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Westlake Legal Group > Citizenship

Ryan Shorthouse and Anvar Sarygulov: We need more migrants to become citizens

Ryan Shorthouse is Director of Bright Blue and Anvar Sarygulov is a Researcher at Bright Blue.

The public debate on immigration is dominated by the number of people entering and leaving Britain. However, very little attention is paid to the final step of a journey for many who decide to make UK their home: obtaining British citizenship. Boosting citizenship rates, which have fallen this decade, could be part of an agenda by Boris Johnson to bolster an inclusive post-Brexit Britishness.

Substantively, the only difference between migrants with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which grants migrants a right to reside in the UK permanently after five years, and British citizens is the right to vote. However, there are several positive effects that derive from citizenship that have been underdiscussed and underutilised.

Research from both Britain and overseas shows that citizenship benefits immigrants themselves in a variety of ways. It is associated with improving employment prospects, with a greater feeling of belonging and security, and with higher rates of political participation. Furthermore, adopting citizenship is a significant symbolic commitment, reaffirming the place of that individual in Britain and making them more invested in our past, present and future.

Eighty-four per cent of the British public say it is important for migrants to be committed to the way of life in Britain to be able to come and live here. As research by British Future has shown, native Britons prefer it when migrants settle in the country for the long term and integrate. There is no better way to achieve it than by ensuring that more migrants obtain citizenship. By ensuring that more migrants become British citizens, it might even be possible to alleviate some public concerns around migration.

That does not mean that we should give out citizenship to anyone. Considering its significance, it is understandable to expect that those wishing to adopt it must meet specific criteria. Those wishing to become citizens of the UK already must prove that they have sufficient knowledge of English and of life in the UK and that they are of good character. These long-standing criteria should not be significantly relaxed.

The number of non-EU migrants who were granted citizenship decreased significantly from 189,000 in 2013 to 105,000 in 2018. Though some of this decrease is accounted by the decline in net migration that occurred in early 2010s, the data suggests that an increasing number of non-EU migrants do not obtain citizenship.

However, the number of EU migrants who are becoming citizens is now increasing due to Brexit. And with 930,000 EU nationals already being granted Settled Status, which allows them to apply for naturalisation within a year, there will be a much greater number of migrants eligible for citizenship in the near future.

There are existing barriers to citizenship that are unreasonable and unnecessary. Chief among them is the exorbitant cost. Obtaining ILR for one person costs £2,389. Meanwhile, the subsequent naturalisation fee for adults is £1,330, following a sustained rise in fees, with the cost now being 49 per cent higher in real terms than in 2010. In comparison, the average naturalisation fee across Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the US, Norway and Sweden is around £225. Furthermore, the actual cost of processing a naturalisation application to the Home Office is only £372, highlighting that the Government is now excessively profiteering from applicants.

Citizenship should be encouraged, not discouraged. The high costs prevent many hard-working individuals and families, who have contributed to our economy and communities for years, from fully putting down roots and becoming citizens of the UK. The Government should rectify this by mean-testing citizenship fees to enable everyone who wants to, and are eligible to, become a British citizen. Considering the prohibitive prices and the large profit margin, the mean-testing system should be generous and provide relief to the majority of applicants.

Particular attention should be brought to the naturalisation fee for children, which at £1,012 does not lag far behind the adult one. Considering the importance of citizenship, it is absurd to discourage citizenship amongst those who have been here from birth, who have been educated in British schools and who have been brought up in Britain by subjecting them and their families to an obscene cost. Indeed, the High Court recently ruled this fee for children to be unlawful. The Government should abolish naturalisation fees for children who were born in the UK.

Considering the benefits of citizenship, we should not only remove undue financial barriers to it, but financially incentivise it – through nudging long-term migrants towards it. Currently, thousands of migrants in the UK continue to stay here on an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for years, even though most of them can apply for citizenship 12 months after receiving permanent residency.

