Veterans Slam Donald Trump After He Ends Automatic Citizenship For Children Born To Service Members Overseas

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the U.S. Navy and shipyard workers on board the USS Gerald R. Ford.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Many U.S. service veterans are attacking Donald Trump after the announcement on Wednesday that his administration is ending automatic citizenship for children born to military members stationed overseas.

As CBS News reported, Trump’s administration announced that children of certain U.S. government employees and service members born abroad will no longer be automatically considered U.S. citizens. Starting on October 29, the administration is scrapping the longstanding policy and instead only grant citizenship to some children born in facilities like U.S. hospitals overseas and born to certain government employees or service members.

Parents not covered will need to apply for U.S. citizenship, the report noted, and the process would be more rigorous for some.

“[C]hildren of U.S. government employees must enter the U.S. lawfully with an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa and be in lawful status when they take the Oath of Allegiance, which completes the process,” the administration said in a new guidance regarding the law.

As NBC News noted, the law appears to target a small number of foreign-born children.

“The new rules apply to children who were not born as citizens — such as those who were born to non-citizens and later adopted by U.S. citizens serving abroad, or in cases where parents who were not citizens at the time of the child’s birth but were later naturalized,” the report noted.

The new guidance led so some widespread confusion, the report noted, with the Trump administration taking blame for rolling the new guidance out in phases on Wednesday and later led to a clarification.

It also came under attack from many U.S. military veterans, who saw it as an insult to the service of military members.

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Others saw the change as a precursor to wider moves to end birthright citizenship, a concept that Donald Trump has frequently attacked in the past. As NBC News noted, former Obama White House immigration policy adviser Doug Rand said he could not see the point of the new rule change.

“In what possible universe does it make sense to make it harder for our service members overseas to do this and who want to serve overseas?”Rand asked.

Like the rule change for children born to military members overseas, Trump’s apparent plan to end birthright citizenship was slammed as improbably and poorly put together. In an opinion column for USA Today, Chris Truax wrote that the plans to end birthright citizenship are filled with legal glitches that would make it nearly impossible to implement.