REPS. CLARKE AND ADAMS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO GRANT CITIZENSHIP TO INDIVIDUALS PREVIOUSLY EXCLUDED BY CCA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 7, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Today, Reps. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Alma Adams (NC-12) introduced the Equal Citizenship for Children Act, legislation that would amend the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) to automatically provide citizenship to eligible individuals previously excluded by the CCA.
“Our vital fight for substantial immigration reform necessitates that we look towards all forms of meaningful progress whenever possible. For far too long, many individuals who have resided in this country since childhood and who should be citizens under today’s law have been living under the fear of deportation. I’m proud to join Congresswoman Adams to introduce common sense solutions, such as the Equal Citizenship for Children Act, that will not only provide lifelong Americans with the citizenship they deserve, but reaffirm our commitment towards a fair and equitable immigration system,” said Rep. Clarke.
“Comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform is a priority for House Democrats. The Equal Citizenship for Children Act amends the the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) to keep families together and automatically provide citizenship to eligible individuals previously excluded by the CCA,” said Rep. Adams. “I’m proud to join Congresswoman Clarke in introducing this bill and taking us one step closer to immigration reform that makes sense for everyone who lives in our country.”
Since 2001, the Child Citizenship Act has helped preserve family unity by allowing foreign-born children to acquire U.S. citizenship when their custodial parent naturalizes to U.S. citizenship, or when they are adopted by a U.S. citizen. Thanks to the CCA, most of these children automatically become citizens when they reside with their parent(s) in the U.S. and meet certain other requirements. However, despite having a U.S. citizen parent, many individuals who have lived in the U.S. since childhood and who would be citizens under today’s law, are being deported well into adulthood – and in many cases to countries where they have no family, support, or community ties. These deportations have lasting, devastating consequences for individuals and their families.
This legislation is co-sponsored by Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Greg Casar (TX-35), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-4), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Glenn Ivey (MD-04), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Barbara Lee (CA-12), James P. McGovern (MA-2), Grace Meng (NY-06), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-2), David J. Trone (MD-06), Juan Vargas (CA-52), and Nikema Williams (GA-05)
Read the full bill text here.