Preface to the Preface, because people are STILL getting it wrong:
The question isn’t whether Cruz is a “citizen” or “natural born American.” It’s whether or nor he is a “natural born citizen” of the United States of America as specifically and immutably required by the U.S. Constitution. But first, please review this timeline.
The Constitutional requirement for President is that one be a “natural born citizen.” The ONLY relevant question for meeting this test is, “Was Ted Cruz born on U.S. soil?” If the answer is “no,” then he is NOT a “natural born citizen.” It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the status of his parents. One cannot “become” a “natural born citizen.” It’s determined solely by one’s location at birth, and for Ted Cruz, that location was in Canada, not the United States of America.
Since Ted Cruz was born in Canada, 142.8 miles north of the U.S. border, he is NOT a “natural born citizen” of the United States and is therefore NOT eligible to be a U.S. President.
Preface: This passage seems to be widely misunderstood. It’s not because it’s complicated. It’s actually quite straightforward. It’s because people fail to take the time to read it. Therefore, before we continue, we’re going to read it together in full, then piecemeal — item by item.
“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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” – Article II, Section 1, United States Constitution
- “No Person…” – This means there are no exceptions, other than the two listed below:
- “except a natural born Citizen,” The term “natural born Citizen” means a person who was born within the physical confines of the United States of America. Whether you were bone to one American parent, two, or none has absolutely zero bearing on the meaning of this term. If you were born in the Territory of Hawaii in 1957, prior to its becoming a state on August 21, 1959, then you are not a “natural born citizen.”1
- “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,” As of this writing, those people would be at least 240 years old or older, so this clause no long applies.
- “shall be eligible to the Office of President;” This means that if you don’t meet one of the above two exceptions, you are not Constitutionally eligible to be a U.S. President.
- “neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall” This clause established two additional restrictions on becoming a U.S. President.
- “not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years” If you’re thirty four years or younger, you are not eligible to become a U.S. President.
- “and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” If you haven’t resided within the United States for a period of fourteen years or more, you are not eligible to become a U.S. President. The term “resident” does not including having a residency status. Rather, it refers to physically residing in the United States, i.e. 5,114 days with feet on the ground within the United States of America.
1Exception in Federal Law: U.S. Code allows for — and the U.S. Supreme Court agrees — that children born to one or more parents temporarily stationed outside the United States of America on official government business are considered “natural born citizens” provided the parents of the child resided in the United State of America prior to their assignment and at least one citizen-parent and the child returned to the United States following the assignment. This law was enacted under the recognition that when the Constitution was created, exceedingly few parents of child-bearing age ever left the United States. As transportation became faster and much more accessible, U.S. parents of child-bearing age were increasingly stationed outside the United States on official government business, including as ambassadors, members of U.S. embassies, and other State Department personnel, as well as members of the U.S. military and their families. Historically, such families would bear their children overseas either in or near U.S. embassies, which are considered under international law to be “U.S. soil,” thereby meeting the requirement for “natural born citizen.” It is important to note the intent of this regulation was never to cover U.S. citizens living abroad of their own volition, for commercial or personal reasons. Rather, it only covers those personnel in the employ of the U.S. government stationed overseas on official government business.
I began this article with the express hope of proving that Ted Cruz was indeed eligible to become a U.S. President. Why? Because I like the guy. He’s exceptionally well-educated, very smart, and appeared to hold unswervingly true to solid Constitutional and Christian values.
Sadly, it was not meant to be. Not only does he not meet the Constitution’s eligibility requirements, but over the course of the last half of 2015, and on into 2016, he’s shown his true colors, most notably that of Constitutional hypocrisy. As note by his former law school professor: “Ironically, the kind of justices he says he wants are the ones that say he’s not eligible to run for president,” Tribe said Monday night. “This is important because the way this guy plays fast and loose with the Constitution, he’s a fair weather originalist.” (Source)
I quickly discovered that the Constitutional requirement of “natural born citizen” applies only to those individuals actually born within the United States of America, that very few exceptions are allowed by federal law (U.S. Code), and that Ted Cruz meets NONE of those exceptions. I don’t know how to make it any more plain than to say, “Ted Cruz is not Constitutionally eligible to be the President of the United States of America.” Electing him would be a mistake of disastrous proportions as Democrats would invariable launch 11th hour sanctions against him that would doom the GOP ticket to abysmal failure.
Ted Cruz revealed what he thinks: “The Internet has all sorts of fevered swamp theories, but the facts are simple,” Cruz told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview set to air on Sunday on “State of the Union.” “My mom was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She was an American citizen by birth. She’s been an American citizen all 81 years of her life. She’s never been a citizen of any other place.”
Sorry, Ted. That makes you a U.S. citizen. it does NOT, however, make you a “natural born citizen” as required by the United States Constitution.
I really like you, but the facts as you state them are indeed “simple,” and they simply do not meet the requirements as stated in both the Constitution and subsequent federal law.
Let us next examine a popular internet website that’s being used to argue that Ted Cruz is eligible. Here’s the complete text of the short video:
“Texas Senator Ted Cruz was born in Canada, but he was always an American. The Senator, who on Monday became the first official candidate for the 2016 Presidential race, was born in Calgary, with an American mom and a dad who was from Cuba, although he became a U.S. citizen in 2005. Cruz was raised in Houston. The United States Constitution grants American citizenship to anyone born to at least one parent who is also a U.S. citizen, so long as the parent spent five years inside the country, and two of those years came after the parent’s fourteenth birthday.”
