Aug 28, 2019

Trump to make it harder for children born overseas to become citizens

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Kids born outside the U.S. to American citizens who are military members or government officials will have a much harder time qualifying for citizenship, according to a new memo posted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Wednesday.

The big picture: The new policy guidance alters the definition of "residing in the United States" to disqualify some children born to U.S. citizens at overseas military bases or diplomatic facilities from automatically receiving citizenship. It requires citizen parents to spend much more time in the U.S. than is currently required to establish residency — and thus pass on citizenship to their children.

  • The new policy will go into effect Oct. 29 of this year.
  • "It's a big deal because it is an attempt to limit the number of U.S. citizens who can transmit U.S. citizenship to their children because they have made the choice to patriotically serve their country in the military or other government service," Ur Jaddou of America's Voice told Axios.

Update: USCIS clarified in another memo later on Wednesday that the changes would not affect most children born abroad to U.S. citizens.

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Migrants battling serious illness can again get temporary deportation protection

Immigrants Mariela, Jonathan, who has cysic fibrosis, and Gary Sanchez after a press conference on the termination of medical deferred action. Photo: Nic Antaya/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Immigrants battling serious illnesses in the U.S. can again receive temporary protection from deportation from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), according to a Department of Homeland Security email sent to House Oversight Committee members on Thursday.

Why it matters: USCIS stopped accepting applications for the medical deferred action program last month. Reports of immigrants battling life-threatening illnesses who might have been forced to leave the country sparked outcry from lawmakers and the public. The email to Oversight Committee members said that acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan directed USCIS to reinstate the program.

Go deeperArrowSep 19, 2019

Cuccinelli asks for power to release info on refugees accused of crimes

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli sent a memo to acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan earlier this month requesting the authority to publicize personal information about refugees and asylum seekers accused of crimes, Buzzfeed News' Hamed Aleaziz reports.

Why it matters: Only the DHS secretary currently has the power to release information about asylum seekers and refugees being prosecuted. Cuccinelli has become one of the loudest immigration hardliners in the administration, and as USCIS director, has already rolled out a series of regulations cracking down on immigrants and asylum seekers.

Go deeperArrowSep 18, 2019

News Shapers: Foreign Diplomacy and Immigration

Former US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, on the Axios stage with Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Thursday morning, Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen hosted a series of one-on-one conversations on the news of the day, covering topics in foreign affairs and immigration policy in the Trump presidency.

Samantha Power, Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations

United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, Samantha Power, examined recent foreign policy challenges in the Trump administration and discussed her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist.

She highlighted the role of advisors around President Trump, and how their willingness to agree or disagree with the President impacts policy outcomes.

  • On the departure of John Bolton as National Security Advisor: “Some people are relieved that Bolton is gone...but I’m worried that now what happens is the circle gets smaller and you get fewer viewpoints.”
  • On Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “I can’t recall reading a story where Sec. Pompeo challenged the president or dissents from his existing convictions.”
  • On North Korea: “I think the prioritization of North Korea and elevating it on the foreign policy agenda was very important...I do think it’s trailed off.”

Power also reflected on her time as ambassador.

  • “I think I stood up to Russian aggression...but I can’t give myself high marks for what happened in Syria.”
Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli discussed current administration policies around immigration and the recent Supreme Court ruling approving restrictions on asylum seekers.

  • On the rate of asylum seekers who are granted refuge in the United States: "If you look at credible fear interviews...Only 10 or 15% actually get asylum."
  • On the volume of the claims: "They’re clogging up the system so we can’t get people with legitimate asylum claims, and they’re hoping to get released into the interior."
  • On implementing policy: “Anything we’ve done since I’ve been in office...there’s been a strong legal foundation there."

When asked if birthright citizenship can be ended by executive order, he said there were no plans to do so in the near future, but that he'd like to see this change originate at the congressional level.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) talked about the recently cancelled talks with the Taliban at Camp David, his views on changes in gun legislation, and other news items of the day.

  • On the Taliban and the planned talks at Camp David: "This is a group that has not renounced terrorism...You can bring enemies to Camp David, but they have to be nation-states. When I heard that, I was pretty dismayed.”
  • On whether there will be gun legislation: “I actually do think there will be movement on universal background checks.”
  • On whether House Democrats will open impeachment proceedings: “Yes. I think they know it’s not smart politically, but I’ve been in the situation where we’ve been hostage to the extreme voices in our party.”
  • On defending President Trump: “I want to call balls and strikes...I’ll defend Trump when he needs defending and when it’s legitimate...I defend him when I can, and when I can’t, I don’t.”

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Keep ReadingArrowSep 13, 2019