A simple measure would be to ask ILR applicants to signal their intention to apply for full British citizenship in their application in return for a future significant discount on citizenship fees. A year later, they should receive a reminder they are eligible for this discounted citizenship, and be charged the discounted price in their application.

There is also room in the process to reward migrants who are doing what we expect good citizens to do: contributing to the economy through working and contributing to society through volunteering.

The Government should grant such civic-minded migrants a fast-track route to obtaining citizenship. For most visa routes, it takes five years before a migrant is eligible for ILR and an additional year before they are eligible for citizenship, but the ILR period should be decreased to three years for civically engaged migrants who promise to become a citizen 12 months later. Such migrants should have consistently paid National Insurance for three years, and have proof that they have volunteered with a school, community organisation or registered charity on a regular basis for a substantial number of hours over the past three years. A discount should also apply to the citizenship fee for those on this fast-track route.

Citizenship should play a much more significant role in the Conservative Government’s reforms to the immigration system. Doing so would improve social integration, enhance the contribution that migrants make, and allay public discontent over immigration. It will be a way of strengthening the image of an inclusive Britain after Brexit, which Boris is so eager to cultivate.

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Then Versus Now, and What to Do About It

Westlake Legal Group usa-1149896_1280-620x410 Then Versus Now, and What to Do About It washington D.C. U.S. Congress Popular Culture Politics Patriotism National Security International Affairs Government Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Democrats Are Evil democrats Culture of Corruption Culture & Faith Culture crime corruption Citizenship


President Trump’s political opposition are beside themselves in their continual condemnation of every domestic or foreign policy proposal and action taken by the administration. According to them, everything done by the Trump administration is either some kind of evil grand conspiracy in service of his supposed “Russian puppeteers,” the product of his supposed racist and white supremacist worldview, or just some crackpot idea by someone who is over his head and “winging it” – sometimes in combination!

Compared to the erudite foreign policy establishment, the cultural [il]literati, the grand conservative thinkers among the #NeverTrump wing who make these judgments daily, which are repeated endlessly by the paid parrots in the legacy media, I see things in far simpler terms, which could be distilled to this concept: the President is spearheading an American restoration in much the same way that a builder (or a homeowner) renovates and restores an old house that has been allowed to decay through neglect over the years.

America’s decay since 1960 can be clearly shown by contrasting what we do these days versus what we did yesteryear. There is a LOT that we used to do that we don’t anymore, much of which plays directly into “national objectives” and the national psyche. POTUS is quite simply trying to restore America’s mojo.

For example, we used to teach self-reliance through the adage that “God helps those who help themselves.” The concept involves developing personal initiative, working hard, and providing first for oneself and then for one’s family. To depend on others for one’s basic needs was long considered to be a personal failing and an embarrassment. These days, the political class has constructed a welfare state that teaches inter-generational dependence on the government, destroying self-reliance and also personal integrity and the feeling of self-worth in the process.

We used to practice Christian charity at all levels of the income scale. Even those with modest incomes felt compelled to provide at least a pittance for those in more unfortunate circumstances “because it was the Christian thing to do.” Nowadays, the state has assumed that function to the detriment of both those doing the giving and also those on the receiving end. The givers’ hearts are perceptibly hardened as they shirk what previously was a communal obligation while the state can’t do anything about changing the life trajectory and spirit of those receiving government aid.

We used to have lightly regulated free enterprise; anyone with an idea, a little capital, and an entrepreneurial spirit could start and build a business. The concept of “creative destruction” – the continual removal and replacement of longstanding practices to make way for innovative concepts – was inherently understood and accepted. These days, in order to reduce risk to large businesses in particular, the government is engaged in picking winners and losers on the basis of campaign contributions to politicians who manipulate the tax and regulatory systems to benefit or punish as they deem fit. This is the essence of the corporate capitalism about which the Left rail these days. Their aim is off, though, as it is the government that is the problem, not the solution!

