Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) had to make the awkward announcement yesterday that he would renounce his Canadian citizenship following a report that he was not just American, but Canadian as well.
"Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship," Cruz, who was born in Calgary and spent his first four years there, reportedly said. "Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator; I believe I should be only an American.”
Cruz’s Canadian renouncement is more than a move to prove his loyalty to the United States. It raised questions about whether he would be eligible for the presidency, as only people who are “natural born citizens” of the United States can hold the office.
According to legal experts, Cruz technically meets that standard, even though he was born in Canada. Because his mother is American, Cruz is considered a natural born citizen.
This must be driving the birthers – a group that Cruz courts – absolutely crazy. It means President Obama could have been born in Osama bin Laden’s bathtub and would still be a natural born citizen, as his mother is American.
But quitting Canada is truly Cruz’s loss. He’s giving up a lot, including:
- National health care. The health system in Canada is nationalized and everyone is covered. With Obamacare around the corner, Cruz won’t miss it for long
- Mild winters. Canadian winters are notoriously cold, but in recent years, winter’s bite hasn’t been that severe. Cruz, a climate change skeptic, can now more easily ignore the evidence in America’s top hat.
- Racial harmony. Canada’s immigrant population is growing fast, but the country hasn’t experienced many of the racial growing pains that other countries with similar influxes of foreigners experience. Canada’s immigrant population grew from 1.1 million in 2001 to more than 5 million today. It’s now one of the most diverse countries in the world: Nearly half of the people in Toronto are minorities.
- A longer life. The average Canadian lives to 80, while the average American lives until 78. Maybe universal health care does work.
- Paid parental leave. New parents in Canada are promised paid leave time. There’s no such legal requirement in the U.S.