Running for Congress or President: Dual Citizenship and a Borderless World

Running for Congress or President: Dual Citizenship and a Borderless World

by Gordon Jeremiah Berry

The 2016 U.S Presidential cycle has brought many different issue that have otherwise not been brought up in years past—issues such as Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas and his Dual Citizenships with both Canada and the United States. His mother was a US citizen at the time of his birth, so in turn this would make Ted Cruz a US citizen as well. The now Presidential Candidate renounced his Canadian Citizenship on May 14, 2014.

According to, the U.S. Constitution requires a president to be a “natural born Citizen.”

Article 2 Section 1: “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 the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

Image by United States Senate - Office of Senator Ted Cruz
Image by United States Senate – Office of Senator Ted Cruz

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reached a similar conclusion in 2011. CRS, November 14, 2011: “The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen mean a person who is entitled to US citizenship “by birth” or “at birth” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents, by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements of U.S citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would include a person who was not a U.S citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.”

If someone would want to run for Congress more than likely it would always be allowed, unless the opposing candidate brings up the issue as a negative attack against them. Members who were born outside of the U.S include and not limited to such names as Dan Beyer (Italy), Ted Cruz (Canada), Diana DeGette (Japan), Tammy Duckworth (Thailand), Jim Himes (Peru), Mazie Hirono (Japan), Ted Lieu (Taiwan), Sean Patrick Maloney (Canada), John McCain (Panama), Mark Meadows (France), Ileana Ros-Lehtiuen (Cuba), David Rouzer (Germany), Raul Ruiz (Mexico), Albio Sires (Cuba), Norma Torres (Guatemala), and Chris Van Hollen (Pakistan).

Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, two former U.S. solicitors general, writing for the Harvard Law Review, noted: “All sources routinely used to interpret the Constitution confirm that the phrase “natural born Citizen” has a specific meaning: namely, someone who was a U.S. citizen at birth with no need to go through a naturalization proceeding at some later time. And Congress has made equally clear from the time of the framing of the Constitution to the current day that, subject to certain residency requirements on the parents, someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen without regard to weather the birth takes place in Canada, the Canal Zone, or the continental United States.”

Back to Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz. He is not currently a Dual Citizen. Could he be sued? Yes and no. As with all things regarding the law and especially the political system that exits within the law, the answer would be, anyone could do and accuse anything they wish, until legal proceedings rule that it is unlawful. The last two presidential cycles have raised issues about citizenship no matter how incoherent they may have been.

In conclusion, we are becoming an increasingly borderless world, even if we don’t like it, a boundless, borderless world is quickly taking shape. The effects are becoming apparent when issues such as these are increasingly being discussed. With reflective reasoning, when every political structure both benefits and exists not to be patriots, yet to increase the productivity within its borders and increase stability. At some point in history, this will not only be the expectation; it will be the rule.

About the Author

Gordon Jeremiah Berry resides in Tampa, Florida. An avid reader and intense researcher. Mr. Berry looks for the deeper meaning and reasoning behind all things. He favorite saying is “Love must always win out!”

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