By Greg Richter
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has hired lawyers to officially renounce his Canadian citizenship and expects the process to be completed in 2014, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Cruz says he was not aware of his dual citizenship until it was brought to his attention by the newspaper earlier this year.
Cruz’s parents were living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, when he was born on Dec. 22, 1970. Though his mother was an American citizen and his father a Cuban citizen at the time, Cruz became an automatic Canadian citizen just by being born in that country. The United States has the same policy.
But Cruz was also born an American citizen since at least one of his parents, in this case his mother, was an American citizen. Cruz’s father has since become a naturalized American. The Cruz family moved to the United States when Ted was 4 years old.
The dual citizenship doesn’t disqualify Cruz for elected office, including the presidency, but many think his circumstances could recall the “birther” movement, in which some conservative foes of President Barack Obama challenged his qualifications because they believe he was not born in the United States.
Like Cruz’s situation, Obama’s father was not a U.S. citizen, but his mother was. That aside, Hawaiian officials have produced a birth certificate showing he was born in the state of Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961.
Though Cruz is just finishing up his freshman year in the U.S. Senate he already is being talked about as a possible GOP frontrunner in the 2016 presidential primaries.
Cruz told The Dallas Morning News he has not attempted to renounce his citizenship previously because he wasn’t even aware he had it. His mother had told him he would have had to make an affirmative act to have claimed it.
Further, he said, “There was no reason to retain counsel to analyze Canadian law, because it wasn’t relevant to anything I was doing.”
Now, serving as a U.S. Senator, he says, he believes it is improper to be a citizen of another country. He does not, however, have any ill will toward America’s northern neighbor, he said.
As for a presidential bid, Cruz gave the same line he always does when asked about any political plans: “My political perspective is focused on representing the state of Texas.”