Trump’s State Dept Denies Birthright Citizenship to Kids of LGBT Couples Born Abroad

Trump's State Dept Denies Birthright Citizenship to Kids of LGBT Couples Born Abroad

President Donald Trump’s State Department is quietly de-recognizing the marriages of some LGBT couples, and using that as an excuse to then deny their children birthright citizenship.

The policy specifically deals with an interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that sets forth the conditions for eligibility for birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

According to the State Department website, “The U.S. Department of State interprets the INA to mean that a child born abroad must be biologically related to a U.S. citizen parent. Even if local law recognizes a surrogacy agreement and finds that U.S. parents are the legal parents of a child conceived and born abroad… if the child does not have a biological connection to a U.S. citizen parent, the child will not be a U.S. citizen at birth.”

The policy doesn’t end there, however. According to the State Department, children who are born using assisted reproductive technology (ART) or gestational surrogacy are considered to be “out of wedlock,” even if their parents are legally married. Children born out of wedlock face greater challenges when it comes to inheriting birthright citizenship.

Not only do parents have to prove their genetic link to their children, but they must also be able to prove that they can support their children financially and that they have been present in the U.S. for at least five years prior to the birth.

There is no legal basis for the State Department’s interpretation of the policy. The INA itself makes no reference to proving biological relationships when determining the citizenship of children born abroad to U.S. parents.

President Trump has long promised executive orders to end birthright citizenship for undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil. Often slurred as “anchor babies,” conservatives have accused immigrants of having these children for the sole purpose of giving their parents a foothold in the U.S.

But this policy seems more targeted specifically at LGBT couples. When a heterosexual married couple enters the U.S. with their children, there is often an “assumption of parentage.” The State Department is not applying the same assumption to LGBT parents. Due to their non-traditional family structure, LGBT couples are automatically subjected to greater scrutiny.

This interpretation isn’t only concerning to couples returning to the U.S. It also means that thousands of children already in the country, living with their biological parents, could be subject to deportation. In addition, children who have been conceived using in-vitro fertilization using an egg and sperm not genetically related to the parents could be denied their citizenship as well.

For now, the fight has been taken to the courts.

Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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