State Dept Ends Policy Denying Citizenship To Children Born Abroad To Gay Parents

Gays dads with their daughter
Gays dads with their daughter
(image via Depositphotos)

The U.S. State Department has reversed a Trump-era policy of denying U.S. citizenship to children born abroad to gay parents via assisted reproductive technologies.

From Axios:

The Trump administration had denied citizenship to children born abroad to same-sex parents in several cases.

The State Department under Trump defended a long-standing policy that categorized children born abroad via surrogate as “out of wedlock” even when a couple was married.

Several same-sex couples sued the agency for their children’s citizenship, but the State Department continued to enforce the policy.

Under the new policy, children born abroad to parents, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen and who are married to each other at the time of the birth, will be U.S. citizens from birth if they have a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents and meet the INA’s other requirements.

I reported on several lawsuits by gay parents during the Trump years whose children were denied citizenship.

Podcast: Supreme Court Victory, Virtual Pride Events, What To Watch This Week

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this special “All Good Gay News” Pride Edition podcast:

• The US Supreme Court rules LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace is illegal

• A federal judge ruled the daughter of a same-sex married couple was indeed born a US citizen after the State Dept tried to claim she was “born out of wedlock”

• Pride celebrations may have been canceled, but here’s a list of virtual Pride events you can attend from your own home

HBO’s ‘Human By Orientation’

Them’s ‘Out Now Live’

Global Pride 2020

• Two awesome coming out stories – one from a Grammy-nominated recording artist, another from a world-class athlete

• What to watch this week including Netflix’s ‘The Politician,’ HBO’s ‘Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn’ and the Obie Award-winning ‘The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report.

Trump Admin: Children Born To Service Members Overseas Won’t Automatically Be US Citizens

Thanks to a new policy announced by the Trump administration, some children born to U.S. service members and government employees will not automatically be considered citizens of the United States.

The new policy came via policy alert issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

From Task & Purpose:

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 United States,” 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.

This will affect the children born to U.S. service members serving on military bases abroad as well children adopted by military service members. Also affected are children born to service members while overseas who are green card holders but not yet citizens.

Children born to parents serving in diplomatic regard will be affected as well.

Parents in these situations will have to apply for citizenship for their children before the child’s 18th birthday.

Two Gay Dads Are Both American, But Daughter Is Denied Citizenship

(stock photo via Depositphotos)

Two gay men are married.

They are both U.S. citizens.

They have a child born from the sperm of one of the men using a donor egg.

They are the only parents listed on the child’s birth certificate.

But when they return home from Britain, where the child was born, to the U.S. and apply for the child’s American passport, they are denied.

A State Department policy, under the Trump administration, allows children to be treated as born “out of wedlock” if the egg and sperm don’t match married parents regarding transmitting citizenship.

“Out of wedlock” means a higher threshold comes into play for citizenship to transmit to the child.

One of the men, James Derek Mize, was born and raised in the United States.

The other, Jonathan Gregg, was born in the UK to an American mother making him a U.S. citizen as well.

The two married in 2015 and in 2017 Gregg moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to be with his husband.

In 2018, their daughter Simone was born via surrogate in London using a British friend’s donor egg and Gregg’s sperm.

But since the egg donor is not listed as a parent, under the “out of wedlock” clause, the Trump administration says Gregg – as the genetic father – needed to be a resident of the U.S. for five years.

He was not.

The couple is suing the State Department, with the help of Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality, for discrimination and violating their constitutional rights.

State officials say the policy is not discriminatory because it could apply to opposite-sex couples as well as same-sex couples.

Earlier this year, I reported for Instinct on a ruling by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter in a similar case of a married gay couple which said there is no federal law that requires a child’s biological parents to be married to transmit citizenship.

Mr. Mize and Mr. Gregg point out that when they went to the U.S. embassy to obtain a passport for Simone, they watched as some 20 opposite-sex couples presented the same documents as they had and were given passports for their children.

They note that none of the opposite-sex couples were questioned concerning how their children were conceived or to their biological relations.

Since Simone was born in London, the U.S. currently views her as a British citizen, and the only way her parents could bring her back home to the U.S. was through a tourist visa. But the visa expires soon, leaving Simone with no legal status to remain in Atlanta with her parents.

Mize recently told HuffPost that when the embassy applied a different standard to his marriage and child, “Every anxiety I’ve ever had in my life about being gay and different came into my body and I just wanted to cry.”

(source: HuffPost)

Trump Doubles Down On Ending Birthright Citizenship

Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant today defending his plan to repeal birthright citizenship saying it "costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens."
Donald Trump

Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant today defending his plan to repeal birthright citizenship saying it “costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens.”

He added that the practice “will be ended one way or the other.”

The Trumpster concluded the screed with a statement I might just agree with in part:

Trump Attacks Paul Ryan Over Birthright Citizenship

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

President Donald Trump aimed his Twitter account at Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on today, saying Ryan “knows nothing” about birthright citizenship.

This comes after Trump shared in an interview with Axios that he plans to sign an executive order eliminating the right to citizenship for children born in the United States.

Doing so would obviously clash with the 14th Amendment.

In an interview with radio station WVLK on Tuesday, Ryan responded to Trump’s announcement, saying he “obviously cannot do that.”

“Well, you obviously cannot do that,” Ryan said. “You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. We didn’t like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executive action, and obviously as conservatives, we believe in the Constitution.”

The Trumpster clapped back on Twitter.

Trump Wants To Repeal 14th Amendment, Ending Birthright Citizenship, Via Executive Order

Donald Trump

In an interview with Axios‘ Jonathan Swan, Donald Trump shared that he hopes to repeal the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution via executive order.

Trump plans to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil as provided by the 14th Amendment.

From NPR:

“You can definitely do it with an act of Congress,” Trump said in the Axios on HBO interview. “But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”

He added, “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years, with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous, and it has to end.”

Birthright citizenship is the law of at least 30 countries, including many U.S. neighbors in North and South America. All of the countries in Europe grant citizenship by jus sanguinis — by “right of blood.”

The president said he has spoken about the issue with the White House counsel. As for when he might act, Trump said, “It’s in the process. It’ll happen — with an executive order.”

The 14th Amendment’s first sentence reads, “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.”

That’s pretty clear, right?

In 1898, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Wong Kim Ark that a child born to Chinese immigrants who were legal residents was a birthright U.S. citizen under the 14th Amendment.

In order to change a constitutional amendment, you would need to either amend the 14th Amendment via Congress or ask the Supreme Court to overturn its earlier interpretation of the law.

Vice President Pence told Politico today that Trump administration is, indeed, exploring the executive order, and added that the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled definitively on the 14th Amendment.

“We all cherish the language of the 14th Amendment, but the Supreme Court of the United States has never ruled on whether or not the language of the 14th Amendment subject to the jurisdiction thereof applies specifically to people who are in the country illegally,” Pence said.