This post appeared on the RenounceUScitizenship blog.
Sen. Ted Cruz's citizenship saga could linger http://t.co/wB8Gem8RRq via @USATODAY – Is citizenship ownership or membership?
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) August 20, 2013
Recent, shocking revelations regarding Texas Senator Ted Cruz! Ted Cruz is a Canadian citizen. Does this mean that he is not American or not completely American? Could he be “UnAmerican”? The above tweet references an article that reports the release of a story that …
… showed Cruz was born in 1970 in Calgary, Canada. His mother, Eleanor, was born in Delaware and was a U.S. citizen and his father, Rafael, was born in Cuba. Cruz had said in interviews prior to his Senate election that he is a U.S. citizen because his mother was born in the USA.
“Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter,” Cruz said in a statement released Monday.
“Now The Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship,” Cruz continued. “Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an American.”
Cruz will have to explain in writing why he doesn’t want to be Canadian, fill out a four-page form and get clearance from Canada’s spy agency, according to Reuters. The process could take up to eight months.
The four categories of U.S. Citizens
Category 1 – Those born in the United States
Those born in the United States acquire citizenship involuntarily. Nothing is required of them to become a U.S. citizen. The fact of birth inside the United States suffices. Therefore no specific “oath of allegiance” is required.
Category 2 – Those born to U.S. citizens abroad who claim U.S. citizenship
In certain circumstances those born outside the United States to one or more U.S. citizen parents may have a right to claim U.S. citizenship. This is the position that Mr. Cruz appears to be taking.
Category 3 – Immigrating to America – Naturalization – Your promise of obedience …
The U.S. was built on immigration. All immigrants arrived as citizens of other countries. Immigrants become citizens. The oath of citizenship includes:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Those taking the oath of citizenship swear total devotion, obedience, and servitude to the United States. Yet, the U.S. has many citizens who continue to be citizens of other countries – making them dual citizens. Does dual citizenship imply dual loyalty? Does dual citizenship imply divided loyalty? Should a U.S. Navy pilot with dual Canadian/U.S. citizenship be forced to renounce his Canadian citizenship?
Interestingly only those citizens who did NOT acquire U.S. citizenship by being born in the United States are required to promise such devotion, obedience and servitude.
The idea is that “you’re with us or you’re against us”. Purity is demanded in U.S. politics. Can or should a dual citizen be entitled to participate in U.S. politics? Is there a reason for Ted Cruz to renounce Canadian citizenship?
Category 4 – “Natural born citizen” – A requirement to be president
When it comes to being President of the United States, not all citizens are equal. The constitution requires that one be a “natural born” citizen. This was an issue faced by George Romney (Mitt Romney’s father) when he ran for president in 1968.
But, let’s not overshoot the mark. The first step is to decide whether Senator Ted Cruz is a U.S. citizen at all.
Is Ted Cruz a U.S. citizen at all?
The likely perspectives of Senators Levin, Schumer, Reed and others
Mr. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada in 1970. It is likely that from the perspectives of Senators Levin, Schumer, Reed and others, that this is odd and suspicious. Was his Canadian birth planned by his parents? Why would they allow young Ted to be born outside the United States? After all, the state of Montana is not far from Calgary. There were “fifty perfectly good states” for a child to be born in. Why would his parents allow Mr. Cruz to be born in Canada? Were his parents ever disloyal to the United States? What were they doing in Canada anyway? Certainly there were perfectly good jobs available to them in the United States. Were they trying to evade U.S. taxes? Did they file their FBARs? They may have been running a business. What a from 5471? Should they be punished for leaving the United States?
The likely perspective of somebody grounded in reality
The Cruz family went where they could make a living. They went where they could feed themselves. Ted Cruz was born in Canada because – are you ready for this – it’s where the family was living.
Regardless of the reason …
Ted Cruz was born outside the United States on “foreign” soil. He was clearly a “natural born” Canadian. (How can a “natural born” Canadian be a “natural born” American?) There is a presumption that those born outside the U.S. are NOT U.S. citizens. Mr. Cruz claims his U.S. citizenship on the basis that his mother was a U.S. citizen. More is required. When one is born outside the U.S., a claim to U.S. citizenship is based on a showing of specific facts.
In 1970, these facts included the U.S. citizenship status of one or both of the parents and the length of time that the the “U.S. citizen parent resided in the U.S.
In 1970, the law was that a person born outside the United States had a claim to U.S. citizenship if one parent was a U.S. citizen and that parent had at least ten years of physical presence in the U.S. and five years after the age of fourteen.
If you are born outside the United States – The citizenship of your parents matters!
