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International Relations

US Birthright Citizenship

  • 01 Nov 2018
  • 2 min read

US president Donald Trump has recently said that he will bring an executive order to end birthright citizenship in the US to clamp down on illegal migrants.

Birthright Citizenship

  • The 14th amendment to US constitution states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are the citizen of United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
  • The 14th amendment was passed by Congress in 1866 after the Civil War and was adopted in 1868 after ratification from 3/4th states.
  • 14th amendment was aimed at giving citizenship rights to former slaves and their descendants.
  • This amendment has been interpreted to give children born in the US, even to non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants, the right to US citizenship.
  • Two exceptions to this right are the children born to enemy aliens or children of Diplomats posted in the United States.

Anchor Babies

  • Anchor babies are children born to non-citizen residents in a country with birthright citizenship.
  • Such children are citizens of that country by virtue of their birth and hence can sponsor the citizenship of their parents after they have become adult.

Jus Soli

  • Jus Soli (Latin: Right of the soil) means a rule that the citizenship of a child is determined by the place of its birth or simply, birthright citizenship.
  • More than 30 countries subscribe to the principle of jus soli. Jus soli is law in Canada, the United States and almost all countries in South and Central America.
  • In Europe, 8 countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom) have strong jus soli dispositions, where children born from foreign parents can acquire nationality quite easily (for example, in France, with a 5 years residency condition).
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