'Disgusting and disgraceful': Sen. Tammy Duckworth condemns new citizenship policy for kids of overseas U.S. service members

  
Via:  tessylo  •  3 weeks ago  •  42 comments

'Disgusting and disgraceful': Sen. Tammy Duckworth condemns new citizenship policy for kids of overseas U.S. service members

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'Disgusting and disgraceful': Sen. Tammy Duckworth condemns new citizenship policy for kids of overseas U.S. service members



9197dca0-94e1-11e6-9718-4d4a4a2e45f0_US-   Caitlin Dickson   13 hours ago  






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Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A policy change announced by the Trump administration this week that would end automatic citizenship for the children of certain U.S. military personnel or government employees stationed abroad was denounced as “disgusting and disgraceful” by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

The change would apply to the offspring of certain members of the U.S. military and government employees stationed abroad, who are are now automatically granted citizenship. The parents of those children could apply for citizenship for them, but it would not be guaranteed.

Administration officials said the number of children affected by the change would be small, but Duckworth and other critics said the policy represented a slap in the face to service members and civil servants.

I must strongly reject any attempt to minimize the abhorrent nature of a policy by noting that the population harmed is relatively small,” Duckworth wrote in a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, on Thursday.

In the letter, which was first obtained by Yahoo News, Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both her legs in combat, urged USCIS to immediately rescind the policy, calling it “confusing, cynical, unnecessary and unfair.”

“What purpose does this new policy serve other than sending the deeply offensive message that certain children born to Americans serving their Nation abroad are somehow ‘lesser’ individuals and unworthy of automatic citizenship?” asked Duckworth.

The policy change,  which was announced Wednesday , prompted an immediate wave of backlash and confusion. In response, acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli offered a more detailed explanation of the change in  a statement posted to Twitter , which he prefaced with another tweet stating “some people are freaking out over nothing.”


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Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Officials continued to defend the move on Thursday,  telling reporters  that the change would have an impact on only a “handful” of families each year, and that those families would still have the opportunity to obtain citizenship for their children.

But Duckworth and others are pushing back against this interpretation, arguing that while the overall volume of people affected by this policy change may be relatively small, the significant effect on those families should not be dismissed.

“They’re trying to spin it as ‘This is no big deal, it doesn’t really change anything,’ but that’s not really accurate,” said Martin Lester, a Tennessee-based immigration attorney and vice chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Military Assistance Program Committee, which helps match qualifying members of the military with pro bono immigration attorneys.

Lester argued that the full scope of the policy change won’t really be known until after it goes into effect, but he acknowledged that “it’s certainly going to affect some people, and for those people it will be a very serious and meaningful change.”

Currently, children of U.S. service members and government employees stationed abroad are automatically granted U.S. citizenship. But   under the new policy, which is slated to take effect on Oct. 29, certain children will no longer be entitled to automatic citizenship. Instead, their parents will now be required to formally apply for U.S. citizenship on their child’s behalf under a separate statute — a more costly and complicated process through which they are not even guaranteed to qualify.

Duckworth also denounced the steep cost of seeking citizenship for those families who would be affected by the new policy change.

“Forcing certain U.S. service members, military families and civil servants to pay an application fee of $1,170 and to jump through bureaucratic hoops to ‘prove’ their children are worthy of citizenship is disgusting and disgraceful,” she wrote.

According to  a flow chart  released by USCIS on Thursday (as part of the agency’s apparent effort to address confusion surrounding the new policy), categories of children who may no longer be eligible for automatic citizenship include those born to non-U.S. citizens, such as green card holders who are serving in the military or employed by the government overseas, as well as the adopted children of U.S. citizens stationed abroad. Children born to one or two U.S. citizen parents who do not meet existing requirements of physical presence in the United States to transmit citizenship may also be affected by the policy.

The response from those potentially affected has been fierce. Jose Hernandez-Paris, an executive committee member of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a coalition of major immigrant and refugee rights organizations, said in a statement : “As someone who served in the North Carolina National Guard, and as the brother of a veteran, with a nephew who may not be a citizen if this policy was in effect when he was born, I am appalled by the Trump administration’s willingness to leave no one in our community un-attacked and prevented from citizenship, even the children of those who have served this country and have been willing to risk their lives.”

“It is unacceptable for this administration to place the ‘second wall’ barriers on those who bravely represent us every day,” he continued.

Critics, echoing Duckworth, also questioned the purpose of such a policy change.

“What problem it was designed to solve? What threat it was designed to eliminate? There wasn’t one,” said Lester. “It’s just one more piece of the [Trump] administration’s ongoing policy to cut back on lawful immigration and who is considered American.”

