What Happens When Birthright Citizenship Is Abolished?

During President Donald Trump’s election, he released a policy paper that outlined his desire to abolish birthright citizenship. This proclamation left many immigrants scared and confused about how such a change could affect them. Read on to learn more about this prospective change.

What is Birthright Citizenship?

Birthright citizenship bestows all citizenship rights upon someone simply by virtue of being born on U.S. soil. This may include being born within the United States, on a service base of the United States or certain other areas specific to U.S. land.

Where does this Right come from?

Birthright citizenship is described in the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution. This amendment provides that all individuals who are born in the United States are citizens of this country. Therefore, even if a person’s parents did not have lawful status in the country, a child born in the United States will have all of the same rights that citizens enjoy. Because this right is included in a federal amendment, it would most likely require a repeal of the amendment to effectuate this change. A repeal would require a vote of two thirds of both houses of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

Why do People want to Remove this Right?

Some individuals believe that birthright citizenship gives people an incentive to come into the country unlawfully so that their children can have the rights of a citizen. Some people mistakenly believe that having a child as an American citizen will automatically confer certain rights on undocumented parents, such as qualifying them for governmental assistance or giving them a right to legal status. An immigration lawyer can explain the distinctions between having a child who is a citizen and a parent who is not a citizen.

What are the Potential Consequences of Removing this Right?

Removing birthright citizenship would mean that children who were born in the United States would not automatically become citizens. Because the United States prohibits ex post facto laws, the law could not cause an existing citizen to lose his or her citizenship. However, children born after such a law was passed may only be recognized as a citizen if other conditions were present, such as one or both parents being citizens. This would cause many individuals to still be in the country but be denied rights that others received.

Contact an Immigration Lawyer Today

If you are concerned about how this prospective change could affect you or how other immigration laws may affect you, contact our immigration lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC. We can discuss your circumstances and advise you of your legal rights.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Birthright Citizenship, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.