Ted Cruz: Eligible to be President of the United States?

Now that Texas Senator Ted Cruz has officially announced his candidacy for president of the United States, it’s time to examine the question some have raised regarding his constitutional eligibility for that office. After all, Cruz was born in Canada to an American parent and to a parent who was from Cuba.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

As much as I liked his unapologetic conservatism, I initially did not believe Cruz was eligible to be president of the United States. Like many people, I took the conventional wisdom about what “natural born citizen” means at the commonly-held face value.

But then I took a closer look at the actual evidence, and came to the conclusion that I had been wrong. Since then (well over a year ago), I have been continuing to look for any holes in the documentary evidence, but have found none.

Ted Cruz 2016


I am far from the first person to have addressed this (examples are here, here, here, here, here, and very extensively here), but many people are unaware of the facts concerning this issue, so it’s definitely worth revisiting in light of Cruz’s announcement.

You may recall that this question of eligibility came up for John McCain (born in the Panama Canal Zone) back in 2008. It also came up for Barack Obama; though questions existed about whether he was born in Kenya and by his own admission he spent a significant portion of his youth growing up overseas, the “mainstream” media worked diligently with Obama NOT to deal with the question, preferring instead to hide behind lawsuits and computer-generated facsimile’s of a birth certificate that would not have existed when Obama was born.

So questions about constitutional eligibility are not new, nor are they insignificant. The United States Constitution exists for several important reason: to protect the liberty of the American people, to give structure to the U.S. government, and to maintain the rule of law in our land.

Woodrow Wilcox


Article II Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution says concerning presidential eligibility:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Why did the founders specify in the U.S. Constitution that the president of the United States must be a natural-born citizen?  While it may have escaped any number of anti-American Leftists, it is pretty obvious to most Americans that we want our president to hold allegiance to our country, to our way of life, to our values, to our principles. (And regardless of where Barack Obama was born, he is a living example of the damage that can be done by an individual who is NOT loyal to American principles, American values and the American way of life).  As James Madison explained, the question of allegiance–especially for the person primarily at the helm of our nation–is critical.

There are basically two types of citizenship or two avenues to citizenship: natural-born, and naturalized.

I think most of us understand that naturalized citizens were made into citizens, and were not born that way. Naturalized citizens are people who were not citizens at birth, and later went through a naturalization process (involving application to become a citizen, taking a test to become a citizen, and swearing an oath of allegiance to become a citizen).

A natural-born citizen does not have to do any of these things. Why?  Because a natural-born citizen is a citizen at birth, by virtue of the circumstances of their birth.  As common sense would indicate, they are “naturally” a citizen at birth, by virtue of meeting whatever requirements a nation specifies for a person to be considered a citizen at that time.  Thus, they are naturally-born into citizenship, unlike someone who does not meet citizenship requirements at birth and must later be natural-ized to be considered a citizen.

Obviously, being born on our soil is the most prominent and easy way to become a citizen of the United States.

But what about children born to United States citizen while those U.S. citizens are visiting another country?  Do we really want to place an additional burden on U.S. citizens who happen to be physically abroad at the time they give birth to a child?  What if they are a government employee in the service of the people of the United States?  What if they are a military person serving abroad?  What if they are just an American on vacation abroad (or for whatever reason)?  Do we really want to create additional hurdles for U.S. citizens who give birth to a child abroad?  I think most of us would agree that we do not.

And apparently the founders of our great nation didn’t want to do that either.

Shortly after the U.S. Constitution was crafted and ratified, the question arose: what does it mean to be a “natural born citizen.” This sort of thing happens all the time: we make a statement or requirement…but then the question arises about how certain elements of that statement or requirement are defined.

The 1790 Rule of Naturalization was crafted by many of the same people who crafted the U.S. Constitution, just three years after the U.S. Constitution was drafted. Therefore, the 1790 Rule is likely to be the law most in harmony with the intent of the U.S. Constitution since it was crafted and voted on by many of the same people.

The 1790 Rule of Naturalization says:

the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens

You can learn about additional facts concerning “natural born citizenship” here.

I see nothing in subsequent immigration laws which negates, supersedes or overrules the statement in the 1790 law which says: “the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens.”

There is a pertinent provision in subsequent immigration law which has further defined the ambiguities left in the Constitution and the 1790 Rule of Naturalization. That provision is that for an American citizen to pass citizenship along to their child, that parent must have resided in the U.S. for at least 10 years, including five years after the age of 14. Since Cruz’s mother Eleanor Darragh was born in Delaware, lived in the US for most of her life and gave birth to Ted when she was in her 30s, she apparently meets this requirement.

Obama Administration Birth Certificate Release

Obama Administration Birth Certificate Release

If Barack Obama was indeed not born in the United States (it’d be nice to see something other than a computer-generated facsimile of a birth certificate to confirm it), then his mother was too young to confer citizenship on Barack. Such was not the case with Ted Cruz.

Some have tried to argue that this country or that says citizenship is this or that. I don’t know what the immigration and naturalization laws of other nations are, and frankly I don’t care, because they are irrelevant to the question of citizenship of Americans in America. While Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her ilk might disagree, we go by American law in America. While the practices of other nations may provide insight into such issues, the only thing that really matters is what U.S. law says.

