A child who was born outside the US to an illegal immigrant has no legal right to citizenship, despite various efforts by legislators; however, the child who is born in the US to an illegal immigrant automatically becomes a citizen, regardless of the parents’ immigration status. As a US citizen, the child has all the rights afforded to other citizens; they can run for office, vote and be safe from deportation.
Attempts to Change Immigrant Children’s Citizenship Rights
Many within the US believe that children of undocumented immigrants should not get US citizenship. These people believe that allowing the practice wasn’t the intent of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, because there was no immigration law at that time; however, no real changes are planned as of the time of this writing.
Can a Child’s Citizenship Status Help Parents with Immigration?
Although parents of US citizens are immediate relatives, citizens cannot use the relation as a way to help parents immigrate until the citizen turns 21. If a person is planning in this regard, they should consult an immigration lawyer on a regular basis. Under current laws, if a person is illegally living in the US, they can find it difficult to get a green card through their child’s citizenship.
The above stipulation is important for this reason: once a person leaves the US to apply for a green card at a consulate in their home country, they become subject to inadmissibility based on immigration law as explained below.
* Those in the US illegally for over 180 days will be barred from re-entering the US for three years.
* Those in the US illegally for over a year will be barred from returning to the US for ten years.
* A permanent bar exists for those who were deported or who stayed in the US for a year or more, even if the time wasn’t consecutive. However, a person can apply for a visa after the ten years have passed.
Unless a person is subject to a permanent ban, they can work off the ban period by leaving the US either three or ten years before the green card process begins. However, they should discuss such tactics with an immigration lawyer first. If a person has a child in the US and they are here illegally, they should talk to an immigration attorney at website for a detailed analysis and an exploration of legal options.