Introducing Mr. Cruz’s Mother: Mr. Cruz bases his citizenship on the claim that his mother was born in the United States (in that notorious tax haven of Delaware).
Introducing Mr. Cruz’s Father: He was apparently a citizen of Cuba (a Communist enemy of the United States).
A portrait of the Senator as a young man
Mr. Cruz and Mr. FBAR were both born in 1970. Mr. Cruz was born “offshore”, in a foreign country – Calgary, Canada. Mr. FBAR was born in the Homeland. Mr. FBAR was designed to “alert the Homeland” to “offshore” Americans. Did Mr. FBAR play a role in the detection of the Cruz family? Apparently Mr. Cruz lived in Calgary until he was 4. What was he doing during those 4 years? Did the family have a bank account with a Canadian bank? Did his parents have a bank account for Mr. Cruz? Should an FBAR have been filed on his behalf or on behalf of his mother? Did the family file their U.S. tax and information returns?
But, more on the mother – was she capable of transmitting citizenship to young Ted?
Senator Cruz claims his mother is a U.S. citizen because she was born in the United States.
But even proof of this fact is NOT sufficient to prove Mr. Cruz’s U.S. citizenship!
Did his mother have sufficient residential ties to the U.S. to be able to transmit U.S. citizenship to young Ted? Did she have a physical presence in the U.S. of at least ten years? Did she have a physical presence in the U.S. for at least five years after the age of fourteen? These questions are of vital importance!
What Senator Cruz needs to do …
In addition to releasing his own birth certificate, Senator Cruz needs to provide:
1. His mother’s birth certificate or other proof that the person who he claims to be his mother was born in the U.S.;
2. Proof that that the person who he claims to be his mother is really his mother; and
3. Proof that at the time young Ted was born, that his mother had a physical presence in the U.S. of at least ten years and five years after the age of fourteen.
Nothing less will suffice!
The Senator must understand that he was born “offshore” on “foreign” soil. This means that there is a presumption against his being a U.S. citizen. He owes it to the United States of America to rebut this presumption and to prove his U.S. citizenship. His presumed patriotism demands nothing less!
Although his U.S. citizenship is not clear, Senator Cruz is clearly a Canadian citizen Perhaps he should NOT renounce his Canadian citizenship until he has proven – on a preponderance of the evidence – that he truly is a U.S. citizen.
Senator Cruz’s position is …
Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter,” Cruz said in a statement released Monday.
That is a completely “UnAmerican” position. He could he possibly think such a thing? This contradicts the position of the U.S. government. Let me clarify by asking a question.
Q. What if Mr. Cruz had been born in the United States and left at the age of four for Canada and never “claimed” his U.S. citizenship? Would the U.S. take the position that he was NOT a U.S. citizen?
A. The U.S. would take the position that he was a U.S. citizen whether he “claimed his citizenship” or not. It would then assert direct rights of ownership and abuse over him.
Ted Cruz should consider himself very lucky, because the citizenship he claims he didn’t realize he had doesn’t carry any punishment for his failure to recognize it. Moreover renouncing, if he really intends to follow through on that promise, will be relatively simple, cheap, and painless other than the cost to his US political career, if any. Not so if he had lived his life in Canada with his current apparent dual status. US citizens abroad now understand that discovering ties to the US means discovering a world of obligations and consequences flowing from citizenship that you were expected to know and obey. Ignorance of the law being no excuse, the punishments range from the merely ridiculous–many times any tax that would have ever been due–to the infuriating: life savings wiped out and many future tax savings sponsored by your home government, such as in education or health savings plans, treated as offshore trusts and therefore confiscated by the US. Moreover there is no ready escape hatch for the newly discovered and unwanted US citizenship: five years of full tax reporting compliance must be documented, appointments must be made with officials, fees must be remitted, interviews must be conducted, and in some cases exit taxes must be paid. If some in Congress get their way, renunciation could even mean life-time banishment from the US someday soon.
But more on this issue in: “The Cruz Chronicles 2”
For the moment the message to Senator Cruz should be:
You have some “paperwork” to do. Perhaps some forms to complete.
And the message to the rest of the world is:
It’s difficult to have the course of your life determined by your place of birth. Ask those five to seven million U.S. citizens abroad! Geography is their wound!
The issue is not whether the Senator has a passport. The issue is not whether the Senator has been living in the U.S. since he was four years old. The issue is whether he is a U.S. citizen. Given the U.S. suspicion of anything foreign, Mr. Cruz should have to prove his U.S. citizenship now and for all times. This means that he needs to be held to the strictest of proof.
