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Children Born To US Soldiers While Serving Abroad Will No Longer Get Automatic US Citizenship

Children Born To US Soldiers While Serving Abroad Will No Longer Get Automatic US Citizenship

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.



 



 

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. 



 

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."



 



 

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. 



 

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