I was never a “birther.” I understood the concerns surrounding Barack Obama’s eligibility and I have long maintained that the 44th president has been incredibly evasive and not-forthcoming about his past; but whether he was born to an American woman in Kenya or born to an American woman in Hawaii, I never really cared much about where, exactly, he exited the womb.
Though my view on the constitutionality of Barack Obama’s ascent to the presidency allowed for a child born to an American citizen, I have long been troubled by his association with radicals, his cagey and conflicting explanations about his ideological upbringing and the “pass” his half-answers have always received by the lapdog mainstream media.
Ted Cruz , however, is another matter.
The junior senator from Texas is not only an American by the same standard applied to Barack Obama, but unlike Obama, we have no questions about his background. There is no controversy about where he was born and there is no wondering where Cruz’s college grades are. We know his associations, his accomplishments and the roots of his ideological stances. What merely remains in contention is whether the child birthed to an American citizen while she was in Canada is an American citizen.
Though we should all invite a conversation about whether we should continue with birthright citizenship, currently (and in 1970, when Cruz was born) the law is on Cruz’s side.
To help substantiate this position, the Illinois Board of Elections (BOE) has declared Cruz a “natural born citizen” who meets the eligibility requirements to be on the ballot in Illinois.
Two Illinois residents, William Graham and Lawrence Joyce, had challenged Cruz’s eligibility with the board and declared that Cruz should not appear on the ballot on March 15th, 2016.
They cited an alleged constitutional conflict with Article II.
“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,” the Constitution reads. “Either shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been Fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
The board issued a ruling in unambiguous terms, declaring:
“The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth.”
They also explained that Cruz “did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth,” finally adding, “Further discussion on this issue is unnecessary.”
Cruz has been the target of 2016 candidate Donald Trump who maintained that Cruz may be ineligible for the presidency and that Cruz should seek an official ruling from the courts on the matter and be declared a “natural born citizen.”
At the January 14th GOP debate, Cruz shot-back at Trump, saying, “It’s not anything that’s going to happen, and I’m not going to be taking legal advice anytime soon from Donald Trump.”
The ruling by the Illinois board likely will not end the debate surrounding Cruz’s eligibility, though it rightfully ought to.
The board’s reasoning is sound; Cruz never filed paperwork, awaited status changes or filled-out an application for citizenship. He took no further steps to secure his U.S. citizenship- just the same as millions of other Americans who were born in the states have always just been a natural born citizen of these United States.
If Cruz had had to go through the immigration process, the issue would have been much more clear. That he, just like Donald Trump and every other presidential candidate, has always been an American without any additional steps should serve as the indicator of his eligibility.
In short: we should all be much more concerned about what the candidate did after he exited the womb- not where he did so.