Immigration Law

CA2 on Acquired Citizenship: Jaen v. Sessions

Jaen v. Sessions - "Levy Alberto Jaen petitions for review of the May 2, 2017 decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ordering him removed from the United States pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §§ 1227(a)(1)(B) and 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). We agree with Jaen that he acquired citizenship at birth through his parent, Jorge Boreland, and that the 2 government had no authority to detain him for an immigration violation or to order him removed from the United States. Accordingly, on April 13, 2018, we GRANTED the petition for review and ordered the government to immediately release Jaen from custody and terminate all removal proceedings against him. ... For reasons explained below, the sole question presented in this appeal is whether Jorge Boreland was Jaen’s “parent” for the purposes of having acquired United States citizenship at birth under former INA § 301(a)(7), 8 U.S.C. § 1401(a)(7). We hold today that the INA incorporates the common law meaning of “parent” into former Section 1401(a)(7), such that a child born into a lawful marriage is the lawful child of those parents, regardless of the existence or nonexistence of any biological link. Former Section 1401(a)(7) does not include a requirement that an individual be a biological parent in order to be a “parent” for purposes of transmitting citizenship to their child at birth."

[Hats off to Andrea A. Saenz, Brooklyn Defender Services, and amici!]