagra Falls and took a bus from NYC. We were told we had to change buses someplace.

We got to someplace. The driver stood up and said if you’re going to Niagra Falls stay on the bus, otherwise get off here.

So we stayed on the bus and went to Niagra Falls–on the Canadian side. Our luggage, however, changed buses and went to Niagra Falls on the American side.

Neither of us had passports but the Canadian authorities asked some questions and said it was okay to stay for the two weeks and made arrangements to have our luggage brought over. We got our luggage the next day as promised and had a great two weeks.

Coming back my ex though he didn’t have a passport had a lot of other ID. All I had was a checkbook. Customs went through every cubic centimeter of my luggage and handbag, asked a ton of questions, then let me back in America.

It really wasn’t too bad but I wouldn’t want that to happen today.

MaggiePoo on January 20, 2016 at 12:34 AM