“When you’re willing to go after the children of soldiers overseas, where exactly do you plan to stop?” he asked.









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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

 I must strongly reject any attempt to minimize the abhorrent nature of a policy by noting that the population harmed is relatively small,” Duckworth wrote in a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, on Thursday.

In the letter, which was first obtained by Yahoo News, Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both her legs in combat, urged USCIS to immediately rescind the policy, calling it “confusing, cynical, unnecessary and unfair.”

“What purpose does this new policy serve other than sending the deeply offensive message that certain children born to Americans serving their Nation abroad are somehow ‘lesser’ individuals and unworthy of automatic citizenship?” asked Duckworth.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

The response from those potentially affected has been fierce. Jose Hernandez-Paris, an executive committee member of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a coalition of major immigrant and refugee rights organizations, said in a statement : “As someone who served in the North Carolina National Guard, and as the brother of a veteran, with a nephew who may not be a citizen if this policy was in effect when he was born, I am appalled by the Trump administration’s willingness to leave no one in our community un-attacked and prevented from citizenship, even the children of those who have served this country and have been willing to risk their lives.”

“It is unacceptable for this administration to place the ‘second wall’ barriers on those who bravely represent us every day,” he continued.

Critics, echoing Duckworth, also questioned the purpose of such a policy change.

“What problem it was designed to solve? What threat it was designed to eliminate? There wasn’t one,” said Lester. “It’s just one more piece of the [Trump] administration’s ongoing policy to cut back on lawful immigration and who is considered American.”

“When you’re willing to go after the children of soldiers overseas, where exactly do you plan to stop?” he asked.

 
 
 
MUVA
3  MUVA    3 weeks ago

So if you are (adopted ) by a service member or diplomat  overseas you have to apply for citizenship so no it isn't ending birth right citizenship. My family between my dad, uncle's , brother, and me have over 80 years of military  service don't have a problem with this policy. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  MUVA @3    3 weeks ago

Of course you don't.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  MUVA @3    3 weeks ago

Where in the piece does it say any fucking thing about adopted children?

 
 
 
MUVA
3.2.1  MUVA  replied to  Tessylo @3.2    3 weeks ago

Read your own seed it is right there.

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.2.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  MUVA @3.2.1    3 weeks ago

My mistake

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  MUVA @3    3 weeks ago

Your family's history of military service has nothing to do with this seed or policy since you were all born in this country.

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.3.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3    3 weeks ago

My thoughts too.  What does his family history of service have to do with this?

 
 
 
MUVA
3.3.2  MUVA  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3    3 weeks ago

I was responding to the seed take another look if mine doesn’t then the person in the seed service doesn’t count.

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.3.3  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  MUVA @3.3.2    3 weeks ago

Remember, coherence is key.  

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3.3.4  Trout Giggles  replied to  MUVA @3.3.2    3 weeks ago

This policy change will be effecting children born to non-US citizens who are serving in the Armed Forces or Civil Service. Haven't you established that your father and uncles were born in this country? So what does their and your service have to do with the price of peaches in Johnson County, Arkansas?

 
 
 
MUVA
3.3.5  MUVA  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3.4    3 weeks ago

My dad lives in Greenwood.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3.3.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  MUVA @3.3.5    3 weeks ago

That's near Ft Smith, isn't it?

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.4  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  MUVA @3    3 weeks ago
So if you are (adopted ) by a service member or diplomat  overseas you have to apply for citizenship so no it isn't ending birth right citizenship.

"Children born to one or two U.S. citizen parents who do not meet existing requirements of physical presence in the United States to transmit citizenship may also be affected by the policy."

So while adopted children would be effected by this new rule, so would those born to U.S. citizens. Focusing on the "adopted" part and ignoring the "born to" seems disingenuous at best.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.4.1  MUVA  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.4    3 weeks ago

You are wrong it only effects non citizens children it does not effect citizens in the  service overseas.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.4.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  MUVA @3.4.1    3 weeks ago
You are wrong it only effects non citizens children it does not effect citizens in the  service overseas.

I merely quoted from the above article, so if that is incorrect then its the article that is wrong.

"According to  a flow chart  released by USCIS on Thursday (as part of the agency’s apparent effort to address confusion surrounding the new policy), categories of children who may no longer be eligible for automatic citizenship include those born to non-U.S. citizens, such as green card holders who are serving in the military or employed by the government overseas, as well as the adopted children of U.S. citizens stationed abroad. Children born to one or two U.S. citizen parents who do not meet existing requirements of physical presence in the United States to transmit citizenship may also be affected by the policy ."

