- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 6, 2016) — A U.S. News & World Report article dated January 6 quotes Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who last month said he would file a lawsuit if Sen. Ted Cruz is nominated by the Republican National Committee as its presidential candidate, as stating that Cruz’s mother may have become a Canadian citizen.
The claim would place in question whether or not Cruz is a U.S. citizen, let alone the higher standard of “natural born Citizen,” required by Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution for the presidency.
Mainstream media outlets are now reporting on the controversy over Cruz’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president since The Washington Post asked presidential candidate Donald Trump in an interview on Tuesday whether or not he believes Cruz meets the eligibility criterion.
USN&WR writer Stephen Nelson is one of only a handful of mainstream media reporters who have discussed the “natural born Citizen” issue, which was raised during the 2008 presidential election in regard to both Barack Obama and John McCain.
Since declaring himself a candidate in late March of last year, Cruz has claimed that because he was born to one US-citizen parent, although outside the United States, he is a “natural born Citizen.” In making the claim, Cruz’s language closely mirrors that of an editorial written by two former Solicitors General published in the Harvard Law Review exactly one week before Cruz announced his candidacy.
Over the last year, various citizens raised the question of Cruz’s eligibility and the possibility that were he to receive the Republican nomination, a Democrat would file a lawsuit, possibly leaving Republicans without enough time to name a suitable replacement prior to the election. To this writer’s knowledge, the Republican National Committee (RNC) provided no response to the citizens’ concerns.
The Post & Email was one of those who wrote a letter to the RNC concerning Cruz’s possible candidacy and the “natural born Citizen” issue in general to which the RNC did not reply.
Prior to Grayson’s threat of a lawsuit should Cruz win the nomination, JB Williams of the North American Law Center (NALC) wrote that he believed that Cruz’s mother, like his father, had become a Canadian citizen while the couple was working in the oil industry in Alberta, Canada during the late ’60s and early 1970s.
According to Nelson, Grayson stated that he is not sure if Cruz’s mother ever was or now is a US citizen.
According to Cruz’s father in an interview with NPR several years ago, he did not become a US citizen into 2005. Rafael Bienvenido Cruz was born in Matanzas, Cuba and reportedly obtained safe passage to the United States shortly before the Cuban Revolution erupted. At some point during his years in Canada, Cruz reportedly took an oath of allegiance to that country.
Nelson reported that Cruz was “born in Calgary, Canada, in 1970 to an American mother and a Cuban father” before quoting Grayson, who said, “Cruz’s mother ‘may have elected to give up her U.S. citizenship — she wasn’t there on a visitor’s visa for five years, that’s for sure.’ If his mother, who clearly worked in Canada for years and years, did so while becoming a Canadian citizen and taking an oath, which is how you do it in Canada, she lost her citizenship by U.S. law, specifically Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
In August 2013, The Dallas Morning News reported that Cruz was born a dual US-Canadian citizen by virtue of his physical birth in Calgary to a US-citizen mother. However, no documentation has been provided to support the claim. When The Post & Email requested a certified copy of Cruz’s birth certificate from the vital statistics office in Alberta, the request was refused based on “privacy” laws.
The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a similar response when we requested Cruz’s naturalization papers, if any exist within their files.
The Post & Email subsequently wrote a letter to Cruz’s campaign asking that he release more documentation of his history so that voters could determine whether or not he met the eligibility criteria for the presidency. We received an acknowledgment of our letter, which was sent by certified mail, but nothing further.
According to Nelson, Grayson additionally claimed that there is no evidence that Cruz’s mother was born in Delaware, as has been widely reported, In April 2012, The Dallas Morning News reported that Eleanor Darragh Wilson “grew up” in Wilmington, DE.
While the Dallas newspaper in 2013 questioned Cruz’s constitutional eligibility based on his presumed dual citizenship, the same question was not raised in regard to Barack Hussein Obama in 2008, who stated on his campaign website that he was born a dual citizen of Kenya and the United States.
Obama reportedly lost his Kenyan citizenship upon reaching the age of 23, and Cruz relinquished his Canadian citizenship in May 2014. The Canadian government asks that anyone forfeiting citizenship has or will possess in the near future citizenship in another country so as to avoid becoming stateless.
Some in the media, including Fox News’s Greg Gutfeld, believe that Obama was born in Kenya.
Nelson reported that Grayson scoffed at the idea that Obama is ineligible for the presidency, stating that “birthers are loons,” referring to the millions of Americans who question whether or not Obama was born in the United States and whether or not his foreign-citizen father should have precluded him from being on state ballots in both 2008 and 2012.
The mainstream media has not yet referred to historical documents dating back to the time when the Founding Fathers discussed the eligibility criteria for US representatives, senators, and the chief executive during the Constitutional Convention. The “natural born Citizen” term of art was apparently added after John Jay, who became George Washington’s Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, suggested that only a “natural born Citizen” be allowed to assume the presidency, with an emphasis on the word “born.”
In his article, Nelson quotes Atty. Larry Klayman, who contends that Obama is an illegal alien and therefore ineligible for the presidency, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, whose Cold Case Posse determined nearly four years ago that the long-form birth certificate image posted on the White House website in April 2011 is a “computer-generated forgery.”
The posse’s findings have been reported on the internet but not on air, with very few exceptions.
In what appears to be a new development, Nelson quoted Arpaio as having said that he is still working on the Obama birth certificate issue. “It’s not over with yet. I need a couple lucky breaks and we’ll go public again,” Arpaio is quoted as having said, apparently referring to the two press conferences held in 2012 wherein the posse’s findings were made public.
Since that time, Arpaio has expressed incredulity that the media has refused to broadcast the investigators’ conclusions and launch their own investigations into them.
Cruz was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012 and previously served at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and as Texas Solicitor General. The documentation Cruz completed for the latter position, obtained by The Post & Email through a Public Records request, did not require the applicant to state his or her citizenship.
Williams has contended that Cruz failed to tell the Texas electorate of his dual citizenship when he ran for the U.S. Senate, which appears to be accurate given that Cruz’s spokeswoman, in response to The Dallas Morning News’s August 2013 article, stated that Cruz was unaware that he possessed Canadian citizenship.
The U.S. State Department states on its website that foreign-born children of U.S. citizens are often registered as U.S. citizens by the completion of a Consular Record of Birth Abroad (CRBA), which The Post & Email requested for Cruz but was refused based on privacy laws. However, an attorney specializing in immigration to the United States told The Post & Email that it is not absolutely necessary that a CRBA be completed for the child to be recognized as a U.S. citizen born abroad.
This story was updated at 8:04 a.m. ET on January 7, 2016.
Tags: Article II Section 1 clause 5, Barack Obama, Calgary Alberta Canada, computer-generated forgery, CRBA, Donald Trump, dual citizenship, Eleanor Darragh Wilson, Immigration and Nationality Act, JB Williams, Kenya, mainstream media, natural born citizen, North American Law Center, Obama's long-form birth certificate, Rep. Alan Grayson, Republican National Committee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, Stephen Nelson, The Dallas Morning News, The Post & Email, U.S. citizenship, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Senate, US News & World Report