Birthirism comes back to bite Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz is getting some of his Tea Party's own medicine. To be clear, Ted Cruz is a US citizen. He is born of an American mother and a Cuban father. He was born in Calgary Canada, a foreign country. US statute says the following.
Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock
A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.) The U.S. citizen parent must be the genetic or the gestational parent and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth to transmit U.S. citizenship.
The hypocrisy of the Right on this issue is astounding. President Obama was born in Hawaii. It is understood that many are geographically challenged in believing Hawaii is not the USA. But everyone knew the President's mother was born in Wichita Kansas. One cannot get more American than that. At least the same statute that applies to Ted Cruz applied to President Obama. Yet many in the media gave the birther's stories traction and a platform.
What is ironic is that Ted Cruz's journey to 'natural born citizen' is pretty dubious if one wanted to be crass about it. The Salon article "Ted Cruz's ironic birther predicament" is spot on.
Cruz’s official Canadian birth certificate, as posted by the Dallas Morning News, shows that Rafael Edward Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, on December 22, 1970. Oddly, however, the birth was not registered until December 31, leaving an unexplained gap of nine days. But where was baby Ted over Christmas, an astute birther might ask. Donald Trump could build a casino in a hole that size.
Still, the birth certificate does state that Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. As Cruz has often said, that made him a U.S. citizen at birth, and therefore eligible to be president – but only if the birth certificate is accurate. The Canadian officials would have had no reason to question Cruz’s mother about her native country, nor would they have demanded any proof. Her word alone was good enough for Canadian purposes. Why would they care about the baby’s future qualification for the U.S. presidency?
President Obama did not have to produce any documents if he did not want to. Again, he was born in the United States of America. He was born on US land, not a Canal Zone in Panama like John McCain or Canada soil like Ted Cruz. It seems Ted Cruz may be missing some papers. Will the Tea Party start requesting these? As the Salon article states.
Which brings us – or rather, which ought to bring the birthers – to the documents Cruz has not produced. Where, for example, is the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, which Cruz’s parents could have obtained at the U.S. consulate in Calgary? That would at least establish their intention to register him as an American citizen while they were living in Canada. For that matter, where is Eleanor Wilson’s own birth certificate? I mean, anyone can claim to have been born in Delaware, and everyone (including this dual citizen of the United States and Canada) knows that Canadians are too polite to ask tough questions. Birthers will have no such qualms. Will they require documentary proof?
Of course, even a sheaf of birth certificates would still leave Cruz’s citizenship technically open to question. Under the law in effect in 1970, Cruz would only have acquired U.S. citizenship if his mother had been “physically present” in the United States for ten years prior to his birth, including five years after she reached the age of fourteen. Neither Cruz’s birth certificate, nor his mother’s, nor the Consular Report could irrefutably establish Eleanor Wilson’s residence for the necessary length of time. For all birthers know, she might have been living in Kenya.
Poetic justice is wonderful. Ted Cruz, the present day politician channeling McCarthy will likely have his McCarthy deflation moment sooner than later.