Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz has made public his birth certificate in an effort to stop suggestions that the Texan Republican is ineligible to run for the U.S. presidency.
But the document, which Cruz provided exclusively to the Dallas Morning News, also raised questions of whether the Tea Party favorite could continue his political career north of the 49th parallel.
The birth certificate shows Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, on Dec. 22, 1970, of a Cuban-born father and Delaware-born mother. Because his mother is American, he automatically is a U.S. citizen.
But Canadian immigration experts told the paper that under Canadian law, Cruz became a citizen of that country the moment he was born, meaning he also could run for Canadian parliament.
“He’s a Canadian,” Toronto lawyer Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section, told the paper.
While the U.S. Constitution allows only “natural born” U.S. citizens to serve as president, it’s silent on whether dual citizens are eligible.
Cruz, who is widely believed to be considering a run for the White House in 2016, has downplayed his Canadian roots throughout his political career. And his camp refuted the notion the senator holds Canadian citizenship.
“To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the paper.
Cruz’s father, Rafael, left Cuba in 1957 to study at the University of Texas. The senator’s parents moved to Alberta from Texas in 1970 when Rafael Cruz was working in the oil industry, returning to the Lone Star State when the younger Cruz was 4.