Therefore, what is required is that Mr. Cruz:
1. Identify the person who he claims is his mother.
2. Allow for DNA testing to prove that this person is really his mother.
3. If the DNA testing shows that the person is truly his mother, then the mother’s “birth certificate” must be produced.
4. If the mother’s birth certificate is produced, then documentary evidence of physical presence in the U.S. must be shown for the appropriate ten years and five years after the age of fourteen.
We are living in unprecedented times. We don’t know why Mr. Cruise was born outside the U.S. His citizenship must be convincingly proven. If Mr. Cruz cannot prove items 1 – 4, then he should be treated the same as any illegal alien.
To fully understand the problem you must read Nelson Demille’s “The Charm School”. For all we know, this could have been written about Senator Cruz.
Look. U.S. Citizens Abroad are presumed to be criminals because they live outside the Homeland. In many cases, they were born in the Homeland. This Senator, by his own admission, (this man who claims to want to be President), was NOT born in the Homeland. Therefore he should be subjected to AT LEAST as much scrutiny as U.S. citizens abroad.
He claims to be a U.S. citizen. Then he must prove it.
Message to the good Senator:
I wouldn’t be too quick to renounce that Canadian citizenship until and in the event that you are able to demonstrate that you are NOT an “offshore” criminal. It’s only fair and Senator, it’s the
Reading comprehension is obviously a problem — or eyesight. Good observation!!!
The few countries with Exit Taxes have justified them on the basis that the country needs to be reimbursed for many spent on the renunciant. (For example East Germany’s Honeker) All indications are that Senator Cruz may have “freeloaded” in Canada for the first four years of his life? Why should he not have to pay an Exit Tax? (Of course, the answer is because Canada doesn’t have a tax on renouncing citizenship.)
Test it this way: U.S. citizens abroad, who have never set foot in the United States and didn’t even know they were U.S. citizens may be subjected to the U.S. Exit Tax. Why should a person like Senator Cruz – who actually lived in Canada – be somehow exempt?
The Senator doesn’t have to pay an Exit Tax because he is “trashing” his Canadian citizenship. If he were to join the growing ranks of those “trashing” their U.S. citizenship it would be different. You would have to pay the United States for your freedom. Even U.S. citizens abroad, who didn’t even live in the U.S. and didn’t even know they are U.S. citizens are subjected to the Exit Tax. How do you spell CONFISCAT___ ?
Interestingly this speaks volumes about the difference between Canadian citizenship and U.S. citizenship. Clearly Canadian citizenship is a voluntary thing. You are a member of a Country/political community and you are free to change your citizenship. U.S. citizens are NOT voluntary members of the community. U.S. citizens are the property of the state. The U.S. government has a property interest in U.S. citizens. They are NOT free to just end their U.S. citizenship without consideration of the Exit Tax. This makes perfect sense given the assumption that U.S. citizenship gives the government a property interest in the person. Therefore, one way to view this is really:
A tale of two citizenships – Not all citizenships are the same!
It’s interesting that Senator appears to prefer the citizenship that makes him a U.S. chattel. But, that’s his choice.
But, back to the Exit Tax.
Consider the following comment from RothCPA:
Assuming the Senator is a good Homelandlander and that good Homelanders believe that the U.S. has just laws, then I call on Senator Cruz to:
Senator, hold yourself to the legal standard imposed by that “Great Citadel of Freedom and Justice” – the United States of America. Shouldn’t you offer to pay an Exit Tax to Canada which is calculated on the basis of the U.S. 877A Expatriation Tax? Surely your ethical standards and moral principles would compel you to do this! Surely this is just. The alternative would be to simply hide behind U.S. hypocrisy. Your choice, Senator …
bubblebustin – mother is a foreign citizen, father is a foreign citizen. Medicare rules that you can’t get Medicare until you’re one year resident in Canada. It would all depend on whether or not his mother and father were in Canada legally for one full year prior to his birth. SO the ultimate question is: Did they lie to get services?
And as a Canadian patriot, if one spits on the country he was born in and that Canadian taxpayers paid into Alberta Medicare to fund the services his mother used to give birth to; by saying that he’s “an American by birth”, then he should damned well pay back what his FOREIGN mother used off the backs of Canadian taxpayers.
People need to calm down – his parents would have been paying taxes in Alberta at the time of his birth. Possibly also Medicare premiums – remember those?
I’ve emailed the Votemaster of Electoral-vote.com to let him know of his egregious geographical error.
So, “born in Canada” gives you Canadian citizenship but “born in the USA” gives you American ownership. Once that wad of US personhood is attached to your sole you will have to pay a big price to have it scraped off and you might even have to chew your foot off, like an animal in a leg-hold trap. Canada just attaches an easily removable post-it note with instructions on how to let them know you no longer want or need to be a Canadian.
