House approves Collins’ bill guaranteeing automatic U.S. citizenship for children of military members

The U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 3 approved bipartisan legislation offered by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) to establish that a foreign-born child of an American citizen serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or who is a federal government employee is automatically a U.S. citizen even if the child is not residing in the United States.

“Men and women who are serving our country overseas as part of the military or as civil servants should not have any doubts about their children’s citizenship,” Rep. Collins said. “This bipartisan bill would ensure that these children receive automatic citizenship.”

Rep. Collins is the lead original cosponsor of the Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act, H.R. 4803, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). The two lawmakers are ranking member and chairman, respectively, of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and introduced H.R. 4803 in October.

Following House approval on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday received H.R. 4803 and referred the measure to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

“I encourage the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the president’s desk,” said Rep. Collins. “American families bravely serving our country abroad shouldn’t have to fight through piles of bureaucracy to ensure their children are rightfully considered American citizens.”

If enacted, H.R. 4803 would make a technical change to Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to clarify that these children satisfy the residency requirement even while abroad, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Collins’ office.