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Millions of Immigrants Could Apply for Citizenship, But Haven’t

More than 8 million immigrants in the U.S. are eligible to apply for citizenship, but many of them have never taken the first step toward becoming a U.S. citizen. Some cite the high cost of applying ($680 in government fees, plus the cost of a lawyer), others worry that they don’t speak English...

CRBA Lawsuit Against DOS Filed: Chacoty et al. v. Kerry et al.

"American citizenship is the “right to have rights.1” Defendants have denied Plaintiffs’ statutory right to American citizenship. For decades, Defendants have applied the statute in the ways described below to grant citizenship.2 Suddenly, without any statutory change, regulatory...

American Samoans Seek U.S. Citizenship in Court Battle

"A landmark appeal in Washington DC could determine the future status of those born in US territories. Lene Tuaua from American Samoan leads four other plaintiffs in a case where they're arguing that being born on US soil, they are entitled to be known as more than "non-citizen nationals"...

Citizenship Games: Prof. Laura Murray-Tjan

"It is ... troubling that government attorneys find it appropriate to interpret citizenship statutes differently depending on what reading would lead to a denial of citizenship -- and ultimately deportation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has correctly labeled this practice "unfair...

Citizenship, Finally, for Army Veteran, Federal Employee

"Nearly 50 years after he arrived here from Cuba, Mario Hernandez, a former federal employee and an Army veteran who for decades thought he was a United States citizen, and was never told otherwise, finally became one on Wednesday. At a field office in Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. Hernandez, 58, with...

American Finally Receives Proof of Being...American

"It took nearly 15 years, numerous appeals to lawmakers and a battalion of guardian angel lawyers, but Cerrina Foster finally has a country to call home — and the paperwork to prove it. Friday, the 14-year-old stood in a federal office, raised her hand along with 12 other people and pledged...

Rafael Edward 'Ted' Cruz, All-American

Canada-born U.S. Senator [Rafael Edward ] Ted Cruz has given up his citizenship from his birth country, making good on a promise from last summer. Spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said the Tea Party favourite formally gave up his citizenship May 14. He received official confirmation of the action at his...

Exiled American Sues CBP: Olivas v. Whitford

"Plaintiff-Petitioner (hereinafter, Plaintiff) Oscar Ivan Olivas is a 45-year-old natural-born U.S. citizen who Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials unlawfully exiled to Mexico almost three years ago. Mr. Olivas has repeatedly attempted to avail himself of administrative remedies to end...

USCIS Policy Alert: Changes to Dates of Birth and Names on Certificates of Citizenship

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual relating to changes of dates of birth and names per court orders. Background USCIS recognizes that the dates of birth of children born abroad are not always accurately recorded in the countries...

World Cup Soccer News: Greg Siskind on the Need for Speed

" Norwegian-born Mix Diskerud has played for Team USA for five years after previously representing his native country in international play. Diskerud is technically not an immigrant as his mother is a US citizen, but as he was born and raised in Norway, I’ll count him. There are actually several...

Immigrant Troops to Get U.S. Citizenship at White House

"When Oscar Vanegas Gonzalez gets his U.S. citizenship today at a ceremony hosted by President Barack Obama, the accomplishment will reflect the complexities of U.S. immigration policy. While the Obama administration is now working to stop Central American kids from sneaking into the U.S. without...

Lawsuit Charges Feds Block Muslims From Citizenship

ACLU, July 31, 2014 - "Five people who have lived in the United States legally for decades filed a lawsuit today challenging a little-known government program used to deny thousands of law-abiding people citizenship, green cards, and visas on counterterrorism grounds – most of them from Muslim...

Advance Copy of DOS Interim Final Rule: Visa and Citizenship Services Fee Changes

"The Department of State amends the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (Schedule) for certain nonimmigrant visa application processing fees, certain immigrant visa application processing and special visa services fees, and certain citizenship services fees. More specifically, the rule amends...

DOS Interim Final Rule: Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and Overseas Embassies and Consulates - Visa and Citizenship Services Fee Changes

"The Department of State amends the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (Schedule) for certain nonimmigrant visa application processing fees, certain immigrant visa application processing and special visa services fees, and certain citizenship services fees. More specifically, the rule amends...

Fee for Renouncing United States Citizenship Increases Significantly

"On August 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register, which raised the fee for processing renunciations of United States citizenship from US$450 to US$2,350, a 522.22% increase. This new fee became effective on September 6...

Documentary - 14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez

"The documentary film 14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez explores the recurring question about who has the right to be an American citizen. 14 examines the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment through compelling personal stories and expertly-told history. Under the Fourteenth Amendment...

Citizenship and Unwed Border Moms: The Misfortune of Geography

Here is an interesting piece in the April 2015 issue of Foreign Service Journal by an American consular officer in Tijuana, Amelia Shaw. [Hat tip to Margaret D. Stock.] - Amelia Shaw

You Can Die For America, But You Can't Vote

"Kenyan native John Chombo was studying in the United States to become a nurse when he heard the U.S. Army was looking for people with health care or special language skills. He was qualified on both counts. He was studying nursing and was fluent in Swahili. In 2013 he was accepted into the Military...

No 14th Am. Birthright Citizenship for American Samoans: CADC

"Appellants are individuals born in the United States territory of American Samoa. Statutorily deemed “non-citizen nationals” at birth, they argue the Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause affords them citizenship by dint of birthright. They are opposed not merely by the United...

OCAHO on Citizenship Discrimination: USA v. Estopy Farms

"Jerry Estopy and Manuel Bortoni d.b.a. Estopy Farms simply passed over a qualified U.S. citizen in favor of hiring temporary H-2A workers from Mexico. ... [N]othing in this forum’s governing statute or regulations mandates that a U.S. citizen be afforded any preference over an equally qualified...

Dumb and Dumber: DOJ Pops Staffing Companies for Citizenship Discrimination Blunders

"The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement agreement with three Memphis-area staffing agencies: Prestigious Placement; PFSWeb Inc.; and its subsidiary, Priority Fulfillment Services Inc. The agreement resolves two complaints alleging discrimination under the Immigration...

CA5 on Birth Abroad at U.S. Military Base: Thomas v. Lynch

"Thomas, who was born on a United States military base located in what is now Germany, argues that he is not removable because he is a United States citizen by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. For the following reasons, we DENY the petition for review. ... Thomas contends that the military base...

Constitutional (Equal Protection) Citizenship Victory in Texas: Villegas-Sarabia v. Johnson

"After careful consideration of the Petition and the memoranda supporting and opposing the Government’s Motion to Dismiss, the Court, for the reasons that follow, GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the Government’s Motion to Dismiss, DECLARES that the physical presence requirements under...

Neb. Meatpacking Co. to Pay $200K Fine to Settle Citizenship Discrimination Claim

"The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement with Nebraska Beef Ltd., a meat packing company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The settlement resolves an investigation by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) into whether...

Recent USCIS Policy Manual Updates (July 2015)

POLICY ALERT – Modifications to Oath of Allegiance for Naturalization July 21, 2015 ​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance to clarify the eligibility requirements for modifications to the Oath of Renunciation and Allegiance for naturalization. Technical...