Experts say Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is clearly an American citizen and eligible to be elected President of the United States if he chooses to run, but information on his birth certificate, which Cruz released in response to media inquiries, raises some additional questions, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The Canadian birth certificate shows that Cruz was born on December 22, 1970 in Alberta Canada. It shows that his mother was born in Wilmington Delaware, and his father was born in Cuba.
Michael Montgomery, an expert on Presidential qualifications, 1200 WOAI news that a mother who is an American citizen is all Cruz needs to be a 'natural born' citizen which is the Constitutional requirement to be President.
"Citizens giving birth abroad provide citizenship, just as if they would have been born here," Montgomery said.
He says Cruz could have been born 'on Mars,' but as long as his mother was an American citizen by birth, which Cruz' mother appears to be, he has American citizenship.
"It is very clear that 'natural born' at the current time means someone who did not acquire citizenship through naturalization," Montgomery said.
But the fact that he was born in Canada, where his father was working as an oil industry executive, means Cruz also acquired Canadian citizenship at birth. Canada, like the U.S., provides what is called 'birthright citizenship' to anybody born in the country, with a few exceptions. Montgomery says a child born in Canada or the U.S. who has a parent who is a diplomat, for example, is not entitled to birthright citizenship. Also a 'naturalized' citizen has to have lived in a country for a certain amount of time, generally ten years, for birthright citizenship to apply to that person's children.
Cruz announced last night that he plans to 'renounce' his Canadian citizenship. Montgomery says that may not even be possible.
"I know that U.S. lawn considers that renunciations that are made for preferment or under coercion to not be valid," he said.
Technically, in addition to running for President of the United States, Cruz could also run for Prime Minister of Canada. He could even hold both offices simultaneously.
Montgomery says the issue has come up twice before in Presidential campaigns. In 2008, John McCain was declared to be a 'US Citizen' even though he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, where his father, a US Navy Admiral, was stationed.
But the most interesting case was the case of Michigan Gov. George Romney, the father of 2012 Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. George Romney, who considered running for President in 1968, was born in Mexico. But courts at the time ruled that since his parents were U.S. Citizens, Romney was also a 'natural born' U.S. citizen and eligible to run for President.
Obviously, the first seven Presidents of the United States were not born in the United States, because it wasn't a country yet. They were born subjects of Great Britain.