HOUSTON -- Our junior senator from Texas wants to renounce his citizenship from Canada.
Ted Cruz, the freshman U.S. senator, often mentioned as presidential timber, is a citizen of Houston, of Texas and of the United States. But a curious quirk in his family’s compelling story apparently also makes him a citizen of Canada, a distinction he really doesn’t want.
“Well, this may be the silly season in politics,” he said when reporters asked him about the matter.
Cruz, who released his birth certificate earlier this week to The Dallas Morning News, finds himself in the curious position of dealing with “birther” questions. He was born in Canada to an American mother, which instantly made him a U.S. citizen. Constitutional scholars generally agree that makes him eligible to serve as president of the United States, a consensus buttressed by a 50-page report the non-partisan Congressional Research Office released in response to questions about President Obama’s qualifications.
But that raises another question for Cruz that even Obama didn’t have to face. If he was born in Canada to an American parent, he apparently has dual citizenship in both countries.
“The question shouldn’t be ‘Where were you born?’” said Gerald Treece, a constitutional law scholar who’s also dean of the South Texas College of Law. “The question should be, ‘Who is your mother?’ And if your mother or your father, either one is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, you my friend are a U.S. citizen. It could be like Sen. Cruz, though. Sen. Cruz is also a Canadian citizen.”
The U.S. Constitution says nothing about people with dual citizenship serving as president, but it could be an awkward curiosity in a presidential campaign.
“The question was raised, would I renounce my Canadian citizenship?” Cruz said. “And I said, ‘Sure, of course I would.’ Why? Because I’m an American citizen by birth. And as a U.S. senator, I believe it makes sense for me to be only an American.”