Donald Trump

Sen. Ted Cruz's U.S. Citizenship Questioned

Ted Cruz tried to make a joke out of Republican presidential rival Donald Trump raising questions about whether the Texas senator's birth in Canada could be a liability if he becomes the GOP's nominee.

That's after Trump told The Washington Post in an interview that Cruz's Canadian birthplace and his holding a double passport was a "very precarious" issue that "a lot of people are talking about."

Trump has ramped up his attacks on Cruz since the Texas senator sprinted ahead of the billionaire businessman in some opinion surveys in early-voting Iowa.

He is not the first candidate to face questions about this.

Governor Mitt Romney was born in Mexico , and Senator John McCain was born on a military base in the Panama Canal zone.

NBC 5 Political Reporter Julie Fine discussed the law with immigration attorney George Rodriguez.

He explained the law says if someone is born outside of the United States with one citizen parent, he or she is a citizen.

The reason who questions don’t always stop there is the constitution. Article two, section one, clause five says, 'No person except a natural born citizen, or citizens of the United States at the time of the adoption of the constitution shall be eligible to the office of the president.'

“There is no indication of what the founding fathers meant by natural-born citizens,” said Rodriguez.

Many constitutional scholars argue being born to an American equals being a natural-born citizen.

Rodriguez says we will not have a definitive answer, until the Supreme Court weighs in.

“I think this debate is going to continue until someone gets elected president, and there is a constitutional challenge to their eligibility to be president of the United States, and the Supreme Court would have to make that determination,” said Rodriguez.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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