Cruz: ‘I am secretly a citizen of Ethiopia’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who earlier this week said he would renounce his Canadian citizenship, joked with reporters that he was also secretly a citizen of Ethiopia during an appearance Thursday in Austin, Texas.

The freshman senator made the quip as members of the media were ushered out of a meeting with executives at National Instruments Co.

“I promise that while y’all are out, I’ll try not to give any, like, really juicy piece of crazy news,” said Cruz, according to the Houston Chronicle. Then he added, “I am secretly a citizen of Ethiopia.”

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Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, has faced questions about his eligibility to run for president because he was not born in the United States.

On Sunday, Cruz released his birth certificate to The Dallas Morning News, which affirmed both that he was born in Calgary, Alberta, and that he was born to an American mother. But having been born in Canada, citizenship was immediately conferred upon him, according to immigration lawyers.

In a statement Monday, Cruz said he intended to renounce his 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,” he said in a statement. 

In an interview with CNN later in the week, Cruz dismissed the discussion of his citizenship as "silly."

“My mother was a U.S. citizen by birth — born in Wilmington, Del. So under U.S. law, I'm an American citizen,” he said.