Sat | Dec 9, 2023

Clarke wants citizenship for individuals previously excluded

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2023 | 12:35 AM
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke


Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has introduced the Equal Citizenship for Children Act in the House of Representatives that would amend the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) to automatically provide US citizenship to eligible individuals previously excluded by the CCA.

She is being supported in the move by North Carolina Congresswoman, Alma Adams.

“Our vital fight for substantial immigration reform necessitates that we look towards all forms of meaningful progress whenever possible,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“For far too long, many individuals, who have resided in this country since childhood and who should be citizens under today’s law have been living under the fear of deportation.

“I’m proud to join Congresswoman Adams to introduce common-sense solutions, such as the Equal Citizenship for Children Act, that will not only provide lifelong Americans with the citizenship they deserve, but reaffirm our commitment towards a fair and equitable immigration system,” she added.

Adams said that comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform is a priority for House Democrats.

“The Equal Citizenship for Children Act amends the Child Citizenship Act to keep families together and automatically provide citizenship to eligible individuals previously excluded by the CCA.

“I’m proud to join Congresswoman Clarke in introducing this bill and taking us one step closer to immigration reform that makes sense for everyone who lives in our country,” she added.

Since 2001, Clarke said the Child Citizenship Act has helped preserve family unity by allowing foreign-born children to acquire US citizenship when their custodial parent naturalises to US citizenship, or when they are adopted by a US citizen.

“Thanks to the CCA, most of these children automatically become citizens when they reside with their parent(s) in the US and meet certain other requirements,” Clarke said.

“However, despite having a US citizen parent, many individuals who have lived in the US since childhood and who would be citizens under today’s law, are being deported well into adulthood, and in many cases to countries where they have no family, support, or community ties.

“These deportations have lasting, devastating consequences for individuals and their families,” the Congresswoman added.