 
 
 
Tessylo
4  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

I'm sure white folks are just fine.

They just don't want those darker hued dusky folks.  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Tessylo @4    3 weeks ago

A very inappropriate comment!

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @4.1    3 weeks ago

Yeah, tRump is always making inappropriate comments and policies, or should I say Stephen Miller.  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Too bad Trump is not the topic. Please do try to stay on the subject at hand being discussed instead of deflecting.

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1.3  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

[Deleted]  This is my seed and you are welcome to skedaddle.  

Who says this 'president' is not the topic?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Tessylo @4    3 weeks ago

As I am one of those "darker hued dusky folks" of Mexican/American and Native American heritage, I find your comment to be offensive whether you were joking or not.

[Ed, Tessy was not making a statement expressing racist sentiments of her own.  She was complaining about what she perceives as the racism of those setting immigration policy, which is perfectly allowable.]

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.2.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @4.2    3 weeks ago

I don't care.  

Again, it's fine with me if you just skedaddle.  

If you find it so offensive, why comment at all?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4.2.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Tessylo @4.2.1    3 weeks ago

Why should I give you the satisfaction? Besides, I don't run.

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.2.3  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @4.2.2    3 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5  Trout Giggles    3 weeks ago

If it's "no big deal" then why change it?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6  Ed-NavDoc    3 weeks ago

In this instance, I find myself in complete agreement with Senator Duckworth's sentiments. What is being proposed presents potentially unwarranted and unneeded personal and financial hardships on our military and civil service personnel serving overseas on behalf of our country. They deserve better than this. I served my country for 20 years in uniform that included two tours overseas in the Philippines and New Zealand from 1973 through 1993 and had many friends who had children born overseas. All that was needed for the parents was submit copies of the birth certificates to the local American Consulate or Embassy and citizenship for the child/children was automatically granted. Adopted children generally was more involved, but I never saw one instance of problems about adopted children.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6    3 weeks ago
financial hardships on our military and civil service personnel

1,100 dollars can be a lot of money for an E1-E6 to come up with just to have their baby declared a US citizen. Even when I was an E5 and my husband was an E6, it was hard to come up with that kind of money at one time.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
6.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1    3 weeks ago

You are 100% correct. Imagine for the parents of twins or triplets. On more than one occasion, I and my coworkers gladly put together a pool to help defray said costs to help the young sailors who worked for me.

 
 
 
lady in black
7  lady in black    3 weeks ago

But I thought trump loved the military....just another way to fuck over American citizens....

 
 
 
MUVA
7.1  MUVA  replied to  lady in black @7    3 weeks ago

But they are not citizens.

 
 
 
Tessylo
7.1.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  MUVA @7.1    3 weeks ago

Don't you think if they served this country, they should be granted citizenship?

 
 
 
MUVA
7.1.2  MUVA  replied to  Tessylo @7.1.1    3 weeks ago

Yes but the child of a person you married should have to apply along with their non citizen parent.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
7.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  lady in black @7    3 weeks ago

He doesn't love anything except himself and money

 
 
 
MUVA
7.2.1  MUVA  replied to  Trout Giggles @7.2    3 weeks ago

Why is always personal we disagree there is no reason to be ugly.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
7.2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  MUVA @7.2.1    3 weeks ago

He's an ugly man with an ugly soul. Just fighting fire with fire

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
7.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  MUVA @7.2.1    3 weeks ago

You don't think I meant you only cared about yourself and money, did you?

 
 
 
MUVA
7.2.4  MUVA  replied to  Trout Giggles @7.2.3    3 weeks ago

I did I apologize I reread your comment have a good day even though we disagree.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
7.2.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  MUVA @7.2.4    3 weeks ago

You have a good day, too, and have a safe and happy holiday

 
 
 
Freefaller
8  Freefaller    3 weeks ago

Speaking from personal experience I can tell you I was not a fan of having to apply to be a legal immigrant to the only country I had ever known simply because I was born to parents who were serving in the military out of country at my birth. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
9  Drakkonis    3 weeks ago

I'm a little confused about exactly what's the problem. As I understand it...

The agency said the reason for the policy update was because it conflicted with the definition of “residence” under a part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) enacted in 2008 after existing guidance was issued. It also had conflicted with State Department guidance, which it said could lead to “inconsistent” decisions on citizenship claims, according to the agency.

From what this says, we've been in violation of a policy enacted during the Obama administration and this just brings us in line with it. Not sure what everyone is so worked up about. 

 
 
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