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  • Does this sound fair?

    Can anybody please explain to me why in these days of DNA testing, unmarried American fathers are still treated differently to unwed mothers when it comes to passing on citizenship? I am the adult daughter of a U.S. citizen father, who was told rather cruelly - despite having an American dad who has loved and supported me my whole life - that I cannot get an American passport because I was born out of wedlock. Then I found out that had my dad been a woman, I would have been considered a citizen from birth. How on earth are the immigration laws allowed to discriminate against people for reasons like this? Not all unmarried fathers are abandoning their foreign born children, my father is a great example - so why is the law set up to protect those who do?

  • #2
    Can anybody please explain to me why in these days of DNA testing, unmarried American fathers are still treated differently to unwed mothers when it comes to passing on citizenship? I am the adult daughter of a U.S. citizen father, who was told rather cruelly - despite having an American dad who has loved and supported me my whole life - that I cannot get an American passport because I was born out of wedlock. Then I found out that had my dad been a woman, I would have been considered a citizen from birth. How on earth are the immigration laws allowed to discriminate against people for reasons like this? Not all unmarried fathers are abandoning their foreign born children, my father is a great example - so why is the law set up to protect those who do?

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    • #3
      U.S. immigration laws have changed overtime and no one knows what's going on at times.
      Before 1924 the case was exactly the opposite.
      If a child was born out of wedlock, the child could only get U.S. citizenship after the U.S. citizen father, but not the mother.
      I know this was the case with my grandmother who was born in the 1920's out of wedlock and could not only obtain citizenship after her USC father; her mother, my great grand mother was out of question. That was back then and no one knows why?

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      • #4
        Do you really wanna know why?
        OK, here's why:
        Immigration system doesn't consider it a good idea rewarding somebody with the US citizenship/passport when mother's consent to se.x that resulted in child's birth was "five dollah, please".

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        • #5
          I thought that if it can be proved that a "father-child" relationship was established before the child's eighteenth birtday, then the child could get citizenship. Hmmm. Maybe that's just necessary so that he can sponsor the child for PR?

          I don't think it's fair at all. Maybe they are trying to discourage foreign women from getting pregnant by Americans just to eventually gain access to this country? I don't know.
          Have a nice day

          Comment


          • #6
            I am sorry sup, but you have got me mad. I'm not gonna let you say that about my mother who has lived with my father and taken care of me my whole entire life. Not all illegitimate children are born as you put it "five dollah, please!" - so you should get that rather nasty and pathetic little thought right out of your head. I have a different theory... the immigration system gives American fathers the right to go spread their seed all over the world, and have the option to take no responsibility whatsoever - with their blessing. It's all be based on the old fashioned view that children are a woman's responsibility. Unfortunately us born with good decent fathers - like myself - are the victims in all of this. No matter how much evidence of a loving relationship we can provide. Our citizenship is taken away after a certain age - simply for not knowing that "illegitimate" people are treated differently in America.

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            • #7
              Sounds like you have a loving father who has been an important player in your life. At least you have that. There are a ton of "legitimate" children with US passports who have a very crumby relationship w/their father.
              Have a nice day

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              • #8
                Thanks for your response Gluhbirn. It's crazy isn't it. I've been sitting here desperately trying to look up information on the internet that might help me understand more as to why I was refused citizenship, and I'm not getting very far. Only positive thing I have managed to find in my favour is something called The Father's Equity Act.. a bill which was introduced by congresswoman Shiela Jackson-Lee last year I think, what has happened with this, anybody know?

                Comment


                • #9
                  It does not sound fair, although, you must admit that laws pass for particular reasons. Part of your problem is the result of out-of-wedlock born children to U.S. service members during the Southeast Asia (a.k.a. Vietnam) conflict. A large amount of children were the result of prostution and abonedened by both their biological parents, the U.S. government granted them citizenship and took care of them in a 'humanitarian' gesture.

                  Unfortunate for you that your father did not register you as your biological child with the State deprt. in the U.S. consulate when you were born. A surpreme court decision confirmed that binding, clear evidence must exist that emotional/financial support and close ties to you existed by your FATHER before you reached your 26th.

                  I'm pressuming that he is not living at this time, as this will imensely complicate (but not make it impossible) for you to claim U.S. citizenship. Please read the following article and see if something applies to you there or consult a good attorney. Too many factor are involved that will determine if you can claim U.S. citizenship or not. Good luck!

