U.S. CITIZEN, “NATURAL BORN” CITIZEN, OR NEITHER?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 12, 2017) — On Tuesday night, The Post & Email reported that it received responsive documents to a FOIA request filed with the U.S. Justice Department in March 2015 for documents signed by Rafael Edward Cruz, now Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, when he was applying for or occupied the position of Associate Deputy Attorney General in 2001.
The response encompassed a second FOIA request made approximately a year later for Cruz’s SF-171, or application for federal employment. A total of 16 pages was released, including a tw0-page cover letter.
Cruz has never shown how he acquired U.S. citizenship, if he did, given his birth in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on December 22, 1970 as evidenced by a Canadian birth certificate. At the time, his father was a citizen of Cuba and his mother believed to have been a U.S. citizen, which might have qualified Cruz to have been born a dual Canadian-U.S. citizen.
Whether or not his mother applied for and obtained a foreign-birth registration for her son, known as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) today, is not releasable, according to the U.S. State Department.
A report obtained by The Post & Email from a reliable source in May of last year strongly suggested that Cruz’s mother, née Eleanor Darragh, at one point became a Canadian citizen while residing there between late 1968 and 1973.
Previous to her residence in Canada, Darragh had lived in the United Kingdom and married Alan Wilson.
On June 10, 2014, The News reported that Cruz had officially renounced his Canadian citizenship. A records request to the Canadian government by this publication revealed that it is not releasable to the public for privacy reasons.
The renunciation application asks the applicant whether or not he or she possesses, or shortly will possess, citizenship in another country so as to avoid the circumstance of “statelessness.”
On April 11, 2016, NBC News reported that Cruz “became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2014.” A request for more information or evidence sent by The Post & Email to NBC received no response.
The issue of whether or not Cruz possesses U.S. citizenship is often conflated with whether or not he qualified to serve as president as a “natural born Citizen,” as Article II of the Constitution requires of the nation’s chief executive. However, it is generally understood that a “naturalized” citizen cannot serve.
Without demonstrating proof, Cruz claimed to meet the Article II requirement by virtue of his birth to a U.S.-citizen mother regardless of birthplace, citing the Naturalization Act of 1790, which was repealed five years later.
Questions this publication posed to Cruz’s campaign office by certified mail after he announced himself a presidential candidate also went unanswered.
Despite the numerous FOIA requests The Post & Email has made since March 2015 to determine if Cruz ever claimed U.S. citizenship on any government forms or applications, the question remains unanswered other than those forms already obtained which did not pose the question.
Just before Cruz suspended his presidential campaign in early May 2016 following his loss in the Indiana Republifan primary, Cruz’s wife, Heidi, referred to her husband as “an immigrant” during a campaign rally.
That term was also used to describe Barack Hussein Obama by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D).
The FOIA law with all its amendments is posted at Justice’s website. Under the law, originally passed by Congress in 1967, any individual may request U.S. government documents believed to be held by an agency or agencies, which then have 20 working days to “determine…after the receipt of any such request whether to comply with such request and shall immediately notify the person.”
At the website FOIA.gov, the open-records law is explained, along with the nine exemptions Congress included in the legislation justifying the withholding of certain information contained in responsive documents.
There are also three categories of exclusions in which documents are not released for reasons pertaining to (1) law-enforcement investigations; (2) law-enforcement “informant records,” and (3) intelligence matters handled by the FBI.
Following the cover letter, the release consists of five completed forms titled “Notification of Personnel Action,” or “Standard Form 50-B,” as is noted in the upper-left-hand corner, pertaining to Cruz’s employment within the Justice Department, and other documents.
As one would expect, personal information such as Social Security number and life insurance information, designated by the federal government as FEGLI, have been redacted. Also not released is the identification of the “annuitant,” or designated beneficiary of an annuity, if one exists, as well as birth date and the documents Cruz submitted for “Employer Review and Verification.”
The redactions claimed on all of the forms received fall under FOIA exemption (b)(6), which signifies Section (b) of the statute, then exemption #6 for “personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
Cruz’s indication of his citizenship at the time he signed the forms is exempted under the same section. However, on page 8, it could be inferred that he indicated on the form that he was “A citizen or national of the United States” since the other options contain blanks which are not filled in and not blacked out with an exemption claim.
The complete DOJ response in PDF format can be viewed here: Cruz DOJ Final Response 7.11.17