From "Blame Canada" to "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative," Americans love to mock their large, icy neighbor to the North, aboot whom they often know very little but the occasional lilting of their accents? That impulse toward good-humored, neighborly ribbing has met something a little darker in today's Republican Party, where some are asking whether or not Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is fully American because of the circumstances of his birth in Canada to an American citizen, Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson. That led Cruz to release his birth certificate Sunday, proving his American lineage to any doubters.
The fact of the matter is, Rafael Edward Cruz is and has always been an American citizen by birth. But it is also the case that Rafael Edward Cruz, unless and until he successfully completes a Canadian-citizenship-renunciation process, is and has been a dual citizen of Canada, as all individuals born in Canada to American parents are, with a few narrow exceptions.
"Unless their parents were foreign diplomats ... they are automatically citizens at birth" under the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1947, said Chris Plunkett, a spokesman for the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
"Anyone who has not formally renounced their citizenship remains a Canadian citizen," he said. On this the law is clear.