We know that Mr. Cruz plans to renounce his Canadian citizenship. The assumption is that this will be easy for him to achieve. This is because:
1. Unlike the United States, Canada views citizenship as voluntary membership in a political community. The United States views citizenship as as a form of “servitude” to the state;
2. The assumption is that Cruz was also born a U.S. citizen. In other words, Mr. Cruz would have another citizenship to go to if and when he renounces his Canadian citizenship. Mr. Cruz better hope that Canada will simply accept his claim of being a U.S. citizen (without forcing Mr. Cruz to prove his U.S. citizenship).
In any case, nothing will ever change the fact that Mr. Cruz was “foreign born”. Nothing will ever change the fact that he was born Canadian. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all the number one pick in this years NBA draft – Anthony Bennet – is a Canadian. Perhaps Senator Cruz should position himself as the “Anthony Bennet of U.S. politics”.
As has been well documented, Senator Cruz should be eternally grateful that he is trying to divest himself of the citizenship of a country that regards citizenship as a voluntary association. He would have great difficult divesting himself of his U.S. status.
As one RothCPA noted:
Ted Cruz is lucky it wasn’t the other way around. The Texas Senator recently learned that he is an accidental Canadian citizen because he was born in Calgary. His American mom moved back to the U.S. when he was four and the Senator apparently never considered himself a Great White Northian.
Now he plans to “renounce” his Canadianhood, presumably to make his political life easier. That’s fine for him, but I hope he ponders just how lucky he is that his life didn’t go the other way. If Ted Cruz’s mom were a Canadian who brought him into the world in Fargo, and then moved him as a toddler back to Canada, he would be up to his toque in problems with the IRS.
Assume our alternate-world Ted Cruz – we’ll call him Canada Cruz — had become a successful Canadian lawyer and politician. Given his $3.5 million net worth, he certainly would have opened substantial bank and brokerage accounts in Canada. He would have significant retirement plan assets. And, like many accidental Americans, it would probably never have occurred to him that his American citizenship obligated him to file FBAR reports and U.S. tax returns reporting his Canadian income.
The Treasury might claim half the balance of his financial accounts for each year he failed to file Form TD F 90-22.1 – or a mere $10,000 per year if they decided his violation wasn’t “willful.” If he attempted to participate in the OVDI “amnesty” program to clean things up, he would probably be told to cough up “only” 25% of the balances in all of his Canadian accounts, and to file US returns paying tax on “all tax years” covered by the disclosure. Assuming $3 million of his $3.5 million net worth represents financial assets, Canada Cruz would have to fork over at least $750,000 as a result of being an accidental American. Just in case you wonder why people might renounce U.S. citizenship.
So, “born in Canada” gives you Canadian citizenship but “born in the USA” gives you American ownership. Once that wad of US personhood is attached to your sole you will have to pay a big price to have it scraped off and you might even have to chew your foot off, like an animal in a leg-hold trap. Canada just attaches an easily removable post-it note with instructions on how to let them know you no longer want or need to be a Canadian.
Fortunately for Mr. Cruz he won’t have to “chew” his foot off to end his Canadian citizenship. Many a U.S. citizen abroad will be forced to choose between their feet and their freedom. Such are the laws in the “Land of the
flee, sorry I meant free.” The irony is that Mr. Cruz is using the laws of a relatively free nation, which provides “post it note instructions” for how be free, to enter an “animal trap”.
With that introduction, I thought it might be interesting to meet Senator Cruz. Who knows. He could be the first Canadian born President of the United States. He comes with a very impressive resume. I found this be of particular interest:
Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1992. While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society‘s Debate Panel and won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship. In 1992, he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year and Team of the Year (with his debate partner, David Panton). Cruz was also a semi-finalist at the 1995 World Universities Debating Championship.
Cruz’s senior thesis on the separation of powers, titled “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to President James Madison: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and the last two items in the Bill of Rights offered an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: “They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers.”
He fully supported the #standwithrand filibuster to protest the Obama drone attacks. For that alone, he would have my vote.
I encourage you to watch the video in its entirety. Don’t want to watch the whole video. Pick it up at the 28 minute mark. It strikes me there are areas where he could be an ally. I can see a Rand Paul – Ted Cruz ticket in 2016!