                  _______________________________________________

                  On October 25, 1994, President Clinton signed into law the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 (INTCA, Public Law No. 103-416). The law which was passed with little fanfare contains the most significant changes to the laws concerning the acquisition of citizenship in sixty years.

                  THE LAW OF ACQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP
                  The immigration law has always allowed certain children born abroad to acquire citizenship at birth if one or both of the parents were U.S. citizens at the time of the child's birth. The laws governing the acquisition of citizenship at birth have been modified on numerous occasions.
                  Before May 24, 1934, only citizen fathers of child born abroad could transmit citizenship to their offspring. After that date, the law was amended to allow citizen mothers and fathers to transmit U.S. citizenship to their children. However, this amendment was not retroactive. A child born abroad on May 23, 1934 whose mother was a U.S. citizen and whose father was an alien, did not become a U.S. citizen at birth like his counterpart who was lucky enough to be born a day later.

                  Also, between 1934 and 1978, the law imposed a "retention" requirement upon children born abroad who had one parent who was a U.S. citizen and one parent who was an alien. Not only was the U.S. citizen parent required to reside in the U.S. for a fixed period of time before the child's birth, but the child was required to be present in the U.S. for a specific period of time during his youth. If a child failed to meet this retention requirement, she automatically lost his U.S. citizenship.

                  THE COURTS INTERVENE
                  A person born abroad before May 24, 1934 of a citizen mother and an alien father sued the State Department stating that the pre-1934 law denying him citizenship deprived him of the equal protection of the law. Why should he be treated any differently than a person with a citizen father and an alien mother? In 1993, a federal appeals court ruled in his favor.
                  Regarding the retention requirement, the Supreme Court held in the 1970s that only Congress has the authority to impose or remove this requirement. In 1978, after the Court's decision, Congress amended the law to eliminate the retention requirement, but only for persons who had not already lost their citizenship due to their failure to meet the retention requirement.

                  THE NEW LAW
                  Section 101 of INTCA provides that children born abroad prior to May 24, 1934 of citizen mothers (who had resided in the U.S. prior to the child's birth) and alien fathers are citizens of the U.S. Furthermore, the law treats them as citizens as of the date of their birth. Whether they ever apply for U.S. passports or Certificates of Citizenships is immaterial. However, the law specifically makes persons who participated in Nazi persecutions or who have engaged in genocide ineligible for this benefit.
                  Section 103 of INTCA allows persons who lost their U.S. citizenship between 1934 and 1978 due to their failure to satisfy the retention requirement the opportunity to regain their citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Unlike section 101 which became effective on October 25, 1994, section 103's effective date is March 1, 1995.

                  Thousands of persons born abroad and their spouses and children are expected to benefit from these amendments. Many of the persons who will benefit were born in countries bordering the U.S. (i.e., Canada and Mexico) or in countries which were previously territories of the U.S. such as the Philippines. However, the law contains no restrictions regarding the country of birth of the beneficiaries.

                  WHO THE LAW BENEFITS
                  For those not familiar with the laws governing the acquisition of citizenship, a few examples of who may be affected by the new law may be helpful:
                  1. Mr. Suerte is a native and citizen of the Philippines. His maternal grandfather was a U.S.- born veteran of the Spanish-American War. His mother, who was born in the Philippines in 1900, acquired U.S. citizenship at birth through her father. Mr. Suerte was born in the Philippines in 1922 and has never been to the U.S. His mother was brought to the U.S. as a teenager by her father for a vacation.

                  Mr. Suerte once tried to obtain a U.S. passport from the American Embassy in Manila. However, his application was rejected on the ground that U.S. citizen mothers could not transmit citizenship to their children born abroad before 1934.

                  Under INTCA, Mr. Suerte may be issued a U.S. passport since he is considered to be a U.S. citizen at birth. He may apply for a green card for his wife as an "immediate relative" of a U.S. citizen.

                  2. Ms. Smith is a native and citizen of Canada. Her father was born in the U.S. and her mother was born in Canada. Ms. Smith was born in 1950. Although she became a citizen of the U.S. at birth through her father (who had lived in the U.S. for a period of time before her birth, thereby satisfying the law's physical presence requirements), she lost her citizenship by her failure to meet the retention requirement.

                  Now, she can regain her U.S. citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Once she is in possession of a U.S. passport, she may immediately apply for permanent residence for her husband and two children.

