Posted by Curt on 29 September, 2012 at 11:03 am. 3 comments already!


Stuart Anderson @ Forbes:

The controversy over how Utah Republican Congressional candidate Mia Love’s family became lawful permanent residents may have another twist – Love may be right about how her family received their green cards, which allowed them to stay in America.

The magazine Mother Jones recently argued in an article that Mia Love’s story of how her Haitian parents came to America doesn’t add up and that her birth in America couldn’t have made any difference in her family staying in America.

Mother Jones wrote, “Love doesn’t talk about this aspect of her family’s immigration story now that she’s running for Congress, but she once said in a little-noticed interview that her birth on US soil helped bring her siblings to America. In January 2011, Love told the Deseret News that her parents, Jean Maxime and Marie Bourdeau, came to New York in the 1970s, fleeing poverty and looking for a better life. Love said that her parents immigrated legally, but were forced to leave their two young children behind in Haiti because their visa didn’t allow them to bring the kids.”

The publication quotes an interview with the Deseret News: “There was an immigration law in place, however, that would grant the entire family citizenship if Jean Maxine and Mary had a baby in America. But there was a deadline. The law was set to expire on Jan. 1, 1976. On Dec. 6, 1975, with 25 days to spare, Mia was born in a Brooklyn hospital. In no time, her older brother and sister were sent for in Haiti and the family was re-united. Says Mia: ‘My parents have always told me I was a miracle and our family’s ticket to America.’”

Mother Jones argues, “It’s an uplifting story, but there’s one problem with this account. According to immigration lawyers and U.S. immigration officials, there doesn’t appear to have been a law of the kind described in the article that would have conferred citizenship on Love’s parents, let alone her siblings, by simply having a baby in the United States.”

However, such a law did, in fact, exist, although it did not give citizenship to the parents of U.S.-born children but rather the ability to obtain legal residency, explains Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney with Lane Powell and author of a National Foundation for American Policy paper on birthright citizenship. (In general, an individual can apply for citizenship 5 years after becoming a legal resident.) Stock points out that the State Department’s Foreign Affairs manual describes the law that Love’s family may have used, which expired in 1977, a little more than a year after Mia Love’s birth on U.S. soil.

Here is what the manual states:

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