We used to have citizen legislators, as envisioned by the Founders. Those legislators would do the people’s business on a part-time basis, and then return to their own business pursuits thereafter. Now, we have a “professional” political class that has sprung up like cockleburs in a bean field. As citizens, we have ceded authority to them to “run the country,” and how has that worked out? Arguably horribly, as the US national debt exceeds $22 trillion, our inner cities are disaster areas filled with hopeless people with ruined lives, our manufacturing jobs cynically and maliciously exported to China, and our national security and sovereignty directly compromised by open borders nonsense.

We used to believe in – and actually had! – a low-tax, low regulatory government and an understanding that the least government that is closest to the people is the best. And to think that there was once no federal income tax or Internal Revenue Service! Now, thanks to the corrupting influence of the power and control provided by an administrative state which has seeped into every nook and cranny of American society, the political class has come to believe that the federal government can provide virtually everything for everyone – but at the cost of our liberties and freedom, not to mention our money! Are there no federal programs which have failed to achieve their goals that should be retired? I can think of a LOT of them that should be shut down and/or returned to the states per the 10th Amendment! The administrative state’s growth is unabated because it serves the political class – but not We The People!

We used to have healthy debates on whither and where public monies should be spent; this as much as any topic enabled us to sort out the true natures of the politicians we sent to Congress. Now, the federal budget in particular has become so gargantuan that no one can grasp the redundancies and waste therein. Who among us has ever read through the entire federal budget? Our eyes glaze at the minutiae. And the political class has gravitated toward the use of continuing resolutions partly to avoid the scrutiny from the public that would come with actually developing a formal annual federal budget. All that the politicians do these days is argue for more taxes and more spending, as well as changing the priorities for spending all those taxpayer dollars.

We used to be taught the Federalist Papers and de Toqueville in 8th grade civics, as well as a reverence for the Constitution. Young people actually understood how state and federal governments worked, and why they were set up as they were by the Founders, including the key concept of checks and balances and the reasons for the “Great Compromise.” Now, the political class seeks to escape those shackles at every turn while developing convoluted arguments that the Constitution needs to be an “enabling document and not a restrictive one” that ultimately lead to the despotism that the Founders feared most. The ridiculous discussion of doing away with the Electoral College by leftist Democrats like the members of The Squad is symptomatic of the demise of practical civics and American history classes in our public education system

We used to be taught public manners and to practice civic courtesy everywhere; it was part of what growing up, and becoming a responsible and productive citizen was all about. Respect for one’s elders, law enforcement personnel, and civic figures was taught and reinforced as one grew up and came of age. Now, the culture has been coarsened to the point where virtually anything goes and nothing shocks anymore. Public insults have given way to wishing bodily harm and/or death on one’s perceived enemies, especially in the political realm. This has hardened into a political tactic by the leftist Democrats who actually cheer on politically motivated violence by the likes of Antifa and Communist agitators in the streets in places like Portland.

We used to have faith in government institutions, and that the people in those agencies were actually public servants tending to the business of the country. How naïve! We have learned otherwise in the Age of Trump, as the revelations about the corruption in the Obama regime across virtually all departments has increasingly been exposed. Before 2016, how many of us would ever have suspected that elements of the CIA, DoJ, FBI, and State Department were conspiring against a presidential candidate and later an elected president? And although cynically noting double standards in the application of our laws, how many of us could ever have believed the extent to which those double standards have been exposed in DoJ and the FBI covering up major Obama and Clinton scandals in recent years?

Lastly – although the list could go on – we used to worship and believe in God, as well as express those beliefs in the public square. Now, we have lost sight of the country’s founding as a Christian nation, and the political class has virtually excised religion from the public square with the aid of the Communist-founded ACLU and other leftists over the years. And how has that worked out? As one example, the Catholic Church has lost its way, abrogating centuries-old pro-life bedrock principles. One statistic about all others shows how far we’ve fallen: over 60 million abortions have been performed since Roe v. Wade opened the floodgates to abortion on demand in 1973. Then there is the increasing evidence of human trafficking and pedophilia among the political class and supposed cultural icons in America. Let’s face it: the Marxists are winning the culture wars, folks, just as they have long planned!

