Tills Visa Law

Stephen K. Tills, Attorney at LAW

Is Ted Cruz a Natural Born Citizen?

In the Republican Presidential primary contest, the issue of Ted Cruz’s eligibility was raised, since he at one time was a Canadian citizen by virtue of his birth in Canada.  Like the U.S., Canada grants citizenship to persons born on Canadian soil. In Ted’s case his mother was a U.S. Citizen,  so he was entitled to be a U.S. Citizen as well.  Thus, until he renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014, he was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada.  But, can he become President of the U.S. since the constitution requires that the President must be a natural born citizen?
As Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution declares:  “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 . . ..”.  According to the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus, the intent of the citizenship requirement was, in the words of Founding Father John Jay, to “provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government.”  (In the middle two sentences, the Framers exempted themselves from this requirement, since many were only first or second generation citizens.)

The result of that analysis would be that anyone who is born to a U.S. citizen parent, or born on U.S. soil, is eligible to be President. Whereas, a person who became a citizen by naturalization would not be eligible.

In Ted’s case, what was the process for his Parents to make him a citizen of the U.S. after his birth in Canada?  They would have filed an “Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad”.  That form, the DS-2029, is filed in the U.S. consulate with territorial jurisdiction over the place of birth. It results in the issuance of the FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad. Here is a recent announcement from a U.S. consulate regarding an update to the form:

The Department of State is pleased to announce the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA, or Form FS-240).  The redesigned CRBA, which is an official record confirming that a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents acquired U.S. citizenship at birth and serves as proof of citizenship, has been updated with a variety of state-of-the-art security features to help prevent fraud and identity theft. provided by the usembassy.gov.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump recommends that Cruz file a Petition for Declaratory Judgment in Federal Court to get an official Judicial determination on the issue.  But, instead,  maybe he just has to produce the FS-240.  We’ll see.S_K_Tills_US_immigration


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