Canada native Ted Cruz begins process to renounce his citizenship

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz speaks with members of the media in September. (Credit: CNN)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz has hired lawyers to help him get rid of his Canadian citizenship, the Republican told the Dallas Morning News in an interview published online Saturday night.

“I have retained counsel that is preparing the paperwork to renounce the citizenship,” he said, adding he expects the process to be completed in 2014.

His office also confirmed the decision.

Cruz has said in the past he planned to renounce his citizenship, but his latest remarks represent concrete steps he’s taking to actively do so.

The first-term senator has said before that he wasn’t aware he was still legally tied to Canada until the Dallas newspaper raised the issue in August, quoting legal experts who said the potential presidential candidate was technically a dual citizen.

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.  United States law states that anyone born to a U.S. parent in another country is born as a U.S. citizen.

But, like in the U.S., Canada’s laws state that anyone born inside its borders automatically becomes a Canadian citizen. Most experts believe this makes Cruz a dual citizen.

“Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter,” Cruz said in a statement in August.

Cruz told political correspondent Candy Crowley at the time he would attempt to renounce his Canadian citizenship.

“Serving as a U.S. senator, I think it’s appropriate that I be only an American,” he said.

Cruz told the Dallas Morning News that the topic came up when he met last month with real estate titan Donald Trump, who was known as one of the leading voices in the “birther” movement that questioned whether President Barack Obama was a U.S. citizen.

Obama released his long-form birth certificate in April 2011, proving that he was born in Hawaii and largely putting to rest speculation about his citizenship.

Cruz did not go into detail about the meeting with Trump, saying only that the topic was not discussed in “any significant respect.”

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment about Trump’s conversation with Cruz.

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