Let’s examine the requirements together, and see whether or not Mr. Cruz meets them:
A great many people, myself included, have claimed that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be a U.S. President. Arguments generally sound something like this: “Because he was born in Canada, Ted Cruz does not meet the “natural born Citizen” requirement of the U.S. Constitution to be either President or Vice President of the United States of America. As required by various acts of Congress, he wasn’t born in any of the United States, nor was he born in D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the former Panama Canal Zone with one or more parents as a U.S. Citizen.”
Let’s see what the law has to say about it, beginning with “the supreme Law of the Land:
“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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
According to the Constitution itself, Ted Cruz meets all requirements except that of “natural born Citizen.”
However, most political commentators refer to a 2011 Congressional Research Service report that concluded:
“The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by:
– being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents
– by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents
– or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.”
Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.”
I highlighted these clauses for closer scrutiny, as they appear to unlawfully expand the scope of the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, our Founding Father’s intent behind their use of the term “natural-born Citizen” wasn’t ethereal. It was very clear: Someone physically born in the United States of America. They allowed for “recent” (by 1787 standards) immigrants by adding, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.”
Thus, the only people meeting the original Constitutional requirement were those who were physically born in the United States of America or those who were a U.S. citizen when the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787.
Sadly, Congress can’t stop churning out legislation, even when clearly not needed. So, in 1940, they passed an act on the subject they creatively entitled, “The Nationality Act of 1940.”
Among other things, this act laid out a very long, convoluted, and confusing set of definitions as to what constituted “Nationality at Birth” (Chapter 2). Ted Cruz appears to one of those definitions, Chapter II, Section 201(d):
A person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who resided in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States.
He also appears to meet the requirements specified in 201(g).
To see how he meets these requirements, we need only three details from his family status:
1. Senator Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on December 22, 1970, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1974.
2. His mother was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware.
3. His father was born in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1939, and immigrated to the U.S. at age 18 in 1957.
Given the timeline, Ted Cruz does NOT meet the requirements for “national citizenship” as defined by the Nationality Act of 1940, because his father was NOT a “national” of the U.S. at the time he was born. He was a national of Canada. Both he and Ted Cruz’s mother were living in Canada when Ted was born. Another article confirms this critical piece of information slam-dunks the fact that Ted Cruz is NOT a “natural born citizen.”
The problem is that while “nationality at birth” and “natural born citizen” are closely related concepts, they are not identical concepts. On the other hand, Sec 201 begins:
The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: (a) A person born in the United States…
Clearly, the Nationality Act of 1940 was trying to establish that “natural born citizen” and “nationality at birth” are synonymous.
Could that be true? Are these two terms actually synonymous?
The answer is NO, they are not. The only proper definition for “natural born citizen” is the one where the individual was born in the United States of America. The term “national” refers to those who have citizenship status at the time of birth by some other means. By comparison, “naturalized citizens” are those who, after living here a while, studying for and taking a test, and taking an oath, are allowed to become U.S. citizens.
But make no mistake about it:
Natural Born Citizen DOES NOT EQUAL Nationality at Birth
Even though he was born outside the United States, John McCain met the letter of the law as both parents met the requirements of federal legislation. Ted Cruz claim of eligibility fails, because the status of his mother and father do NOT meet the requirements of the law.
Another regulation, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, organized a variety of statutes governing immigration and nationality under one roof.
Yet another regulation, the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965, along with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 2011…
Naturally, the introduction and revision of all these acts raises the question as to why most commentaries refer to the Nationality Act of 1940, most of which is now out of date and has been superseded.
PolitiFact adhere’s to Blackstone’s interpretation. The problem is, our Founding Fathers, the same ones who penned the term “natural born citizen,” rejected Blackstone’s interpretation. Instead, they held true to Vattel’s definition, widely known throughout the colonies leading up to 1776. Here’s an excerpt from the best and most accurate treatise written on the subject to date:
Before the Constitution the closest reference we have to Natural Born Citizen is from the legal treatise “the Law of Nations,” written by Emerich de Vattel in 1758. In book one chapter 19, § 212. Of the citizens and natives:
“The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”
The bottom line is that while these acts do establish Ted Cruz as a U.S. citizen, as well as having “nationality at birth,” they do not magically transport him into the U.S. during the time of his birth.
It’s upon this fact, along with the status of both his parents, that Ted Cruz fails the test of “natural born Citizen” as required by the U.S. Constitution.
If people continue to blindly stumble down this road, here’s what will happen: The Demoncraps WILL wait until it’s too late for the GOP to find a replacement, at which point
It’s a shame, too, as I really would like to have seen Ted Cruz behind the Resolute Desk. I think he would have made a great president!
My sworn duty to the U.S. Constitution, however, along with my honor and my integrity, but mostly my love for my country, prevents me from sitting idly by as idiotic Ted Cruz lovers continue blithely down the campaign trail, unaware that supporting Ted Cruz is a fateful trap. Once sprung, the Democrats will sweep him into the ineligibility penalty box, leaving the GOP without ANY candidate, and shoeing in Hillary Clinton for yet another four years of Democraps at the helm.
Please – I beg of you! Do not walk into that trap! Do NOT be that stupid!
PS: Four Supreme Court Cases define “Natural Born Citizen”