Twin boys recently made the national news when it was initially ruled that one was a citizen and the other was visitor. According to various news sources, they are the children of a married gay couple where one father was a U.S. citizen and the other was from Israel. The couple used an anonymous egg donor and chose to use the sperm of one father per egg. A surrogate carried both babies, which were born minutes apart. Initially boy with the Israeli father was granted a visitor visa instead of citizenship.
A judge steps in
Fortunately, a U.S. District Judge here in Los Angeles ruled that both boys were U.S. citizens upon birth in 2016. He added that the parents’ marriage does not have to demonstrate a biological relationship with both parents as applied to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It is also worth noting that the judge ruled that the State Department’s interpretation of the INA violated the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause.
Important case for same sex couples
This family’s arrangement is not unusual for same sex parents. While the judge’s ruling did strike down State Department policy, it is an important precedent as more married gay couples start families. The plaintiffs’ attorney pointed out that the State Department should make the changes under its own volition, which does not seem likely. With this in mind, the ruling will be an important one.
Representing clients of all ages
These young boys will have no recollection of the legal battle they were involved in, which is probably just as well. Nevertheless, it illustrates that immigration law can be interpreted differently by different government agencies. An attorney with experience handling immigration and citizenship issues can be a tremendous asset, particularly because there are many clients of different ages who cannot defend themselves without legal guidance.