A father comforts his child with an American flag before a naturalization ceremony. (U.S. Marine Corps/Pfc. Nicole Rogge)
Since the confusing rollout of a policy affecting the path to citizenship for some children of U.S. service members and government employees, officials have since attempted to clarify that the change will only effect a small number of people a year.
In the text of the policy update released on Wednesday, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that the policy impacted "children residing abroad with their U.S. citizen parents who are U.S. government employees or members of the U.S. armed forces."
But that's not quite the case, as USCIS officials later clarified: it affects only children who were not U.S. citizens at birth, which means children adopted overseas, and children born to non-U.S. citizen parents.
A Soldier holds an American flag prior to the start of an oath of citizenship ceremony in the General George Patton Museum's Abrams Auditorium at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Sept. 19, 2018. (U.S. Army/ Eric Pilgrim)
Following the disastrous rollout of a policy this week that delineates U.S. residency requirements for the purpose of U.S. citizenship as it applies to children born abroad, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Thursday sought to clarify the changes, saying in a conference call with reporters that its data indicate the measure would have affected only "20 to 25 children a year."
policy, issued Wednesday, spells out what the department deems residency in terms of U.S. citizenship considerations of offspring born overseas.
President Donald Trump. Photo: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Vernon Young.
Some children born to U.S. service members and government employees overseas will no longer be automatically considered citizens of the United States, according to policy alert issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Wednesday.
Previously, all children born to U.S. citizen parents were considered to be "residing in the United States," and therefore would be automatically granted citizenship under Immigration and Nationality Act 320. Now, children born to U.S. service members and government employees who are not yet themselves U.S. citizens, while abroad, will not be considered as residing in the U.S., changing the way that they potentially receive citizenship. 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.