Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was born in Canada; he is not a “natural born citizen,” and he is not eligible to be president.
And this is an issue that isn’t going away, contrary to The Sacramento Bee’s assertion, (“Trump’s ‘birther’ lunacy, the sequel,” Editorials, Jan. 7)
The Constitution is very precise: “No person except a natural born citizen … shall be eligible to the office of President.” The founders knew what they meant.
John Jay, later the first chief justice of the United States, wrote: “the commander in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born citizen.” Later, one of the authors of the 14th Amendment, Rep. John Bingham of Ohio, wrote: “Who are natural born citizens but those born within the Republic?”
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Congress has passed a statute that says if one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, you are an American citizen, too, no matter where you were born. Cruz’s mother was born in Delaware. That makes him a “citizen” by statute, but not a “natural born citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution.
If both of Cruz’s parents had been American-born, Cruz would have a stronger case. However, his father was born in Cuba.
Every other president and presidential candidate in our history was born either within the United States or one of its possessions. At no time ever was Calgary, Canada, where Cruz was born in 1970, a U.S. possession.
Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, was born in the Panama Canal Zone, then an American possession, to American citizens while his father was on military duty there. The Senate passed a resolution stating that he was a “natural born citizen.” Unlike McCain, Cruz does not have a resolution passed by Congress declaring him a “natural born citizen.”
A fourth reason why Cruz is ineligible to be president – and this is the most important point – Cruz is a “natural born citizen” of Canada. Under Canadian law, any person born in Canada is automatically a citizen of Canada. Cruz has renounced his Canadian citizenship, but that does not overcome his birth there.
You can only be “natural born” in one country, and Cruz is a natural born Canadian. That prevents him from being an American “natural born citizen,” and makes him ineligible to be president.
Tony Quinn, a political analyst, was a California Fair Political Practices Commission member and a legislative aide.