Qualifying for Citizenship Other Than Establishing Yourself as a Permanent Resident: Inherited Citizenship

Now, that’s not the only pathway to citizenship that we deal with. There are quite a few people that don’t understand that you can inherit citizenship. I have had people come in and ask for assistance in getting a green card. I look through all the documentation they bring with them. To me, one of the best things in the world is to be able to say, “I’m sorry. I can’t help you get a green card and this is because we don’t give green cards to people who are already US citizens.” For me, that is a priceless moment.

In addition to the face-to-face moment with my client when I inform them they are citizens, the next best moment is this: I walk into federal criminal court, in front of the federal judge and these judges have quite a reputation, and I say, “Your Honor, I’d like you to release my client. This is because you’ve charged him with a crime that can only be committed by an alien, and my client is a US citizen.” That is also a terrific feeling.

Well, and quite frankly, as a little aside, in President Obama’s first election, there were all these people concerned about where he was born, and the truth was he is eligible to be a United States president.

Notable Individuals Who Inherited Citizenship Include Senator John McCain

Are aware that his opponent in the first election, John McCain, was not born in the United States?

Interviewer: No? Where was he born?

Jeanne: Panama.

Interviewer: I didn’t know that.

Federal Law Allows for Children Born Overseas to US Military Personnel and US State Department Personnel to Inherit Citizenship

Jeanne: But, because you inherit citizenship, he was a US citizen from birth because his parents were, or at least I know his father was. His father was stationed out there. Now, why are individuals born in other countries US citizens? Because otherwise, that would be a detriment to our US State Department personnel and military personnel serving overseas if they knew that they couldn’t take their family because they didn’t want to risk their child not being a US citizen.

Interviewer: What’s the myth surrounding that? Is it that if you’re not born on US soil, you’re not a US citizen? Is that the myth?

Individuals Not Born in This Country Who Become Naturalized Citizens May Serve in Government, With the Exception of Holding the Office of President

Jeanne: Well, the casual observer’s viewpoint or understanding of it is if you’re born in the United States, you’re a citizen. If you’re born somewhere else, you’re not a citizen. You can inherit citizenship. Now, another famous politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was governor of California, but he was a naturalized citizen. He could never be president.

John McCain was a citizen from birth. Governor Schwarzenegger was a citizen from the time he raised his right hand and swore allegiance to the United States. They were both US citizens, but one had been a citizen all his life and the other had not.

Attorney Morales Primarily Practices in Western Texas and the New Mexico Areas

Primarily, my clients are from West Texas and most of New Mexico. In my experience, immigration does seem to follow certain trends. Do I have clients who are from deep in Mexico or Central America? Yes, but most of the clients we work with are from the State of Chihuahua, which is directly underneath Texas. There’s also Coahuila.