People who immigrate to the United States are sometimes interested in how they can become citizens. It may be a multi-step process. For instance, someone could come to the United States because they get a job, using an employment visa. They could then get married and use their status to get a green card. After becoming a permanent resident, they could begin working on their citizenship.
But things can be a lot easier for someone’s children. If they are born in the United States, they are granted birthright citizenship. They don’t have to do anything else or adjust their status. This is simply a right granted to U.S. citizens under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If someone is born within the country’s borders, they are an American.
Does their parents’ status matter?
No, the status of the parents has no bearing on where the child was born or what status they are given at birth.
For instance, say that the child’s parents never became citizens, but just lived in the country with a green card, as permanent residents. The child would still be a citizen. Their parents are not obligated to alter their status before having children, and the child does not have to take any further steps later in life.
Is this controversial?
This isn’t really a controversial subject, as it has just been how the law works since the 14th Amendment was passed back in 1866. But there are those who do not support the idea of birthright citizenship. That’s why it is important to keep an eye on changing immigration laws – although this right is granted by the Constitution and is therefore much less likely to ever change in the future. Even so, immigrants must be aware of all their legal rights and obligations.