Ted Cruz: Still Canadian as immigration lawyers express confusion

Process is easy and should only take a matter of minutes


OTTAWA – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz vowed months ago to renounce his Canadian citizenship. It’s now 2014, and the Calgary-born Republican lawmaker is still a dual citizen.

“I have retained counsel that is preparing the paperwork to renounce the citizenship,” the junior Texas senator, who’s eyeing a run for president in 2016, said in a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News.

He didn’t dispute holding dual citizenship: “Not at this point,” Cruz told the paper.

That’s confounding Canadian immigration lawyers. Renouncing Canadian citizenship, they say, is a simple, quick and straightforward process — there’s even an online, four-page PDF form on the Government of Canada website to get the ball rolling without the help of lawyers.

“Unless there’s a security issue that hasn’t been disclosed, unless there’s a mental health issue that hasn’t been disclosed, there’s no reason for anything other than a lickety-split process to occur,” Richard Kurland, a Vancouver-based immigration attorney, said in an interview Friday.

Concerns about his Cruz’s taxes might also be holding up the process, Kurland added, but the Canadian government is not to blame.

“If he’s attempting to bring our system into disrepute by suggesting it’s lengthy and complex, it’s just not true. Revocation is one of the fastest processes in our system.”

Stephen Green, an immigration lawyer in Toronto, was equally perplexed.

“It’s not complicated at all,” said Green, whose firm, Green and Spiegel, reached out to offer help to Cruz at one point but never received a return phone call from the senator’s office.

“They make sure you understand what you’re doing, that you’re not going to become a stateless person, and then you’re rock ‘n’ roll, and good to go. I would assume that if he’s retained counsel, this could have been done by now.”

Canada’s best-known citizenship renouncer, Conrad Black, said in an email Friday that it “doesn’t take long” for the revocation process to work.

He added Cruz may come to regret the move.

“He’s making a mistake; he’ll never go higher in the U.S. electoral system than he is now, and Canada’s a better governed country than the U.S.,” said Black, who gave up his citizenship in 2001 in order to accept a peerage in the British House of Lords.

Cruz’s office didn’t respond for a request for comment.

The thorny issue of the Tea Party darling’s birthplace has been a headache for the senator, given some in the neo-conservative movement have accused President Barack Obama of being born in Kenya — his father was Kenyan, his mother American — and insist he’s therefore illegitimately leading the country.

The Cruz affair prompted media wags in his home state of Texas to refer to the anti-immigration lawmaker as a “Canadian anchor baby.”

Cruz, 43, was born in Calgary when his parents were working in the Canadian oil business. His mother, Eleanor, is a native-born American, while his father, Rafael, is a Cuban who didn’t become a U.S. citizen until 2005.

Under U.S. law, a child born to an American parent gets automatic citizenship even if the birthplace is beyond U.S. borders. Canada, like the United States, also gives automatic citizenship to anyone born on its soil.

Even though it’s precisely how the law works in the U.S., Cruz has said the news that he possessed dual citizenship came as a surprise to both him and his parents last year.

The lawmaker insists his mother was told when he was a child that her boy would have to take affirmative action to claim Canadian citizenship.

“There was no reason to retain counsel to analyze Canadian law, because it wasn’t relevant to anything I was doing,” Cruz told the Dallas Morning News.

Kurland said he is skeptical.

“He’s a Harvard-educated lawyer so what’s the problem? It’s elementary.”

About 140 Canadian citizens a year renounce their citizenship, according to government figures. Many do so because some countries, such as China and Indonesia, don’t allow dual citizenship.


Ted Cruz: Still Canadian as immigration lawyers express confusion

  1. Cruz is one of the dumber members of the Tea Party….which is saying something.

    • Name calling again.

      Just because he does not love your Shiny Pony – Justine.

      True colours of a Lieberal Troll.

      • Dumb is dumb. Cruz is dumb. And you can’t even spell.

        • Lieberal Troll
          Lieberal Troll
          Na na na na nanananana

          Hint; If you don’t want to be criticized don’t start out name calling based upon your political persuasion.

          • LOL well YOU outted yourself beautifully.

            No wonder you like Cruz….same American dimwittery.

          • Everyone else so full of happy and you so full of hate.

            Don’t know what is going on in your life to make you so negative but I feel sorry for you and those around you. Better luck in the next year with whatever it is.

            As the article said we now live in one of the best governed countries in the world. Certainly much better than the US (for now)


          • The Article didn’t say this; Conrad Black did. Oh the irony

      • She just said he is the “cream of the crop”. That really is a distinction. Not a good one….but still a distinction.

      • Where’s the name calling? He is a member of the Tea Party, and this latest bit of news does show him to be quite a bone head (ie. dumb).

        • One of my friends is a Canadian citizen who was raised in the US; when he was going back to Canada, they basically told him that because he had no ties to the country and hadn’t lived there in over 25 yrs, he had lost his citizenship.

      • Cruz has a long way to go before he can be referred to as one of the dumber members of that group.

  2. Cruz may not, as the article states, become stateless but it’s apparently already too late for him to avoid becoming clueless.

    In any event, the delay in this process can’t be arising from any groundswell of resistance among Canadians. I suspect most of us would be happy to see him disappear into the great bosom of American citizenship.

    BTW, Conrad Black is also available for adoption.

  3. Ted Cruz a liar? Really? Well what a surprise there.

  4. Well obviously he’s not eligible. I mean if Barack isn’t (snicker) then neither is Cruz.

  5. He is a Tea Partier, so I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a mental health issue.

  6. There used to be an old joke about a politician switching parties and thereby raising the collective IQ of both . Losing Cruz will doubtless raise the Canadian collective IQ; not sure it will do the same for the American.