June 18, 2013
Landrieu Passes Amendment to Help Adopted Children Secure Citizenship
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today passed the bipartisan Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment to the Senate Immigration Reform bill. The amendment provides technical but important fixes to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) so that automatic citizenship provisions under these laws apply to all foreign-born adoptees of American citizen parents. The amendment is co-sponsored by Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
“Some adopted children, through no fault of their own, endure a precarious legal status, which can result in the horror of being deported to a country they don’t remember at all, where they don’t have any ties or even speak the language,” Sen. Landrieu said. “My amendment provides important technical fixes to ensure that children adopted internationally by American citizen parents receive automatic citizenship, treating them the same as biological children.”
The Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment:
· Applies automatic U.S. citizenship provisions of the CCA, which currently only apply to children who were under the age of 18 at the time of its enactment in 2001, to all foreign-born children lawfully adopted by U.S. families who were ever lawfully admitted to the United States.
· Clarifies language in the CCA so that eligible children need only be “physically present” in the U.S. versus “residing” in the U.S. for their citizenship to accrue. This clarification benefits adoptees of American families who live and work overseas, such as those serving in the military or at U.S. Embassies or Consulates.
· Modifies the INA so that only one adoptive parent—not both—must travel overseas to visit a child during the intercountry adoption process for the child to qualify for the type of visa that leads to automatic U.S. citizenship upon entry.