Now given the aforementioned comparisons, what should our national objectives be if we wish to regain some semblance of the Republic envisioned by the Founders? I’ll give you my 2 cents to chew on, all of which are focused on the long-term. I happen to believe that these objectives are also what underly President Trump’s strategy to restore America and its institutions. Conversely, these are also the items that the Left as manifested by today’s Democrat Party will fight – and are fighting! – tooth-and-nail to prevent.

  • Promote self-reliance for all American citizens. Teach it in the schools, enable it through limited government. This requires regaining control of the public education system and booting leftist teachers en masse. Reduce transfer payments to a lifetime limit (x number of years total), except for the truly indigent.
  • Repeal “affirmative action” laws throughout the land. Restore merit as the only measuring stick for employment and promotion decisions.
  • Hold people responsible for their actions, especially the political and mandarin classes. Enforce racketeering and corruption laws (and pass tougher ones that are rigidly enforced). Public shaming also has a place.
  • Pass a constitutional amendment limiting federal spending (both on and off book) to the historical average of percentage of Gross National Product (GNP) before 1960.
  • Reform the tax code. I prefer a flat tax with no deductions although I would rather see the income tax replaced by a national sales tax and a return to tariffs as a significant source of national revenue as was the case before the 16th Amendment was passed.
  • Limit the federal government to constitutionally-specified functions; return all other matters to the individual states (that means “infrastructure” and other Marxist-inspired lingo/programs). Retire failed programs. Reduce federal subsidies to near zero (except for research and development, which is the seed corn of economic and technological growth).
  • Promote civic courtesy and good public manners; publicly shame and ostracize those who don’t comply. Quickly prosecute those who incite violence in their political speech and other public utterances.
  • Excise all foreign influence (especially money) from the political class. Rescind all domestic campaign finance restrictions, remove all subsidies from non-profits (except for religious organizations), repeal McCain-Feingold (and get rid of all non-profits organizations except for religious-affiliated and private charities), and require all domestic political contributions be instantly publicized the moment they are made.
  • Re-implement loyalty oaths across the federal government at all levels. Monitor and enforce adherence through revamped personnel and whistle-blower policies. Pass laws preventing lobbying of Congress by anyone formerly serving in the federal government in any capacity (bureaucrat, elected official, appointed staffers, etc.).
  • Sponsor a series of widely-publicized nationwide and regional conferences and debates over many months in many venues on national defense policy, the conduct of war, commitment of forces overseas, alliances, objectives, etc., leading to a national consensus that can be manifested by the political class. Do the same for domestic policy (might require a Constitutional Convention to delineate/realign federal-state responsibilities although I am leery about deep pocket leftist donors hijacking this through corruption and bribery). POTUS has essentially begun the process with his frequent campaign stops around the country.

I greatly prefer the “then” to the “now,” at least as relates to the comparisons presented here. These recommended actions listed will reverse those comparison and are entirely consistent with the MAGA agenda. In fact, these are the kinds of issues that he is pursuing when he appoints conservative judges to the federal bench, implements tax cuts, reduces government regulations, roots out the political corruption in the Deep State, and gains control of our porous southern border. And they’re certainly NOT in service of his mythical Russian puppet masters in Moscow as the execrable Left ridiculously claims! The end result of a continuation of these actions will be a restoration of America over the long haul while removing the blight and decay that the Left have purposely created over the past few decades. Let’s help POTUS continue his wonderful reclamation project on behalf of all Americans!

The end.

