"He's a Canadian."
So says Toronto lawyer Stephen Green, the past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association's Citizenship and Immigration Section, of Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Cruz, the in-a-very-big-hurry Republican who started making noises about running for president before the ink on his Senate stationery had dried, was born in Canada.
He has a Canadian birth certificate.
He spent his formative years in Canada.
But he says it never occurred to him that he was a Canadian until The Dallas Morning News reported that the senator is indeed a true son of America's neighbor to the north.
"If a child was born in the territory, he is Canadian, period," France Houle, a law professor at the University of Montreal, told the Texas paper. "He can ask for a passport. He can vote."
Indeed, since the requirements to gain election to the Canadian House of Commons hold that the candidate be a citizen and of voting age, and since prime ministers are invariably parliamentarians, Cruz could be excused for imagining himself not just as a potential US presidential prospect but a potential prime minister of Canada. (Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner was born in Britain and arrived in Canada at the age of 3.)
Cruz is not just Canadian. He is also American. His mother was a US citizen outside the country at the time of his birth, and that makes her son a dual citizen.
Just to assure that there are no questions about his loyalties, however, Cruz says he'll renounce his Canadian citizenship. As he puts it, "I believe I should be only an American."
The whole "Canadian Ted" thing is tiresome.
In fact, the whole discussion about candidate citizenship and birth certificates and the Americanism of potential presidents is tiresome.
It should be put to rest.
The US Constitution should be amended to remove the section that reads, "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."
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