Although one of the requirements laid out by the US Constitution for being president is that the candidate must be a US “natural born citizen,” the common interpretation is that it means that at least one of the candidate’s parents must be a US citizen by birth. In the case of Ted Cruz, his mother, Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson who was born in Wilmington Delaware which makes her a US citizen. It is important to note that the US Supreme Court has not yet rendered an opinion on the definition of “natural born citizen.”
Ted Cruz has used his father’s immigration experience when arguing against immigration reform in the news media. His father has also frequently campaigned for Ted Cruz, therefore I believe it is fair to understand what influence Ted Cruz’ father has had upon him.
2. Ted Cruz’ father fought alongside Fidel Castro.
Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, born in Matanzas Cuba, fought alongside Fidel Castro in order to overthrow U.S. backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista.  Batista was overthrown by Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution in 1959. The US government had supported the Batista regime since 1952.
3. Ted Cruz’ father fought against the interests of the United States by taking up arms against the Batista dictatorship, who was supported by the United States government. Today, Ted Cruz’ father would be considered a terrorist for taking up arms against US interests.
Ted Cruz has argued that immigration reform would be “profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who follow the rules.”  Let us look at how Ted Cruz’s father came to the United States.
4. Bribe: Rafael Bienvenido Cruz arrived in the United States on a four-year student visa in 1957. A lawyer friend of the father bribed a Cuban official for an “exit permit” stamp on the father’s passport. In other words, the father used bribery to circumvent the immigration rules. 
5. Overstayed his visa: In addition to using bribery for an exit stamp, Cruz’ father obtained “political asylum” in the US when his student visa expired.
6. Gaming the immigration process: Not only did Cruz’ father overstay his student visa to the United States, he acquired “political asylum” and then left for Canada. The change in immigration designation, while in the United States, shows the duplicity of gaming the system to enter the United States under one status and converting to another when it became convenient. Some would argue that it is not “following the rules” but rather gaming the “rules” for a preferred outcome, when the status is changed from one to another while in the country. 
7. Jumps to the front of the immigration line: While under the status of “political asylum” in the United States, Ted Cruz’ father married a US citizen and thus was automatically moved to the front of the line for a green card. Those who apply for a green card under the traditional rules are required to remain in the US for a period of five years, to establish continuity in the US before moving on to another country. Yet, the father abandoned the United States soon after acquiring Permanent Resident status and moved to Canada where Ted Cruz was born. 
8. Abandons the US and acquires another citizenship: While in Canada, Ted Cruz’ father acquired Canadian citizenship. 
9. Forty-eight years and two citizenships later, father finally applies for US citizenship: After living eight years in Canada, the Cruz family returned to the United States with Ted Cruz. It was not until 2005, almost 48 years after leaving Cuba that the father finally acquired US citizenship. 
As a recap, Ted Cruz’ father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz left Cuba, after bribing a Cuban official, entered the US on a four year student visa that he then converted to a political asylum visa. The elder Cruz then marries a US citizen that grants him an automatic jump to the front of the line for a green card. He then leaves the US and becomes a Canadian citizen only to return to the US and apply for citizenship 48 years after leaving Cuba. Can Ted Cruz convincingly argue that his father followed the immigration rules? More importantly, what does the three citizenships held by Cruz’ father say about his father’s love for the country his son wishes to govern?
10. Ted Cruz did not follow immigration rules: Ted Cruz, himself, did not even know he was a Canadian citizen for most of his life until someone pointed it out to him. Ted Cruz argues that immigrants should follow the rules yet Ted Cruz did not even know enough to understand that he held Canadian citizenship until it was pointed out to him. Did Ted Cruz follow the rules he admonishes others to follow? On May 14, 2014, Ted Cruz formally renounced his Canadian citizenship.
1. Welna, David; “How Ted Cruz’ Father Shaped His Views On Immigration”; NPR; June 30, 2013
2. Brennan, Patrick; “Cruz: Path to Citizenship ‘Profoundly Unfair’”; National Review; July 21, 2013
3. Welna, David; “NPR Radio Show Transcript with Steve Inskeep; How Ted Cruz’s Father Shaped His Views on Immigration”; June 20, 2013