The post Then Versus Now, and What to Do About It appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group usa-1149896_1280-300x199 Then Versus Now, and What to Do About It washington D.C. U.S. Congress Popular Culture Politics Patriotism National Security International Affairs Government Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Democrats Are Evil democrats Culture of Corruption Culture & Faith Culture crime corruption Citizenship   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Report: John Roberts initially sided with Trump in the census citizenship question case — then changed his vote

Westlake Legal Group jr Report: John Roberts initially sided with Trump in the census citizenship question case — then changed his vote wilbur ross Trump The Blog roberts question liberal gerrymandering conservative CNN Citizenship census

It wouldn’t be the first time he’d — allegedly — joined with the conservatives in a case boiling with political repercussions only to think better of it and swing around to the liberal position. Everyone’s heard the stories by now about Roberts supposedly wimping out in the ObamaCare ruling seven years ago, initially agreeing with Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and then getting cold feet. Result: A tortured and dubious majority opinion upholding the constitutionality of the mandate as a tax. Rumors swirled within days of the decision that Roberts had switched his vote because he feared the Court would be attacked as a partisan institution if the five Republican appointees joined to kill Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As chief justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the court, and he also is sensitive to how the court is perceived by the public.

There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the court – and to Roberts’ reputation – if the court were to strike down the mandate. Leading politicians, including the president himself, had expressed confidence the mandate would be upheld.

Some even suggested that if Roberts struck down the mandate, it would prove he had been deceitful during his confirmation hearings, when he explained a philosophy of judicial restraint.

It was around this time that it also became clear to the conservative justices that Roberts was, as one put it, “wobbly,” the sources said.

No one outside the Court knows why or even whether Roberts switched his vote. But the perception of him ever since among righties is that, ironically, for all his concern about the Court being perceived as “politicized,” his alleged switcheroo is one of the most glaring examples of judicial politicization in American history. If Roberts is casting his votes based not on the merits of the parties’ arguments but on how he thinks partisan critics are likely to react then politics is guiding his deliberation. Not in a straight-line “Republican appointee must vote Republican” way but in a circuitous “Republican appointee occasionally must vote Democratic to preserve perceptions of institutional integrity” one.

Did it happen again in the controversial ruling earlier this summer about Trump’s power to include a citizenship question on the forthcoming census? That decision resembled the ObamaCare ruling in that both were written by Roberts and both began with arguments for the conservative position. The individual mandate is unconstitutional as a function of Congress’s Commerce Clause power, Roberts agreed in 2012; the president does have the power to add citizenship questions to the census, he conceded this past June. But, he went on to say in the ObamaCare decision, the mandate is valid as a tax. But, he went on to say in the census decision, the Commerce Department appears to have been deceptive in its reasons for wanting to add a citizenship question to the census. In both cases, it seemed as if Roberts was persuaded by the logic of the conservative view before conveniently finding an argument that allowed him to avoid joining in what would have seemed like a highly partisan decision.

And now here comes CNN citing sources familiar with the Court’s deliberations for the claim that Roberts switched his vote in that case too:

Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote against President Donald Trump’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but only after changing his position behind the scenes, sources familiar with the private Supreme Court deliberations tell CNN.

The case was fraught with political consequences. Democrats and civil rights advocates claimed the query would discourage responses to the decennial questionnaire from new immigrants and minorities and affect the balance of power nationwide…

After the justices heard arguments in late April, Roberts was ready to rule for Ross and the administration. But sometime in the weeks that followed, sources said, Roberts began to waver. He began to believe that Ross’ rationale for the citizenship question had been invented, and that, despite the deference he would normally give an executive branch official, Ross’ claim had to matter in the court’s final judgment, which Roberts announced on June 27.

“John Roberts is the Supreme Court’s James Comey,” said a Twitter pal. Is he? In extraordinary circumstances, both men seem to be willing to dispense with institutional protocol and pull a Leeroy Jenkins in the name of some perceived greater moral/ethical/institutional good.