Perhaps if Cruz’s mother was having difficulty finding the documentation to prove that she was eligible to transmit citizenship to her son, they may have taken a more expedient route, that is obtaining Teddies citizenship through papa:
Naturalization of Parents (“Derivation”)
When a parent naturalizes, his or her children may “derive” U.S. citizenship automatically, provided they have green cards and are under age 18 and living with the parent at the time. Becoming a U.S. citizen in this way has a special benefit: A child who gets U.S. citizenship through the naturalization of either or both parents does not have to participate in a naturalization ceremony.
Here’s another article on Cruz and Canada Nothing Against United States, until now) from Congress blog at The Hill, written by Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze)
Oops, Forgot the link.
@bubblebustin The father naturalized in 2005 in which year the son was 35–well past the age 18 limit to derive citizenship automatically through the father’s naturalization. Moreover getting citizenship this way would not qualify one as natural born even if it occurred before 18.
Yeah! Well done Blaze/Lynne!
and now to comment.
Remember all, the Allison Christians blog post is also very very useful on this theme:
Way to go !!! Blaze…
The Hill comment section does not require registration, and it is very easy to post comments. Lets move this one up to ‘most read’ and ‘most commented’. Email it to everyone – including your MP, and the CCLU, and Finance Minister Flaherty, and Kevin Shoom of the Finance Department, and the Ombudsman of the CRA, and the Privacy Commissioner………
@USCitizenAbroad I’m not too sure where this idea that Canada has no Exit Tax comes from, but it is dangerous misinformation. Canada’s Exit Tax works differently, however. The Exit Tax kicks in when one ceases to be a tax resident of Canada. Precisely because it is easier to give up Canadian tax residency than to give up US citizenship, it is also easier to trigger the Canadian exit tax.
One is supposed, however, to file a departure return declaring one’s departure from Canada and paying any exit tax due that year. If one fails to do so, one is at risk of continuing to be considered a Canadian resident until one does so.
I’m not sure how old one needs to be before one is considered to be a “tax resident” of Canada and needs to jump through the expatriation hoops. I’m guessing that Cruz, having left at age 4, would not have any problems. But I wouldn’t be 100% sure of that.
@USCitizenAbroad Sounds like it would be complex for Cruz to prove he is a US citizen.
And that is just my point–if his citizenship rests on complex rules, it is hard to claim that he is really a “natural born” citizen for the purposes of the presidency–even if he can eventually show convincing proof that he is some flavor of citizen. Although the term “natural born” has never been defined under US law, it certainly seems to me to imply that someone is very clearly a citizen based solely on the circumstances of their birth.
I didn’t know the father naturalized then, thanks. I made the point because if proving the mother’s residency was too onerous for them, they may have take a path of least resistance and thought it would produce the same result.
Thanks to you, our trail Blazer, and our French connection (Victoria) it looks like “The Hill” is among the better informed of US publications. You got everything absolutely so spot on it made my heart thump and my fist pump. The “Flattery” typo was amusing. We all hope “flattery” gets us somewhere not nowhere. 😉 You (and Victoria) — awesome! — thank you! Rahm Emmanuel is infamous for saying “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Now you and others are taking good and fair advantage of the Cruz dilemma — turning his discomfort into an opportunity to tell people about US tax policy tyranny.
Lynne and Victoria tag teamed for this …
And now Lynne solos on this …
Way to make lemonade, Blaze!
@Blaze, Way to Go!! What a Wonderful Article! Great Comment Victoria!
Is correct there is a deemed disposition on Canadian resient leaving Canada. I remember I had to pay 25% on RRSP amount in 1980s. I wish I never went down for that 18 months to USA.
My comment at 1:53 says there is no Canadian tax on renouncing citizenship.
The confusion is because:
1. Canada has a tax on ending Canadian residency – called a “Departure Tax” – sometimes referred to as an “Exit Tax”. Canada does not have a tax on renouncing citizenship.
2. The U.S. has a tax on ending citizenship – “Expatriation Tax” – 877A. The U.S. does not have tax on moving away from the U.S.
@USCitizenAbroad Yes that clarifies the difference.
I guess my question is–if someone applies to renounce Canadian citizenship, will they be required to prove that they paid any required departure tax–even if the departure tax was due years earlier when they gave up Canadian residency?
Not to my knowledge.
I noticed that “Simple Premise” is still listed as Most Discussed and “Nothing Against” is close to the top of the currently Most Viewed. I think The Hill is onto a great topic to boost its readership … thanks to Lynne and Victoria.