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Citizenship requirements change sparks widespread confusion

When the Trump administration recently announced changes to its policy regarding the citizenship of children born overseas to U.S. citizen parents, many people feared the worst. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department and the Department of Homeland Security issued new statements to try to clarify the change, but many people were confused.

Many analysts continue to be confused about the policy, the way it was announced, and whether it was necessary.

According to some reports, the change will affect chiefly: the children of U.S. citizens who were born overseas and never lived in the United States; children who live with U.S. parents overseas but did not have U.S. citizenship at birth; and children of parents who acquired U.S. citizenship after the child's birth. The new policy will go into effect Oct. 29.

It is not clear how many people will be affected, but it seems clear that it will mean more paperwork for Americans who adopt children overseas, and for Americans who have lived abroad for a long time. For these groups and many more, it will create a lot more uncertainty about the citizenship status of their children.

There is a lot of that kind of uncertainty these days with regard to immigration issues, and that means it is more important than ever that immigrants, their families and their employers keep informed about their rights and duties. An attorney with experience in immigration law can help clients understand how the law applies to the unique facts of their case, and argue on their behalf should it become necessary.

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