Right, right, we need to be fair. Caveat one: God only knows if the CNN report is true. No hard evidence exists of Roberts’s vote switch. It’s all coming from “sources” who might have axes to grind. Caveat two: A judge is entitled to change his mind. Just because Roberts switched his vote doesn’t mean he did it for political reasons, to dodge some political heat from liberals. Maybe the liberal wing of the Court lobbied him on their view and persuaded him. Caveat three: It’s not like Roberts has been a reliably anti-Trump vote on the Court. The Supremes have mostly tilted Trump’s way during his presidency. Literally yesterday Roberts sided with Trump on another hot-button political issue, whether the president has the power to summarily deny asylum claims filed by migrants who declined to seek asylum in Mexico while litigation is pending. He’s not David Souter.

But if you’re suspicious that Roberts’s supposed vote-switch in the census case had a political motive, there is a bit of extra evidence to consider. That decision was delivered on the same morning, the very last day of the term, as another closely watched political case, the one having to do with whether partisan gerrymanders can be challenged in court. Roberts wrote that one too and joined the conservatives for a 5-4 majority in ruling that gerrymanders can’t be litigated. The partisan implications weren’t perfectly clear in that one since Democrats have also engaged in partisan gerrymandering, but broadly speaking the left supported court challenges to gerrymanders and the right was more suspicious. Roberts knew the Court would take partisan flak for its decision; for him to join with conservatives again for another 5-4 majority in the census case posted on the same day would have made the partisan criticism many times louder. “The GOP appointees are in the tank!” liberals would have cried.

And so, insofar as Roberts may have felt pressure not to hand two major wins to righties in the same morning, the vote-switch in the census case seems that much more dubious. Did he decide to “split the baby,” handing the right a win on gerrymandering and the left a win on the census? Or did he really change his mind in the census ruling on the merits? Who would trust him after the reporting on his ObamaCare switcheroo?

The post Report: John Roberts initially sided with Trump in the census citizenship question case — then changed his vote appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group jr-300x153 Report: John Roberts initially sided with Trump in the census citizenship question case — then changed his vote wilbur ross Trump The Blog roberts question liberal gerrymandering conservative CNN Citizenship census   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

No, the U.S. hasn’t declared that children of military servicemen born abroad aren’t citizens

Westlake Legal Group r-2 No, the U.S. hasn’t declared that children of military servicemen born abroad aren’t citizens Women uscis Trump The Blog service military men malor lind immigration cuccinelli Citizenship children

A hair-raising sentence that caused a minor freakout on political Twitter this afternoon from the new citizenship guidelines issued by the feds today: “USCIS is updating its policy regarding children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members employed or stationed outside the United States to explain that they are not considered to be ‘residing in the United States’ for purposes of acquiring citizenship under INA 320.”

So … children of U.S. military servicemen and women born abroad are no longer citizens? For a guy who likes to remind people how much he loves the military, Trump doesn’t seem to love the military so much here!

But no, that’s not what the policy says. You can read the actual guidelines here but the USCIS fact sheet is clear enough. Note well:

Who This Policy Update Does Not Affect

This policy does not affect children born outside the United States who were citizens at birth or who have already acquired citizenship, including children who:

Were born to two U.S. citizen parents, at least one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions before the child’s birth;

Were born to married parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen and one a foreign national, if the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or one of its outlying possessions for at least five years, at least two of which were after they turned 14 years old;

How many children born abroad to servicemen and women are covered by those two categories? Ninety-five percent? More? None of them are touched by the new policy.

