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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Unresolved: eligibility to run for President

cartoon credit: Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Unresolved: natural born citizenship and eligibility to run for President

The 9th GOP debate was not much fun to watch, nor did we learn anything about the eligibility of two candidates with Hispanic pedigrees (no, not Jeb!, who defined himself as “Hispanic” on his voter registration form), those two being Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Last month, CNN declared that

Cruz was conferred American citizenship at birth because his mother is an American citizen, and legal experts have largely agreed that would qualify him for natural-born citizenship. The Texas Republican was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and also had Canadian citizenship until he renounced it in 2014.

Is that correct? If so, what’s all the fuss about?

Gateway Pundit posted a more detailed and sourced analysis of the controversy over Ted Cruz’s eligibility as a natural born citizen of the U.S.:

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. a retired colonel with 29 years of experience in the US Army Reserve, argues that Senator Ted Cruz entered the United States illegally as a child in 1974. His parents failed to file a CRBA form which is required by US law. Ted’s parents did not fill out the required form until 1986.

It would be nice if the Cruz camp cleared this up for Republican voters.

Exactly how and when did Ted Cruz obtain U.S. citizenship?

The fact that it is still an open question at this stage of the Presidential campaign is a testament either to the galactic ignorance of our political-media elite or their willingness to place political expediency ahead of the Constitution and the law.

There is no third alternative.

Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on December 22, 1970 and remained a Canadian citizen until he officially renounced it on May 14, 2014, eighteen months after taking the oath of office as a U.S. Senator. At the time of his birth, Cruz’s father was a citizen of Canada and his mother was a U.S. citizen.

Legally, Cruz could have obtained US citizenship through his mother consistent with Public Law 414, June 27, 1952, An Act: To revise the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality and for other purposes [H.R. 5678], Title III Nationality and Naturalization, Chapter 1 – Nationality at Birth and by Collective naturalization; Nationals and citizens of the United States at birth; the relevant section being 301 (a) (7):

“a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States by such citizen parent may be included in computing the physical presence requirements of this paragraph.”

In that case, Cruz’s mother should have filed a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (CRBA) with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate after the birth to document that the child was a U.S. citizen.

According to Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s mother did register his birth with the U.S. consulate and Cruz received a U.S. passport in 1986 ahead of a high school trip to England.

There are two apparent contradictions regarding how and when Ted Cruz obtained US citizenship.

First, according to the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946, also referred to as the “Act of 1947,”Canada did not allow dual citizenship in 1970. The parents would have had to choose at that time between U.S. and Canadian citizenship. Ted Cruz did not renounce his Canadian citizenship until 2014. Was that the choice originally made?

Second, no CRBA has been released that would verify that Ted Cruz was registered as a U.S. citizen at birth.

It has been reported that the then nearly four-year-old Ted Cruz flew to the U.S. from Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1974.
Ted Cruz could not have entered the U.S. legally without a CRBA or a U.S. passport, the latter of which was not obtained until 1986.

If Ted Cruz was registered as a U.S. citizen at birth, as his spokeswoman claims, then the CRBA must be released. Otherwise, one could conclude that Cruz came to the U.S. as a Canadian citizen, perhaps on a tourist visa or, possibly, remained in the U.S. as an illegal immigrant.

It is the responsibility of the candidate for the Presidency, not ordinary citizens, to prove that he or she is eligible for the highest office in the land. Voters deserve clarification.

What about Marco Rubio? AOL summarizes

The issue at hand -- as Ted Cruz has learned well -- is over whether Rubio can be considered a "natural born citizen."

Rubio's lawyers are in court this week fighting claims he's not eligible because his parents weren't U.S. citizens until four years after his birth. The lawsuit claims that means he is ineligible to run under Article 2 of the Constitution.

Rubio's citizenship has been contested before, when the question popped up in the 2012 election after rumors swirled that Republican candidate Mitt Romney might tap Rubio as a potential running mate.

The argument over what a "natural born citizen" actually means has been going on for years, and the only group who could actually define it, the Supreme Court, has never done so.

The issue has been going on for years. President Obama’s eligibility was never decided in the court. Will Mr. Trump or some of his supporters force the question into court?
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