Children born to U.S. service members and government employees who are not yet themselves U.S. citizens, while abroad, will no longer get automatic American citizenship according to the Trump administration.
U.S. citizens are also considered to be U.S. nationals. United States law defines a national “a person owing permanent allegiance to a state.” Since U.S. citizens owe allegiance to the U.S., they are both U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals. However, it's possible to be a U.S. national but NOT a U.S. citizen.
According to a new policy alert issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on August 28th, the U.S. Government S no longer considers children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States as “residing in the United States” for purposes of acquiring citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 320.
I’m a US citizen who was born overseas because my dad was an Air Force officer stationed in Korea. This is fucking INSANE. Denying military dependents their US citizenship for being born wherever their parents are stationed—while in service of OUR COUNTRY—is bullshit. https://t.co/IMHrWipc37— Christina Strain (@christinastrain) August 28, 2019
Prior to this policy update, all children born to U.S. citizen parents were considered to be "residing in the United States," and were automatically granted citizenship under INA 320.
Now, children born to U.S. service members and government employees who are not yet themselves U.S. citizens, while abroad, will no longer be considered as "residing in the U.S"., thus changing the way that they potentially receive citizenship. The policy stated that children who are not U.S. citizens and are adopted by U.S. service members while living abroad will also no longer receive automatic citizenship by living with the U.S. citizen adopted parents.
**NEW from US Citizenship and Immigration Services: Starting on 10/29/19, children born to U.S. service members abroad won’t automatically be considered American citizens. Their parents will have to apply on their behalf. @OANN pic.twitter.com/37aYlU3o3l— Patrick Hussion (@PatrickHussion) August 28, 2019
Reporter Tal Kopan from the San Francisco Chronicle first reported the story claiming that "DHS "no longer considers children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States as 'residing in the United States' for purposes of acquiring citizenship”.
Following the announcement of the policy, USCIS spokesperson Meredith Parker told Task & Purpose that "The policy change explains that we will not consider children who live abroad with their parents to be residing in the United States even if their parents are U.S. government employees or U.S. service members stationed outside of the United States, and as a result, these children will no longer be considered to have acquired citizenship automatically,"
"For them to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship, their U.S. citizen parent must apply for citizenship on their behalf," she added. The process under INA 322 must be completed before the child's 18th birthday. Parker remarked that while children of service members will be allowed to complete the citizenship process outside of the U.S., children of government employees "must enter the U.S. lawfully with an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa and be in lawful status when they take the Oath of Allegiance."
Omg!!!— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) August 28, 2019
“Children born to US service members and government employees overseas will no longer be automatically considered citizens of the United States, according to policy alert issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Wednesday.”https://t.co/KJmxEgCV9m
Trump’s administration says that the children born to military families stationed overseas are to be stripped of their right to US citizenship.— Common Defense (@commondefense) August 28, 2019
Literally speechless at this horrific, utterly unconstitutional attack on military families. #VetsAgainstTrump https://t.co/WR2FuxyCgr
After the policy was initially revealed, there was a widespread concern as to how this policy would affect children of U.S service members to which Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of USCIS, responded in a statement that "this policy update does not affect who is born a U.S. citizen, period." He added that"This only affects children who were born outside the United States and were not U.S. citizens. This does NOT impact birthright citizenship. This policy update does not deny citizenship to the children of US government employees or members of the military born abroad. "This policy aligns USCIS' process with the Department of State's procedure, that's it."
A USCIS official further clarified the statements given in the policy report. "Children who are adopted by U.S. service members abroad, and children who are born to service members while overseas who are not yet citizens (such as service members who are green card holders) will not receive automatic citizenship by merely living with their parents who are out of the U.S on orders." the official reported.