Today’s guidelines are a result of a bit of confusion between two different immigration statutes, says the USCIS in its explanation of the change. Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act explains how a child who was born abroad can automatically become an American citizen. Basically, if one parent is a U.S. citizen, the child is under 18, and the child is now residing in the U.S. with the parent, he/she gets citizenship. All he/she has to do is take the oath. Section 322 is for children born abroad who don’t fit that criteria, i.e. if the family is now residing outside the U.S. In that case the child doesn’t get automatic citizenship but can be naturalized as an American citizen. In the case of a service member, as long as they’re a U.S. citizen and were present in the U.S. for at least five years after they turned 14 — and if you’re deployed abroad on military orders, that counts as “present in the U.S.” — then they can file some extra paperwork and have their child naturalized.

Until today, military members could file under either 320 or 322, claiming that they were residing in the U.S. even while deployed abroad *or* claiming that they weren’t residing in the U.S. but were “physically present.” The new policy clarifies that, from now on, it’s only the second route that’s available to them until they’re residing back home again.

First, permitting a child to be eligible simultaneously for a Certificate of Citizenship under INA 320 and for naturalization under INA 322 conflicts with the language of INA 322(a), which states that a parent “may apply for naturalization on behalf of a child born outside of the United States who has not acquired citizenship automatically under INA 320.”

Second, considering children who are living outside of the United States to be “residing in the United States” conflicts with the definition of “residence” at INA 101(a)(33), which defines “residence” as a person’s “principal, actual dwelling place in fact.”

Third, considering these children to be “residing in the United States” is at odds with INA 322(d), which was enacted in 2008,16 4 years after USCIS issued policy guidance on the topic. When Congress enacted INA 322(d), it provided for special procedures in cases involving the naturalization of “a child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is authorized to accompany such member and reside abroad with the member pursuant to the member’s official orders, and is so accompanying and residing with the member.” Congress placed this provision under INA 322, which applies only to children “residing outside of the United States.” It did not provide similar language for such children to acquire citizenship under INA 320.

It boils down to this (if I’m understanding it correctly). Starting next month, a child born abroad to an American citizen in the military is no longer treated as though they’re residing in the U.S. If you want automatic citizenship for that child under 320, you need to wait until you come home and establish U.S. residency for the child here. Or, if you don’t want to wait until you’re back in the U.S., you can file paperwork under 322 that’ll make them a naturalized citizen even while they’re residing abroad. By forcing families who want to speed up the process to use 322 instead of 320, the feds are going to make servicemen to jump through more bureaucratic hoops and do more paperwork, which is a pain. But no one’s kid is being rendered ineligible for citizenship by the policy. They’re still fully entitled to it.

One question I have, though. If you go the 322 route, where does that leave your child with respect to his/her constitutional eligibility to be president as a “natural-born” citizen? Section 322 lays out the procedure for “naturalization on behalf of a child born outside of the United States who has not acquired citizenship automatically.” If the child is naturalized, by definition it’s not natural-born, right?

The post No, the U.S. hasn’t declared that children of military servicemen born abroad aren’t citizens appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group r-2-300x153 No, the U.S. hasn’t declared that children of military servicemen born abroad aren’t citizens Women uscis Trump The Blog service military men malor lind immigration cuccinelli Citizenship children   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ryan Shorthouse: How to boost integration

Ryan Shorthouse is the Founder and Director of Bright Blue, and co-author of Distant neighbours? Understanding and measuring social integration in England

Concern about a lack of social integration in the UK has been high for some time. In 2015, David Cameron even ordered a review into the state of social integration in the country. Published a year later, Dame Louise Casey’s Review into opportunity and integration concluded that successive governments have failed to ensure that social integration in the UK has kept up with the “unprecedented pace and scale of immigration”.

But what is social integration, and how can we strengthen it? That is the focus of Bright Blue’s latest report, published today.

We propose that neighbourhood trust should be at the heart of our understanding and measurement of social integration, since it is indicative of positive, meaningful and sustained interactions in a local area. Admittedly, neighbourhood trust is only capturing that between members of a community, not necessarily between people from different ethnic groups. In truth, then, neighbourhood trust would only be a good measure of social integration if that trust is high in an ethnically heterogeneous community.

