whitecolonialism-deactivated201  asked:

He claims to be a "natural born citizen" due to the fact that his mother was an American at the time of his birth. But he was neither born in the United States, or any territories under it's jurisdiction. Therefore he isn't an American citizen.

(This is re: Ted Cruz’s eligibility for presidency, which came up on a now-deleted post.)

To start, Ted Cruz is definitely an American citizen — because of his mother, a U.S. citizen who lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years as required by the Nationality Act of 1940, he has birthright citizenship by parentage.

As for his eligibility for president, your interpretation (he wasn’t born anywhere under the jurisdiction of the United States, so he’s not a “natural-born citizen” and therefore ineligible) is a totally reasonable interpretation of the “natural-born citizen” clause. That clause is left undefined in the Constitution and because this has not yet been a question regarding anyone elected president (although with plenty of candidates), an exact definition still hasn’t been settled upon.

The most popular interpretation, though, would define “natural-born citizen” not as someone whose citizenship derives from having been born inside the United States, but as someone who has been a U.S. citizen from birth (as opposed to someone whose citizenship was granted after a process of naturalization). Under that definition, Ted Cruz (and others in his situation) would certainly be eligible for president as “natural-born citizens.”

I think that interpretation is both true to the phrasing and to the intention of the clause, which was to prevent foreign influence. Ted Cruz is a lot of things. Canadian is a stretch.