Rumor: Ted Cruz can't be president because of birthplace

US Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is reportedly considering a run for president, but is he eligible?

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, is reportedly planning a White House bid in 2016. But has his Canadian background already dashed his hopes?

UPDATE: Sen. Ted Cruz released his official birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News on Monday morning. The document shows that he was indeed born in Calgary, Canada, to an American-citizen mother and a Cuban father on Dec. 22, 1970. The document also shows that Cruz has Canadian citizenship, which he gained automatically by being born in the country.

Cruz's status on a dual Canadian-American citizen means he could not only run for president of the United States, but for Canadian Parliament too, if things don't work out here in America. In a statement issued later, Cruz offered to renounce his Canadian citizenship in order to "be only an American."

 

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FALSE: According to the Congressional Research Service, Cruz is eligible for the presidency because his mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth

The term "birtherism" has entered the American lexicon thanks to frequent — and repeatedly debunked — attacks on President Barack Obama's eligibility to be president, based on false allegations that he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. So what would happen if a freshman U.S. senator ran for president and actually was born in another country?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is said to be laying the groundwork to do exactly that. And while a host of other elements may hurt his chances of occupying the White House, the fact that he was born in Canada won't matter a bit, legally speaking.

'Natural-born citizen'

According to Article II of the U.S. Constitution, there are three requirements for becoming president (besides winning the election): one must be 35 years of age, a resident "within the United States" for 14 years and a "natural-born Citizen."

Cruz is 42 and has lived in this country since his early childhood, so he easily meets the first two requirements. But while his mother was born in Delaware, Cruz's father was born in Cuba, and at the time of Cruz's birth, both parents were in Calgary, Canada, working in the oil industry.

But despite his foreign birthplace, Cruz meets the third requirement to become president as well, according to a report issued by the Congressional Research Service, a research arm of the Library of Congress. That's because his mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth.

From the CRS report:

"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.' "

 

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