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Birthright citizenship: politicians reigniting debate

Many people in Florida are familiar with the theory of birthright citizenship. This means that if someone is born in the U.S., he or she is automatically granted citizenship (though there are some specific exceptions). Even if a baby is born to parents who are not lawful permanent residents in the U.S., the baby will be considered a citizen. This birthright citizenship is addressed and protected by the 14th Amendment.

However, the debate over birthright citizenship has been burning for generations. Recently, the issue was again brought to the public's attention thanks to the current presidential candidate campaigns. Most recently are the efforts by Republican candidates like Donald Trump to repeal the 14th Amendment.

Opponents of birthright citizenship argue that the philosophy is outdated and no longer appropriate in the U.S. In fact, articles like this one on NPR.org note that the U.S. is one of just 30 countries that automatically grant citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants.

Supporters of birthright citizenship maintain that it is protected by the Constitution and consistent with the philosophy of those who first established the principles and laws of the U.S. Further, it is argued that babies born on U.S. soil have done nothing unlawful and have never been allegiant to another country.

Whether you support or oppose the efforts eliminate citizenship birthright, the fact is that currently, the policy remains that children born on U.S. soil are almost always granted automatic citizenship. Should there be a change to this policy the impact would undoubtedly be drastic.

If you have questions about your citizenship or the citizenship of your children, you can discuss your situation with an attorney. Immigration and citizenship laws may seem clear, but the fact is they can be complex and contain provisions that could affect your status and the status of your loved ones.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Donald Trump and Birthright Citizenship: The Right Debate," Donald Kerwin, Aug. 25, 2015

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