Immigration in the United States has been on a steady decline, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by turning on the news or listening to a political debate. While immigration has been a primary talking point of this administration, the latest focus has shifted to children of immigrants. More specifically, children born to a non-legal United States citizen or someone who was not a citizen at the time of the child’s birth. Up until now, these children have been protected. However, a threat to this practice through mention of an Executive Order and an inference that the Constitution has been misinterpreted for decades hangs a heavy cloud over our country.
The idea of birthright citizenship or the concept that someone born into a community becomes a member of that community has been around long before any of us. Across the world, more than thirty countries provide birthright citizenship. In the United States at the end of the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was ratified. The amendment ensured that former slaves and the current and future children of former slaves would have full rights as citizens in the US. Today, children born in the United States are still guaranteed unconditional protections under the 14th Amendment regardless of the citizenship status of their parents.
More than four million children in the United States have access to citizenship through their birthright. Over half live with one or two undocumented parents while a smaller percentage live with one undocumented parent and one parent that is a legal citizen.
Though it would be difficult for an Executive Order to bypass any one of a number of legal hurdles to effectively end birthright citizenship, its end would remove the right to citizenship for children whose parents are not citizens. Children born in the United States to undocumented parents would be deemed undocumented even though generations of their family would have lived on American soil. The Order could be applied retroactively or could be enforced moving forward as a means of deterring further immigration. Either way would be impactful. Individuals that are not citizens face implications in health care, education, government benefits, and voting rights.
In Connecticut alone, there are over 20,000 children that have been born in the United States that are living with at least one undocumented parent. If you believe you or your family could be affected by the end of birthright citizenship, reach out to Dehghani & Associates, LLC today to speak with one of our local New Haven immigration attorneys.
Based in New Haven, our dedicated staff led by Attorney Kevin Dehghani knows the ins and outs of immigration law. Attorney Dehghani has represented clients at all levels and his tenacity has set numerous precedents in the courts. We fight for what is right, which means fighting for you. Contact us today at (203) 773-9513 for a consultation.