Fact Check: No, Trump Will Not Strip U.S. Military Kids of Their Citizenship

Gunnery Sgt. Michel Grabau hugs his daughter Mikaelie during a homecoming reception at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California on May 11, 2017.
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images

The latest rule issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency will not strip the children of U.S. citizen service members and diplomats of their American citizenship despite false claims by the establishment media and Democrats.

After USCIS issued guidelines on the children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents and non-U.S. citizen parents serving overseas, the establishment media and bureaucrats rushed to claim that Trump is stripping citizenship from the children of American service members.

Former United States Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called the new rule “a serious breach of trust and faith and the government.” Likewise, an NBC News journalist had to issue a correction after claiming children of service members on deployment would be stripped of citizenship.

In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan corrected the record, noting that the new rule is designed to make sure that the beneficiaries of birthright citizenship and birth tourism are not allowed to simply pass down their U.S. citizenship to their foreign children.

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“Basically what this rule is saying is that the government is no longer going to rubber-stamp citizenship for kids born to citizens who have not lived in the United States if those kids have also not lived in the United States,” Vaughan said.

“Right now we have a situation where someone who is born here, becomes a U.S. citizen, because of that interpretation that says, ‘Anyone born here and subject to the jurisdiction thereof is a U.S. citizen.’ Many of these are birth tourists. They go back to their home country and grow up, and they get a U.S. passport because they were born a citizen,” Vaughan explained. “And they have kids, and until now, those kids have been able to almost automatically also get citizenship, even though they grew up abroad with birth tourism or birthright citizenship parents and have no connection to the United States of America. They don’t live here, they never have, even their parents didn’t, and yet they’ve been able to have a U.S. passport.”

The latest USCIS rule, Vaughan said, defines who is considered a resident of the U.S. and who is merely a visitor to ensure that the children of U.S. service members overseas can get American citizenship before their 18th birthday while cutting off loopholes for the foreign children of the beneficiaries of birthright citizenship and birth tourism.

“For example, let’s say … the beneficiary of birthright citizenship or the expat or whatever owns a home here but works in a foreign country,” Vaughan said. “The parent comes to the U.S., stays two weeks with the cousin in New York, two weeks with the cousin in New York with the grandparents, and then goes to Florida on vacation. [USCIS] is saying, they can’t transmit their citizenship automatically to their kids because they’re basically just coming here for vacation — they don’t live here. No citizenship for their kids necessarily.”

“Other examples are, as a child the U.S. citizen parent — the one who got the birthright citizenship or the birth tourism citizenship — came to the U.S. for three consecutive summers to attend a two-month-long summer camp,” Vaughan said. “That person lived and went to school in a foreign country the rest of the time. Okay, they don’t get to automatically give their kids U.S. citizenship.”

Despite the establishment media’s claims, Vaughan said the new rule “is not something that affects most Americans.” Rather this policy affects “people that just want U.S. passports for the convenience of it or the safety of it and the security of it.”

“This is about the kids of those so-called anchor babies … because most people don’t realize that when that kid grows up, they can transmit citizenship or have been able to up until now to transmit citizenship to their children as well,” Vaughan said. “So they’re like … I’d call them like the birth tourism babies. The second-generation … anchor babies.”

A number of politicians online falsely claimed that the new rule, if implemented when the late John McCain was born in Panama, he would not have been a U.S. citizen. The rule, though, sets out clear guidance as to how service members abroad obtain citizenship for their children born abroad.

“If John McCain would not be a citizen, it would be his parents’ fault,” Vaughan said. “Probably even then, we are so generous of how we interpret the transmission of citizenship, I’m sure when he turned 21 or something and realized his parents hadn’t done this, I’m sure there would be a way.”

The USCIS rule comes as the Trump administration is weighing an executive order to end birthright citizenship where the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens — referred to as “anchor babies” — have been allowed to automatically obtain American citizenship simply by being born within the borders of the country.

Every year, about 300,000 anchor babies are born and given immediate birthright citizenship. The U.S. is nearly alone in the Western world in offering this benefit to illegal aliens. Today, there are at least 4.5 million anchor babies living in the country.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.  

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