Before and after President Donald Trump assumed office, officials have been discussing the idea of ending the 150-year-old practice of granting citizenship to children born in the United States or one of its territories. Bizarrely, the idea of the immigration policy overhaul is based on a myth.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that all those born in the U.S. are granted “birthright citizenship.” When it comes to choosing a deportation defense or seeking legal ways to remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time or even to become a U.S. citizen, many immigrants – and public officials, for that matter – still believe that the immigrant parents of the child born in the U.S. can gain citizenship through their citizen children.
We brought our Salt Lake City deportation defense attorney from the Familia America Immigration law firm to debunk the myth.
Can a US-born child be used to gain citizenship?
Many critics of the immigration law argue believe that citizen children allow illegal immigrant parents access some of America’s benefits such as free public education and social services. In reality, however, only the illegal immigrants’ children born in the U.S. have a legal right to have all the benefits provided for a U.S. citizen.
Having a U.S. citizen child, meanwhile, does not help the parents seek U.S. citizenship or use it as a deportation defense to avoid being removed from the country. Our Salt Lake City deportation defense lawyer says that there is only a tiny chance that an illegal immigrant can benefit from having a U.S. citizen child in regards to pursuing citizenship or using it a successful defense in an immigration court.
A very unpractical deportation defense
Here at the Familia America Immigration law firm, our attorneys receive this question over and over again: “I am an illegal and undocumented immigrant who has a child born in the U.S. Can I use this as a deportation defense?”
The short answer to the question is: you could, but that would not be practical at all. You see, an illegal immigrant parent of a U.S.-born child faces the same risk of deportation as any other immigrant without U.S. citizen children. This is because the immigration law grants citizenship to the child, not the parents.
Using US-born baby as deportation defense is possible, but…
When we say that it would not be practical to use your U.S.-born child – or the so-called “anchor baby” – as a deportation defense, we mean that there is actually a way an illegal immigrant parent can benefit from having a U.S. citizen baby. But wait until you hear this…
In order to obtain U.S. citizenship through your U.S.-born child, you would have to wait until the child reaches the age of 21 when he or she gains a legal right to apply for his parents to obtain a visa or green card. In such a way, the parents would be allowed to enter the U.S. territory legally. However, it is not as simple as it seems.
Not only does it mean that you would have to wait more than two decades to actually benefit from this immigration strategy to gain U.S. citizenship, but would also face a 3-year or 10-year ban on reentering the U.S. if a background check reveals that you have been in the country unlawfully (when conceiving and/or giving birth to the child) for more than 180 days but less than one year or a year or more, respectively.
Our Salt Lake City deportation defense attorney says that there are far better ways to avoid deportation and build a strong legal case to prevent your removal from the country. Find out what is the best legal strategy in your particular case by contacting the Familia America Immigration law firm today.