Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Which countries grant unconditional birthright citizenship? (DW)

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An American passport (Fotolia/Greg Blomberg)

Donald Trump has said children born on American soil should not automatically get citizenship, claiming that the US is “the only country in world” to do this. DW shows where else “jus soli” is enshrined in law.

In the final days before the US midterm elections, President Donald Trump has called for doing away with automatically granting an individual American citizenship if he or she is born within and subject to the jurisdiction of the US. This includes the children of noncitizens, whether documented or undocumented.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States,” Trump claimed.

In fact, the US is one of a number of nations that automatically grant citizenship to those born on their soil, regardless of any other conditions. This right is commonly referred to as unconditional or unrestricted birthright citizenship, more formally known as jus soli (“law of soil”). Jus soli can also be conditional, and Trump on Wednesday sought to argue that this might be the case for the US as well, pointing to a subclause in the wording of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

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