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News Posted on January 16, 2013

Professor Chin Comments for Politico on Citizenship and Senator's Eligibility

Professor Gabriel "Jack" Chin commented for Politico on whether newly sworn-in Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen mother and Cuban-born father, would be eligible to run for president.  The Constitution requires that the president be a "natural born citizen," but "no one knows what a natural born citizen is," said Professor Chin.

Professor Chin said that Senator Cruz most likely is eligible. Although only Cruz's mother was a citizen, it appears she had lived in the United States for at least 10 years, so there should not be a problem with his citizenship, Chin said.

"It looks like the answer is yes, but there's nothing definitive legally," he said. "You have had some very good scholars conclude that a natural born citizen is a citizen at birth under the law, but it's impossible to say with absolute certainty the Framers would have come to that same conclusion."

Gabriel "Jack" Chin, who joined the King Hall faculty in 2011, is a prolific and much-cited criminal and immigration law scholar whose work has addressed many of the most pressing social issues of our time.