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U.S. senator publicly renounces Canadian citizenship

August 20, 2013

As the next United States presidential election draws near, potential or supposed candidates from both parties are starting to come to the forefront and either directly or indirectly announce their intentions to run. One such politician, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), has been receiving significant attention - not for his policies, but as a result of his Canadian citizenship. Based on the speculation that this fact has engendered regarding Cruz's eligibility to run for president, the senator made the announcement that he would renounce his partial Canadian heritage and commit to solely being a U.S. citizen, according to The Associated Press.

The news source reported that Cruz made this statement shortly after publicly releasing his birth certificate from the province of Alberta. This issue may be a prominent topic of discussion among both Americans and Canadians on phone calls conducted with prepaid phone cards.

The Texas senator first released the document to the Dallas Morning News before offering it to the AP. It shows that he was born to an American mother in Alberta and thus has dual citizenship until he chooses to adjust it according to his plans.

Eligibility concerns harking back to old questions
According to Postmedia News, citizenship questions have dogged numerous prominent politicians. Most recently, President Barack Obama, after being bombarded with questions from conservative political opponents and right-wing citizens about his own heritage, had to release his birth certificate that identifies him has being born in Hawaii. Additionally, in the mid-2000s, although there was support for the possibility of a presidential run by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, he lacked eligibility due to his Austrian birth.

Like Schwarzenegger, Cruz saw his star rise quickly in the Republican party and has a strong backing, although he currently lacks the centrist appeal of the Austrian actor-turned-governor. Much of Cruz's support comes from the far-right Tea Party organization, which helped enable his rise through Senate primaries and the close general election that earned him his seat. Whistle stop-style public appearances in a number of states during the past few weeks have fueled speculation about a possible 2016 presidential run.

Cruz's views on the matter
After releasing his Canadian birth certificate to media outlets, Cruz issued the statement that clarified his position.

"The Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship," the senator stated, according to Postmedia News. "Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce my 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."

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