Democrats introduce bill to protect citizenship rights for military kids

September 4, 2019
In The News

A new policy is rescinding the citizenship rights of children of service members in certain situations — this bill aims to fight it. 

Last week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new policy that would mean not all children born to American service members outside of the U.S. automatically earn citizenship.

Some military kids born outside US will no longer be automatic citizens, immigration policy says

Previously, children born to parents who were U.S. citizens serving in foreign countries were automatically granted citizenship. But this new policy change, which begins Oct. 29, applies to some children born on U.S. military installations in other nations or at diplomatic facilities. The policy change means those children will not be considered as residing in the U.S., which alters how those children potentially become citizens. 

The parents of some of those children will now have to apply for American citizenship for their child before they turn 18. 

Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), and Lou Correa (Calif.) introduced a bill to protect the roughly 20 to 25 military families it could impact a year. 

H.R. 4226 or the "Protecting Children of Public Servants and Service Members Abroad Act of 2019" aims "to provide that certain guidance related to the citizenship of Federal employees and members of the Armed Forces shall have no force or effect, and for other purposes."

"The people who sacrifice so much to serve our nation at home and overseas deserve certainty that their children’s citizenship will not be in doubt. The Trump administration’s cruel new policy is the first step in President Trump’s crusade to eliminate birthright citizenship and serves no purpose other than to play to his most xenophobic supporters," Gallego said in a statement. 

The bill, introduced Sept. 3, has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.