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#1008: Citizenship : King adds

From: Stewart King <stumo@teleport.com>

Just FYI, listers:

U.S. citizenship is acquired at birth by the
child of any U.S. citizen, either father or
mother, so long as that U.S. citizen parent
resided in the U.S. for at least ten years, five
of which must have been after age 15.  In
addition, any person born in the U.S., except for
the children of foreign diplomats or military
personnel, is a U.S. citizen (diplomats and
military personnel are not "subject to the
jurisdiction of the United States" in the
phraseology of the Constitution).  This would
include the children of temporary visitors or
illegal immigrants.  In addition, persons who
have resided in the U.S. legally for a varying
number of years (depending on a number of
factors, from zero to seven) can apply for U.S.
citizenship and are tested for literacy and
knowledge of U.S. law and culture.

Almost all countries grant citizenship to
children of citizens, which is called jus
sanguinis.  In some cases, as we see in the
example from Japan, a citizen father must be
married to a non-citizen mother in order to
transmit his citizenship.  

On the other hand, many countries, especially
those under a variant of Roman Law or its
descendant, the Code Napoleon, do not grant
citizenship automatically to persons born on the
national territory.  There are often requirements
that non-citizen parents must be legal permanent
residents, not guest workers or illegal
immigrants as apparently was the case in the D.R.
 (There has been some talk about changing U.S.
law in this way, but the 14th amendment to the
U.S. Constitution would seem to prohibit this.) 
So it is not unusual or ipso facto a violation of
international law that the D.R. should deport
persons born in their country as aliens.  One of
the key components of sovereignty is that a
nation should be able to choose who can be its
citizens and who can reside on its territory. 
International law -- and the country of
citizenship of the deportees -- do, however, have
the right to insist that the human dignity and
basic rights of those deported be respected.


Stewart King