In an apparent effort to quash the nascent speculation about his eligibility for president one day, Sen. Ted Cruz has released his birth certificate showing definitively that his mother was, and therefore he was born, an American citizen — but also apparently exposes his Canadian citizenship as well.
Cruz (R-Texas) shared his birth certificate with the Dallas Morning News, showing that he was born in Calgary, Alberta to an American citizen mother, which gave him American citizenship. But legal experts told the newspaper that Cruz also became a Canadian citizen as soon as he was born, by virtue of Canada’s automatic citizenship laws.
“He’s a Canadian,” attorney Stephen Green, the former head of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section, told the Dallas Morning News.
Cruz’s office denied knowing he had dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship.
“Senator Cruz became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen,” spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the Dallas Morning News. “To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce.”
Frazier said Cruz’s mother registered his birth with the U.S. consulate and that he received a U.S. passport when he was in high school.
That doesn’t change the fact that being born in Alberta made him a Canadian citizen, experts said.
“If a child was born in the territory, he is Canadian, period,” University of Montreal law professor France Houle told the newspaper. “He can ask for a passport. He can vote.”
President Barack Obama has long faced skepticism about his birth in Hawaii and whether he is eligible to be president, including after the White House released his birth certificate in 2011.
Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, has dismissed questions about his citizenship, including telling ABC News in July he was “not going to engage in a legal debate.”
This post has been updated.