Barack Obama’s Presidency gave birth to a new class of political conspiracy theorists known as ‘Birthers’. These are the folks that insist Obama was born in Kenya and faked his Hawaii birth certificate in order to fraudulently run for President. One of the most famous birthers is GOP Presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Although there was just enough evidence to raise suspicion among a lot of people, the die-hard birthers became obsessed with the issue and refuse to let it go, creating for themselves a permanent home among the tin-foil hat brigade.
Now as the Obama administration nears the end of its existence, it seems the birthers are shifting their focus from Obama to Sen. Ted Cruz in hopes of keeping their brand of conspiracy theory alive.
As you probably know, Sen. Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was an American citizen and a father who was Cuban. According to the birthers this means Cruz was not a natural born citizen and therefore not eligible to serve as President. I will admit when I first learned that Cruz was Canadian born I came to the same conclusion. Fortunately someone challenged that belief so I set out to gather information to bolster my case only to find that I was mistaken (yes, it happens). After just a little research it became clear that Cruz was indeed eligible to be President, and for that I am thankful.
The controversy revolves around the fact that he was not born on American soil. Despite the fact that many constitutional and legal experts have concluded that Cruz is indeed a natural born citizen, birthers continue to insist that he is not and frankly I have my doubts that even a unanimous Supreme Court ruling would change their minds. That being the case, I won’t waste my time and effort to change their minds either, but I will make an effort to help anyone else see the fallacy in their argument.
The legal arguments have been explained by those who are more adept at explaining legal matter than I, so I will leave you to research that for yourselves. What I will do is point out the reality of the situation.
There are two classifications for citizens – natural born and naturalized. Natural born citizens are those who were citizens at the time of their birth and naturalized citizens are those who were not citizens at the time of their birth and went through the naturalization process to obtain their citizenship. No other classification exists. Naturalization is not a passive activity, it is something that requires a lot of time, money, and effort on the part of the person seeking citizenship. I spoke with a member of the Senator’s staff and confirmed that Cruz has not at any time in his life applied for or been granted citizenship through the naturalization process. That being the case, if he was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth, he is still not a U.S. citizen.
Cruz did at one time have both U.S. and Canadian citizenship, but he has since renounced his Canadian citizenship. If he was not a natural born U.S. citizen and has not been naturalized, this means he is literally a man without a country; legally he has no citizenship in any country in the world.
Ted Cruz is a sitting United States Senator, a position that requires U.S. citizenship of one kind or the other. Again, Cruz has never applied for or been granted citizenship through the naturalization process, so if he is not a natural born citizen he is ineligible to serve in the Senate.
If the birthers want to continue to make the case that Cruz is not a natural born citizen, they must also make the case that he is not a citizen at all or provide evidence that he has gone through the naturalization process. That process, like most things the government does, requires a mountain of document which would be on file and open to the public; surely those who insist he is not eligible can produce those documents and put this debate to rest.
If not, I’m ready to send a Cruz missile to Washington.