After discovering that he is possibly a Canadian citizen, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Monday night that if it's true, he will renounce his Canadian citizenship.
Cruz's dual citizenship made headlines over the weekend when Canadian lawyers told the Dallas Morning News that because the senator was born in Canada, he gets automatic Canadian citizenship. But the Tea Party Republican was born to an American mother, which also makes him a U.S. citizen.
“Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship,” Cruz said in a statement late Monday evening. “Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth, and as a U.S. Senator, I believe I should be only an American.”
Cruz’s dual citizenship, whether he holds it knowingly or not, has sparked questions about whether he is eligible to become president. He is rumored to be a presidential candidate in 2016. Cruz has made no announcement of his candidacy as yet, but he has stirred speculation because of his recent visits to early nominating states like Iowa.
The U.S. Constitution doesn’t clearly prevent someone with dual citizenship from becoming president. It only states, “No person except a natural-born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The Constitution also doesn't define what "natural born" means.
Cruz was born on Dec. 22, 1970, in Calgary, Canada, to Eleanor Wilson of Wilmington, Del., and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, who was born in Cuba.
“When I was a kid, my mom told me that I could choose to claim Canadian citizenship if I wanted,” he explained in an email. “I got my U.S. passport in high school. Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter.”