I’d be happy to consider documentary evidence that says a person of dual citizenship (which Cruz held with Canada before renouncing) cannot be considered a “natural born citizen” of the United States, but I am unaware of anything in law or the Constitution which says that. After engaging in several online discussions about natural born citizenship and dual citizenship (I served with a number of dual-citizenship American military personnel during my 10 years in the Air Force at home and abroad), I have yet to see or hear any compelling documentary evidence that dual citizenship, or being born to an American citizen while overseas, renders one anything but a natural-born citizen.

Therefore, it would seem that the 1790 Rule of Naturalization pretty much settles the question of Ted Cruz’s citizenship: “the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens.”

Was Ted Cruz naturalized? No. He was a natural-born citizen, according to the laws of the United States, and he has lived almost all of his life here in the United States.

Therefore, he is constitutionally eligible to be president of the United States.

And since he is the most consistently reliable conservative candidate whose name has thus far been raised (not to mention the fact that the “mainstream” media, the RINO GOP establishment, and the rest of the Left viscerally hate him), he is the best choice for president of the United States.

Unlike the RINOs who have defended Democrat policies like ObamaCare and illegal immigration, and like gutless “Republicans” who bellyache about these Leftist policies but do nothing about them, Ted Cruz has gone to the mat to fight such issues.

That’s why I wholeheartedly, 100% back Ted Cruz for president of the United States in 2016.

This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • AJCastellitto

    Sounds good to me!!!!

  • BrotherPatriot

    Ok…everyone. I’m going to give you the skinny on the Cruz equation and a few of you aren’t going to like it.
    However, the Truth is the Truth is the Truth.
    People can argue all they want…but these are the facts.

    One of the things the individual needs to understand is that there are actually FOUR forms of citizenship with America.

    1) Birthright Citizenship
    2) Naturalized Citizenship
    3) Natural Born Citizenship
    4) Dual Citizenship

    In regards to the Natural Born Citizenship…this only affects 2 Jobs in America. The Presidency & the Vice Presidency.
    There is a reason for this.
    It’s to protect us.
    Against what we see happening to our country right now and remember, two wrongs do not make a right.

    The real question here is what is the definition of a Natural Born Citizen?

    The answer can be found by researching what our founding fathers & the framers of the Constitution understood that definition to mean.
    They were educated men and one of the books that they relied heavily upon was a book written by Emmerich de Vattel, “The Law of Nations.”
    While George Washington was in charge of the Constitutional Convention, he checked out that very book from the Libray of Congress. (As a matter of fact, George NEVER returned it and it was only a few years ago that his decendants recently returned the book (most likely not THE book) and they also paid the fines that had accumulated for it).
    Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers often talked about Emmerich’s book in private letters and such. They spoke highly of it and are on written record regarding how much it influenced their decision making.

    So, according to Vattel’s book, “The Law of Nations”…a natural born citizen is one who is born of TWO citizen parentS (plural), ON soil (territory) controlled by that nation.
    Military bases, ships and embassies do count. (Which is why the traitorous, John McCain was a valid presidential candidate.)
    So part of the problem we currently are dealing with is due to all the additional traitor’s in congress, supreme court judges, other duly elected public servant positions, etc.’s interpretation’s of what the definition of a Natural Born Citizen means.
    Since they no longer are working for We the People but instead the powers behind the curtain of secrecy (bankers, old family blood lines & deep level secret society members) they now have misinterpretated the definition on purpose to suit their Agenda.
    The fox’s aren’t only in the chicken coop…they are litterally having litters in there.

    Regarding Ted Cruz.
    He was born in Canada and ONLY his mother was a citizen at the time of his birth.
    Therefore, Ted Cruz is what is considered a Dual Citizen.
    He has recently come to learn this and is saying that he is renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
    But guess what…he’s still not a Natural Born Citizen.
    It’s not something you can gain…it’s something that you are born with.
    At best, Ted Cruz can be a Citizen by Birth.
    But he can never be a Natural Born Citizen.

    • http://www.americanclarion.com/ Bob Ellis

      Okay, everyone, apparently, I’m going to have to say it AGAIN.

      Apparently you didn’t bother to read the article…or didn’t want to allow facts to get in the way of your preconceived notions.

      Maybe you missed the fact that the Constitution says one is required to be a “natural born Citizen” to be president.

      Maybe you missed the fact that just three years after the Constitution was written, Congress (many of whom were the exact same people who crafted the U.S. Constitution) passed the 1790 Rule of Naturalization which DEFINED what may be considered a “natural born citizen”:

      the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens

      Maybe you missed the fact that the Nationality Act of 1940, a lawful and subsequent amendment to American citizenship law, regarding children of American citizens born outside the United States requires only ONE parent to be a citizen of the United States. Cruz’s mother Eleanor had lived in the United States as a natural born citizen herself more than long enough to qualify.

      Therefore, under the same language used by many of the same founders, only three years apart, and according to subsequent and lawfully passed legislation since, Ted Cruz is in fact a “natural born citizen” and is therefore eligible to serve as president of the United States.

      I really hate repeating myself, but here I find myself again restating almost entirely things I said in the original article.

      Unfortunately, experience has taught me that in dealing with people who favor their own “facts” over hard facts requires this, sometimes.