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Birther bosh bites back
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By Stephen Browne
Stephen Browne
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By Stephen W. Browne
Nov. 9, 2013 11:51 a.m.

From Fox News Politics, ďSen. Ted Cruz said Monday he is a “U.S. citizen by birth” despite being born in Canada, amid questions about whether he is planning to run for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election.
Cruz, R-Texas, said in an interview with Fusion that because his mother is an American citizen he is a citizen as well.Ē
ďI was a U.S. citizen by birth and beyond that Iím going to leave it to others to worry about the legal consequences,Ē Cruz said.
The article quotes Cruz saying he is in the process of renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada, to a Cuban-born father who became an American citizen in 2005, and an American mother. His parents owned a seismic-data processing firm in the oil industry.
Interestingly as a young man Cruzís father fought in the Cuban revolution with Castro, and then against Castro and fled to the United States in 1957.
Cruz is a TEA Party Republican and has been endorsed by the libertarian-leaning Republican Liberty Caucus.
Democrats are going to have a field day with this. As well they should.
From the beginning of the ďbirtherĒ controversy I have made two points again and again to the point Iím getting sick of repeating myself.
One, there may or may not be something fishy about Obamaís birth documents, but there was a notice of birth in a local newspaper in Hawaii and eyewitnesses, Republican ones at that, who remember the circumstances of his birth at a time when African-American bi-racial children were a rarity.
If I were of conspiratorial mind on this issue, Iíd wonder if Obamaís people were stonewalling just enough to keep this thing going to make the right-wingers look ridiculous and divert attention from the real issue. The issue Cruz has just brought up.
Two, the child of an American citizen is an American citizen no matter where they are born.
I know this because my son was born in Poland to a Polish mother. Heís had an American passport since soon after his birth.
But, he also has a Polish passport. He has dual citizenship.
The guy working the passport desk at the embassy explained it to us. They donít like dual citizenship, almost nobody does. It creates problems. They recognize it happens though.
The practical implications are: my son must enter the U.S. on his American passport, Poland on his Polish passport. Everywhere else he can chose the cheaper visa.
If he comes of military age in either country, and they have a draft, the country heís in gets him.
And if he gets arrested in either country, God forbid, the other can do nothing.
One can acquire dual citizenship in adulthood. My sister did after long residence in the UK because it was simply more convenient to apply for British citizenship than fill out the legal permanent residence application every year or so. The US and the UK allow that sort of thing.
Or one can arrive in this world a native-born citizen of two countries, as my son did.
And this is what Iíve wondered about the birther controversy. Not whether Obama was not born an American citizen, but whether he ever claimed dual citizenship or had it claimed on his behalf by his mother.
Thatís the interesting issue. To the best of my knowledge the Constitution is silent on the issue of dual citizenship. Iím not even sure there was such a thing back then.
Obama simply ignored the issue and ignored the question of whether he has ever traveled on a foreign passport.
Cruz canít ignore it, itís a matter of public record.
If Cruz even comes within spitting distance of the Republican nomination in 2016 Ė itís going to get interesting.
Note: This is my weekly op-ed for the first week of November.

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