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Duckworth and Isakson Bipartisan Bill to Fix Immigration Policy for Children of U.S. Servicemembers and Civil Servants Passes House of Representatives | U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois

December 05, 2019

week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a companion version of U.S.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson’s (R-GA) bipartisan Citizenship
for Children of Military Members &
Civil Servants Act.
This legislation would fix a problem in current law that disadvantages certain
children whose parents are serving our nation abroad in uniform or in the civil
service. It would modernize Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA) to cut burdensome red tape that harms those willing to serve our nation
abroad. Specifically, this update would honor the service of our military and
the dedication of our civil service by making sure that their children born
while stationed abroad, as well as stepchildren and adopted children,
automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Children of Americans serving their nation
abroad are just as worthy of automatic citizenship as any other children in
this country
,” Duckworth said. “By
making them jump through bureaucratic hoops and spend hundreds of dollars
applying for citizenship on behalf of their children, we are inflicting undue
burdens on these patriotic families. I’m glad the House passed our bill and I’m
proud to keep working with my good friend Senator Isakson on this common-sense legislation
to ensure that when U.S. servicemembers and civil servants start a family while
stationed abroad, their children automatically gain citizenship of the country
they proudly serve

I’m proud the House has passed our commonsense
legislation to ensure that the children of service members who are born while
stationed overseas are automatically recognized as U.S. citizens
,” said
Isakson, who serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “We should be doing all we can to ease the
lives of our all-volunteer force, not adding needless hurdles for them and
their families

previous Republican and Democratic presidential administrations, U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considered children of members of
the U.S. Armed Forces and employees of the U.S. Government stationed outside
the U.S. to be considered “residing in the United States” for purposes of
automatically acquiring citizenship under Section 320 of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA). Yet, USCIS announced this past August it would change
its policy to end automatic citizenship for certain children of U.S.
Servicemembers and civil servants working and residing outside the U.S.,
forcing some of these Americans to navigate a complex bureaucratic process that
carries no guarantee of their children receiving citizenship and to pay an
application fee of $1,170 per child.

sent a letter in August of this
year to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) demanding both agencies quickly rescind this
policy update.


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All Information was gathered from publicly available US Government releases. "§105. Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. ( Pub. L. 94–553, title I, §101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2546 .)"