Rep. Cisneros issues statement on passage of Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act

Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (D-CA-39) released the following statement after the House passed his co-sponsored bipartisan legislation, H.R. 4803, the Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act. In August, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a rule change, effective October 29, 2019, that makes it more difficult for children born abroad to servicemembers and civil servants serving overseas to acquire citizenship. In response, Rep. Cisneros led a letter with his colleagues asking USCIS to reconsider the proposal. The Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act makes it easier for children born outside of the U.S. to acquire citizenship.

“Our active-duty servicemembers and civil servants should not be penalized for committing to serve our country overseas,” said Rep. Cisneros. “Denying their children automatic citizenship of the country they choose to serve is shameful and a discredit to their sacrifices. Rather than make the immigration system more difficult to navigate for our military families, we need to move forward with common-sense fixes. I’m glad I was able to join with my colleagues on this bipartisan solution that does right by these children and their parents.”

Current citizenship law disadvantages some children born abroad from establishing U.S. residency, which in turn leads to a lengthy naturalization process. When the child’s parents are stationed abroad in furtherance of a U.S. military or civil service commitment, those complications are unnecessarily bureaucratic. The Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act would allow lawful permanent resident children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces or federal government employees who are residing overseas to automatically acquire citizenship if one of the parents is stationed or residing overseas in service of our military or other federal agency. The Act would help parents avoid the inconvenience, expense, and paperwork delays required under current law and continue their service commitment without interruption.

Rep. Cisneros is a Navy veteran and a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

This article was released by the Office of Gil Cisneros.