Debbie Mucarsel-Powell slams decision denying citizenship to troops’ children
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Donald Trump administration will now longer automatically naturally children of military stationed overseas.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell slammed a decision to deny automatic citizenship to children of troops born overseas.

The Miami Democrat lashed out at the policy unrolled this week by President Donald Trump‘s administration.

“So long as Trump is in office, his policies will attack everyone — hardworking Americans, immigrants, and now, service members,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

She responded to a memo issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Wednesday alerting a change to policy.

“USCIS no longer considers children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States as ‘residing in the United States’ for purposes of acquiring citizenship,” the memo reads.

That effectively means children born of troops, diplomats and any other American government employee while stationed overseas won’t automatically be considered U.S. citizens.

The new policy goes into effect on Oct. 29.

The policy notably would have denied citizenship for former Republican presidential candidate John McCain. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone.

An Ecuadorian immigrant herself, Mucarsel-Powell has been an outspoken defender of immigrants. The expansion of the definition immigrant upset her, she made clear in her statement.

“Even the families of people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country are not safe from his [Trump’s] cruel politics,” she said.

The CIS memo makes clear parents who are U.S. citizens can apply to have their children become citizens as well.

“The child of a member of the U.S. armed forces accompanying his or her parent abroad on official orders may be eligible to complete all aspects of the naturalization proceedings abroad,” the memo states.

“This includes interviews, filings, oaths, ceremonies, or other proceedings relating to naturalization.”

Any children issued certificates of citizenship before Oct. 29 won’t be affected by the change in policy.

This marks a change to policy in place since 2004. The change comes thanks in part to a 2008 statute that made clear spouses of U.S. service members stationed overseas can claim U.S. residency for the sake of naturalization, but no such provision was made in the law for children born overseas.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].



    August 29, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    You’d think the person that wrote the article would check the facts to see how correct she was or wasn’t. Go figure, you can’t believe much of anything you read nowadays and have to check the facts yourself.

  • Karen

    August 29, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    More FAKE news! Ogles should be fired!!

  • Paul

    August 29, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Just another attack on the President without even understanding what the policy really is stating. All politicians need to take a deep breath before attacking another politician and make sure the understand what the are addressing.

  • gary lopez

    September 1, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Jacob is #FakeNews

Comments are closed.


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