Breaking: Children of Diplomats Getting US Citizenship!

by Peter Spiro

Yes, it’s true.  There must be dozens, perhaps even hundreds of newborns who are extended US citizenship every year even though they are “not subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  Find the evidence in a report from the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies here.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so snarky: the report is a pretty interesting one.  It certainly plows new ground.  It considers the single operative exception to the otherwise universal rule of birthright citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment.  (There is one major exception — those born into Native American tribal jurisdiction — but that hole was plugged by statute in 1924.)  It’s generally understood to be a minor qualification to the otherwise absolute rule, but leave it to the folks at CIS (who run some very useful programs, including a daily wrap of media items relating to immigration) to check out its (non)effect on the ground.

Turns out that nobody is policing the exception.  Children of diplomats born in the US get ordinary birth certificates, which is all you need to demonstrate citizenship.  CIS urges Congress to get on the case and address this pressing problem (one recommendation — requiring that a parent have a valid social security number — looks like a backdoor attack on birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented aliens).  Imagine all those foreign diplomatic brats with US passports who may come back to . . . well, what, exactly?

2 Responses

  1. That is a little snarky. 

    Two points:

    One, even foreign diplomatic staff can often acquire a ‘social’ if they ask enough, basically. Their cards are stamped ‘not approved for work’ or somesuch but they are certainly valid socials.

    Two, you appear to be implying that there is no reason why anyone would be concerned about the children of foreign diplomats returning to the US – is it possible that your experience of diplomats and embassy staff is quite limited?

  2. “to…well, what, exactly?”
    Spy for Russia, etc.

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