Military parents shouldn’t be punished for being stationed overseas – Washington Examiner
The Trump administration has just insulted our military by making it harder for some of them to gain citizenship for their children.
The new “Policy Alert” promulgated by the Trump team ought to be recalled immediately and apologized for, and should never again even be considered.
The new policy will add bureaucratic hurdles to acquisition of citizenship for children of some service members and other U.S. government employees stationed abroad.
Here’s the new policy language, applying to a certain subset of children who are not (under current or previous law) born as citizens: “Effective October 29, 2019, children residing abroad with their U.S. citizen parents who are U.S. government employees or members of the U.S. armed forces stationed abroad are not considered to be residing in the United States for acquisition of citizenship.” Instead of automatic citizenship for the child, the parents now must “apply for citizenship on the child’s behalf.”
What’s the point? If the parents are abroad at the orders of the government, but are otherwise full citizens themselves, why in tarnation should they need to “apply” for anything?
The administration’s defenders say the number of families affected will be minuscule. So what? Why should a single set of parents, both citizens, serving their country, be required to take extra steps to make their children citizens? It’s the very concept, not the frequency of its applicability, which is objectionable.
There’s been plenty of confusion about who this affects and how, but this much is clear: Two different military families with identical immigration situations will be treated differently based on where the military places them; the family stationed in Germany will, under this new rule, have to work harder to gain citizenship for their child than will the family stationed in Ft. Bragg.
The administration on one hand claims that it is merely clarifying existing law, but in its own official policy alert memo it openly calls the move a “policy change.”
Why make the change at all? It’s as if this administration is so obsessed with being hardliners against foreigners that it is inventing foreigners where they don’t exist, by treating U.S. citizens almost as aliens.
Worse, immigration law is already so convoluted, and this new language itself is written so confusingly, that the administration’s own explanations seemed to contradict themselves regarding which categories of families would be affected, and interpretations even from expert legal analysts available online differed as well.