It was announced this week that the Trump administration will be implementing a new policy regarding automatic birthright citizenship for children of some service members born during deployment. These changes will make it harder for some members of the military to guarantee U.S. citizenship for their children
This new rule is changing the current policy that any child born to any member of the military would be an automatic birthright citizen of the United States no matter where the birth took place. We don't how many people will be affected as the official numbers haven't yet been released.
The reaction to this announcement from many was confusion and anger. Some questioned why the government would seemingly punish anyone willing to serve their country. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency is in charge of legal immigration and clarified that they made the change based on recommendations from the state department that the previous policy didn't support.
According to NPR, the new rules are very specific and will only affect a small number of service members. Parents who adopted children while serving abroad, those who became US citizens after their children were born, parents who are US citizens but have never lived there, or recently naturalized citizen who not yet met U.S residency requirements will all need to take extra steps to ensure citizenship for their children.
These further steps are currently unknown.
William Goodwin, director of government relations for VoteVets, and an army veteran himself said, "Tonight, there's someone likely on patrol in a war zone, or at an embassy, who is scared to death that their child is no longer a citizen, just because they were born overseas." The liberal advocacy group is definitely not a fan. The change comes at a time where immigration and citizenship have become hotly contested topics in the U.S. with a lot of tension in recent years.
Immigration advocates do acknowledge that the announcement was taken out of context and the specific rules don't change much. However, for those who are affected, this is a big deal. These people are serving our country on deployment and now cannot even guarantee citizenship for their children in the country they're fighting for.
With it being such a small number of those affecting, it does bring up the question of why do it at all? What do you think of these changes? Let us know how you feel in the comments!