Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Child is This? Ours!

One of the many great things about the foreign service is that, at every post, there will be a whole stack of issues that incoming officers, however experienced, have not seen elsewhere. It's always a learning game.

Some of the best fun that Madam ever had the pleasure to watch was indulged in by a group of first-tour consular officers at a certain post as they thrashed the stuffing out of INA section 101(c)(1) with the combined weapons of limited legal knowledge, logic, common sense, and good humor. It resembled, one of them laughingly observed, a game of Twister* with the addition of one or two small children and far higher stakes than simple humiliation for the adult players.

Even now, in the happy age of DNA, some immigration and citizenship cases still hang out on the line, undecided for years for reasons that range from ignorance to recalcitrance to death. Finally, though, Madam is delighted to report that the Board of Immigration Appeals has spoken, and the babies win.

'We now hold,' the BIA declared, 'that a person born abroad to unmarried parents can qualify as a legitimated “child”...if he or she was born in a country or State that has eliminated all legal distinctions between children based on the marital status of their parents or has a residence or domicile in such a country or State... irrespective of whether the country or State has prescribed other legal means of legitimation.'

So, under some previously knotty circumstances, such as US naturalization, a parent now might not have to - or does not have to be able to - formally legitimate a child in order for that child to benefit from that parent's status or actions, exactly as a child born in tiresome wedlock might.


 Hats off to Crescenzo DeLuca and the nation of Jamaica!

* "1966 Twister Cover" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1966_Twister_Cover.jpg#mediaviewer/File:1966_Twister_Cover.jpg

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