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What Is Birthright Citizenship?


There are many ways to become a citizen of the United States. Perhaps the most obvious way is to go through the “naturalization process,” which involves the first step of becoming a permanent resident. Another option is to marry a US citizen. But perhaps the easiest way to become a citizen of the United States is to be born within the borders of the nation. This is known as “birthright citizenship.” But how exactly does this work in the United States? Why are people suddenly talking about birthright citizenship, and could future changes affect your immigration plan? Let’s find out:

Birthright Citizenship in the United States

There are actually two different types of birthright citizenship in the United States. The first type is the simplest: You gain US citizenship automatically after being born within the nation (including territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands). This goes back to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The second type of birthright citizenship involves having one or two parents that are US citizens. You may also pursue this type of birthright citizenship if you once had parents that were US citizens.

Why is Birthright Citizenship Controversial?

Many critics oppose the concept of birthright citizenship, arguing that it contributes to “birth tourism.” This is the practice of intentionally traveling to the United States (or any other nation) with the goal of giving birth during the trip. This ensures that the child automatically becomes a US citizen.

Things get even more complicated when you factor in births to parents who are undocumented migrants. These individuals may cross borders illegally without even acquiring tourist visas. Recent statistics suggest that 7.5% of all births in the United States are to undocumented migrants.

Because these children are automatically full US citizens, they can then file petitions on behalf of their parents when they reach the age of 21. This pattern allows entire families to migrate to the United States simply by giving birth within the nation’s borders. Some may see this as a good thing, while others may argue that it drastically changes the demographics of the nation without current US citizens agreeing to this mass migration through a democratic process.

Birthright citizenship has recently made headlines because of Trump’s promise to end this path to citizenship if he gets elected as president once more.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Immigration Attorney in Palm Beach County?

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Palm Beach County immigration attorney, look no further than the Devore Law Group. We know that recent discussions about birthright citizenship can seem confusing. If you’re looking for a way to help your family gain citizenship, a smart decision is to book a consultation with us at your earliest convenience. Together, we can discuss various strategies for you and your loved ones to stay in this nation for the foreseeable future. Reach out today to get started with an effective action plan.


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