Immigrants living in California may look forward to gaining U.S. citizenship, especially after navigating the immigration system and green card status for many years. However, they may wonder whether they can retain citizenship from their country of birth when seeking naturalization. Dual citizenship is not formally recognized in the U.S., but there is no law prohibiting it and immigration authorities have shown no interest in forbidding it. When a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time with the rights and responsibilities of both, he or she is a dual citizen.
Many people in California and across the country were troubled by a deportation case involving a veteran of the Afghanistan war. The man, a US Army veteran, re-entered the country from Mexico on Sept. 23, 2019, nearly a year and a half after his deportation in March 2018. He is now pursuing his goal of citizenship after entering the country draped in one American flag and holding another in his hand. His deportation made headlines nationwide in 2018, especially as he had previously served two tours in Afghanistan in the army. He was forced to leave after his initial citizenship application was denied.
An immigration policy announced by the Trump administration will make it more difficult for some military members and government workers living overseas to secure citizenship. The announcement was met with anger and confusion on the part of veterans' and immigrant advocacy groups in California and across the country, and the administration clarified that only a small number of people will be impacted by the policy change. The majority of children born to U.S. citizens while they work or serve abroad will still automatically be citizens.
Many immigrants who are living in California are concerned about the potential impacts of the latest announcement from the Trump administration on immigration policy. While the administration has defended previous harsh regulations in the interests of promoting legal entry to the country, this change affects legal immigrants who are seeking to adjust their status and become permanent residents or obtain a new visa status. On August 12, the administration made it easier to reject green card applications by vastly expanding the definition of what is considered a "public charge".