                  3. Mr. Patel is a native and citizen of India. His maternal grandmother was born in the U.S. His mother was born in India in 1936 and has never come to the U.S. Mr. Patel was born in India in 1967 and is a graduate student at USC. He desires to live permanently in the U.S. He has heard that the best way of doing so is to obtain practical training after graduation, to change his status to H-1B and then to have his employer sponsor him for permanent residence.

                  Under INTCA, Mr. Patel's mother can obtain U.S. citizenship through her mother. Then she can petition for her son to obtain a green card under the family-based first preference category if he is single, or under the third preference category if he is married.

                  CONCLUSION
                  Anyone who has a U.S. citizen parent, grandparent or in-law, whether living or deceased, should obtain a legal opinion as to the effect of INTCA on their immigration status if they wish to live in the U.S. Instead of a lengthy wait for a green card, they may be immediately eligible for U.S. citizenship.

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                  • #10
                    Wow thanks for all that Pandora. Thankfully my father is still alive, he was the one who took me to the U.S. Consulate to apply for the passport. All they told us was that because I had not been legitimized before turning 21, I don't qualify. Even though my dad signed my birth certificate when I was born - but apparently this isn't the kind of evidence they're looking for. I mean, come on, who in a happy relationship bothers to go to a court and to take an oath to prove themselves as the father? it just doesn't happen. Why isn't a legal birth certificate, an affidavit from dad and a blood test enough? It just feels like they're deliberately making things harder than they need to be. My father always just assumed I'd be a citizen from birth as he easily met all the physical presence requirements before I was born. But this apparently still counts for nothing when you're "illegitimate." I know I could easily go down the green card path, but to be honest it just seems so unfair and unnecessary. I'm definitely thinking of saving up for a consultation with an immigration attorney - who knows, maybe in a couple of years I'll actually be able to afford it, hehe. Anyways, I've had my vent, thanks for reading this and responding. If anybody out there has anything else to add to this, please do, I feel like I need all the advice I can get.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pandora: You have a good knowledge of the Immigration laws: May I ask you what do you do for living? It sounds like you work for US Government.
                      Pandora, don't you think this young lady might be qualified under unawerness cases?
                      many Philippines citizens did claim under this law, provided they have all the documentation to proof.
                      I hope her dad has all the papers like her birth certificate with both the parents names, and passport number on it. Wish her all the best

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just go the greencard route and get naturalized later. I completely understand your frustration, but fighting the matter might cost you far more time and money than just getting a green card. In the meantime you can have all of your American relatives write to thier congressmen about how the law is unfair and needs to be changed. You might want to find some special interest group for "gender equality" that would be interested in adding this issue to thier agenda.

                        After all, they are treating people from bi-national families differently based on the gender of thier American parent and that is definately not fair.
                        Have a nice day

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Adam, I have a close affiliation with the federal government but not in regard to immigration and just interrested in politics and law.

                          Zenith; I believe that you should go the "claim to U.S. citizenship" instead of the alien-legal-permanent residency route, it depends of course how old you are at this time!

                          Research the laws if you can do it yourself to find the exact 'loop' that would allow you your claim, otherwise you'll need the expertise of a professional researcher or (if all else fails) an attorney. Here is an older INTERPRETATION of the law (remember that laws can be rewritten or re-interpreted by courts, and may have done so by now, as far as I remember the cut-off for a non-U.S. resident person born out-of-wedlock to a citizen !) is 26 yrs.):

                          ____________________________________________


                          Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship By a Child Born Abroad

                          Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock: A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) INA provided the citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen are required for physical presence in the U.S. to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.

                          Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father: A child born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 301(g) INA, as made applicable by Section 309(a) INA provided:

                          1) a blood relationship between the applicant and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;

                          2) the father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the applicant's birth;

                          3) the father (unless deceased) had agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the applicant reaches the age of 18 years, and

                          4) while the person is under the age of 18 years --

                          A) applicant is legitimated under the law of their residence or domicile,

                          B) father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or

                          C) the paternity of the applicant is established by adjudication court.

                          Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Mother: A child born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 301(g) INA, as made applicable by Section 309(c) INA if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child's birth, and if the mother had previously been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year.

                          1997

                          American Citizens Services

                          http://travel.state.gov/acquisition.html

                          __________________________________________

                          How old are you at this time and have you ever visited the U.S. previously? If so, with what kind of a visa or documents?

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