“NATURALIZED” IS NOT “NATURAL BORN”
by Sharon Rondeau
Thus far, since Cruz’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president has been questioned and objected to formally by ballot challenges and lawsuits, Cruz has insisted that he has been a U.S. citizen from the moment he was born.
Some legal scholars contend that Cruz is eligible assuming his birth to an American mother, while others disagree.
On Tuesday evening, New Jersey Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin issued an opinion in response to a hearing the day before during which two challenges to Cruz’s impending placement on the state ballot for the June 7 primary were aired. While presenting some of the history behind the “natural born Citizen” clause in the Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution and the likely intent by the Framers, Masin concluded that “the more persuasive legal analysis” as to the meaning of the term is that a child born to “a citizen-father, citizen-mother, or both, is indeed a ‘natural born Citizen’ within the contemplation of the Constitution,” regardless of his birthplace.
Cruz was issued a Canadian birth certificate and appeared surprised when in August 2013 The Dallas Morning News reported that he was born with dual Canadian and US citizenship. Initially Cruz’s U.S. Senate office denied his Canadian citizenship, but nine months later, in May 2014, Cruz formally renounced it.
On the renunciation application form, the Canadian government asks if the applicant possesses or will soon possess citizenship in another country and asks that “proof” be attached.
The “naturalization” process, which NBC News claims was Cruz’s path to “becoming” an American, contains a number of requirements, two of which are “Be a person of good moral character” and “Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately before the date you file Form N-400.” According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).”
The Post & Email has attempted to obtain the renunciation application form which Cruz completed nearly two years ago, but the Canadian government has confirmed that it cannot release such documents without a signed privacy waiver from the subject applicant.
Following the revelation that he was a Canadian, Cruz vowed to take immediate steps to renounce that status, claiming that “I should be only an American” “as a U.S. Senator.”
In January, CNN reported having spoken with a fellow Princeton University classmate of Cruz’s who allegedly told a news outlet that Cruz was well aware of his status as a dual citizen in college, as he speculated whether or not he was eligible to run for the highest office in the land.
In 2012, Cruz ran for the Senate, his first elected office, in Texas as an outsider supported by Tea Party enthusiasm for smaller government and lower federal spending.
Rumors that Cruz’s mother became a Canadian citizen have not been substantiated but continue to circulate. Her husband, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, reportedly adopted Canadian citizenship in 1973 while the couple operated a company supportive to the Alberta oil-industry boom.
Twelve days before Cruz declared himself a 2016 presidential candidate, an editorial written by two former solicitors general, one of whom is himself foreign-born, was published in the Harvard Law Review Forum attempting to make the case that Cruz, although born “across the border,” is a “natural born Citizen” because of his birth to a U.S.-citizen mother. Relying on the repealed 1790 Naturalization Act, Paul Clement and Neal Katyal wrote:
While the field of candidates for the next presidential election is still taking shape, at least one potential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, was born in a Canadian hospital to a U.S. citizen mother.  Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.
Clement and Katyal also failed to point out that Cruz’s father was an immigrant to the United States just prior to the Cuban Revolution and, although reportedly having obtained a green card, did not become a U.S. citizen until 2005, 35 years after his son was born. Although the statute was repealed and replaced by the 1795 Naturalization Act and the reference to “natural born citizens” removed, one might interpret the 1790 Act’s reference to fathers who “have never been resident in the United States” depicted a U.S.-citizen father born abroad.
The writers concluded their piece by lecturing Americans to abandon “specious objections to candidate eligibility”:
There are plenty of serious issues to debate in the upcoming presidential election cycle. The less time spent dealing with specious objections to candidate eligibility, the better. Fortunately, the Constitution is refreshingly clear on these eligibility issues. To serve, an individual must be at least thirty-five years old and a “natural born Citizen.” Thirty-four and a half is not enough and, for better or worse, a naturalized citizen cannot serve. But as Congress has recognized since the Founding, a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent is generally a U.S. citizen from birth with no need for naturalization. And the phrase “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution encompasses all such citizens from birth. Thus, an individual born to a U.S. citizen parent — whether in California or Canada or the Canal Zone — is a U.S. citizen from birth and is fully eligible to serve as President if the people so choose. [Emphasis The Post & Email’s]
If Cruz was “naturalized” in 2014, how was he serving in the U.S. Senate, Texas Solicitor General, deputy assistant attorney general, or within the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), all positions he held before seeking the presidency. Has a Canadian been casting votes on behalf of 27 million Texans?
On Tuesday morning, prior to the issuance of Masin’s Cruz’s name on the New Jersey ballot, The Post & Email contacted NBC News with the following:
From: Sharon Rondeau (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Tue 4/12/16 2:44 PM
To: NBCNewsMediaRelations@nbcuni.com (email@example.com)
Hello, I am editor of an online newspaper, The Post & Email, which reports on government corruption.I read with great interest a story dated April 11, 2016 by Pete Williams which reported that presidential candidate Ted Cruz “became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2014” while reporting on a ballot challenge in New Jersey which I also covered.
This morning I wrote an article based on Mr. Williams’s reporting:
For more than a year, I have been attempting through numerous FOIA and Texas Public Information requests to obtain documentation of Cruz’s citizenship status, given that he was born in Canada to a non-U.S-citizen father. The status of his mother’s citizenship at the time of his birth is unknown although reported to have been American by some sources. There is also speculation that like her husband, she assumed Canadian citizenship at some point.
We know that Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship in May 2014 after denying that he possessed it in apparent preparation for his presidential run, knowing that Article II of the U.S. Constitution requires that the president be a “natural born Citizen.” The process was finalized the following month and a renunciation form released.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Cruz held “dual citizenship” from birth, but that claim has never been proved.
Mr. Williams’s article appears to contradict the “dual citizenship at birth” report, as “becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen” indicates someone born outside of the country to foreign-citizen parents who legally immigrates, forswears all other allegiances, takes a citizenship test and passes it, and swears an oath of allegiance to the United States.
The U.S. government has released virtually no documentation bearing Cruz’s name, invoking “privacy” laws, and neither the Cruz campaign nor his U.S. Senate office has responded to my requests.
I would like to speak with Mr. Williams about any documentation he might possess relative to Cruz’s alleged U.S. naturalization at the age of 44. He is also welcome to reply to this email address.
Thank you very much.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 113
Canterbury, CT 06331-0113
The Post & Email will publish NBC’s response if and when it is received.