Furthermore, since it is possible for people to trust their neighbours on the basis of them being in the same ethnic group, high levels of neighbourhood trust in ethnically diverse communities only indicate high levels of social integration when the local area is not residentially segregated. This is an important qualification that needs to be included when measuring levels of social integration.

We recommend that the Government, as well as local and combined authorities and public bodies, utilise this new measure of social integration. Specifically, the Government should produce a ten-yearly Social Integration Index, measuring levels of social integration across all different local authorities in the country. This Social Integration Index could consider incorporating other measures, such as levels of deprivation.

Bright Blue has had an initial attempt at this new Social Integration index, through independent statistical analysis the 2009-10 and 2010-11 Citizenship Survey, the 2011 Census and the 2015 Indices of Deprivation, as well as further analysis of the Index of Dissimilarity and the Index of Ethnic Diversity. Based on our proposed measure of social integration, we identified the four most socially integrated local authorities in England as those with relatively high levels of neighbourhood trust, relatively high levels of ethnic diversity and relatively low levels of residential segregation. These are the City of London; Cambridge; Richmond upon Thames, and Milton Keynes.

Our report proposes original policies to boost social integration in England. These are targeted at individuals, to better equip them to socially integrate, and institutions, to increase the opportunities for social integration. In particular, we focus on improving English language competence across all social groups, and reforming schools so they can support greater social mixing between young people.

First, on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course. Overall funding for them has fallen by 56 per cent from 2009-10 to 2016-17, which has been accompanied by a decline in participation from 179,000 to 114,000 people in the same time period.

The Controlling Migration Fund is a £100 million bidding fund launched in 2016 by the government to assist local authorities which are impacted the most by recent immigration to ease pressures on their services. Plans for the Controlling Migration Fund beyond 2020 are supposed to be considered during the next Spending Review.

Considering the importance of English language skills for social integration in this country, we recommend in our report that the Government continues the Controlling Migration Fund beyond 2020 and dedicates a minimum and significant proportion of it for funding ESOL projects. This will give local authorities who are under the most pressure a guaranteed resource with which they could provide ESOL courses to meet higher levels of demand.

Second, on National Citizen Service, which is a government-sponsored voluntary initiative for 15-17 year olds where they engage with a range of extracurricular activities that include outdoor team-building exercises, independent living and social action projects. The scheme currently operates both a four-week and a one-week version during school holidays.

National Citizen Service appears to improve some indicators of social integration in its participants, including increasing levels of trust in others and making it more likely to describe their local area as a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together.

We recommend that the UK Government trials delivering at least one week of NCS to all Year 9 or Year 10 students in all state secondary schools in England during term time. If the trial is successful, the Government should introduce a legal duty for all state secondary schools in England to provide at least one week of NCS to either all Year 9 or Year 10 pupils, depending on which cohort is found to be responding best to the scheme. The optimal length of time of the NCS during term time, ranging from one week to one month, should also be discovered through the trial and introduced during national rollout.

Finally, on school linking programmes. This involves bringing together classrooms of children from demographically diverse schools with the aim of increasing social contact between groups who would otherwise not meet. This can involve a range of collaborative activities, including exchanging work, joint drama, arts and sports sessions, and even community projects for older pupils. School linking can have a positive impact on many aspects of pupils’ skills, attitudes, perceptions and behaviours, including broadening the social groups with whom pupils interact.

The Pupil Premium is additional funding for state-funded primary and secondary schools designed to help disadvantaged pupils, such as those receiving free school meals and looked-after children, perform better. It is awarded for every eligible pupil in school and schools have significant freedom in how to spend it. Making part of this funding conditional on participating in a school linking scheme could incentivise participation in such programmes. As independent schools are not eligible to receive Pupil Premium payments, their participation in school linking programme must be incentivised through a separate mechanism. We recommend making the charitable status of such schools contingent on participation in a school linking programme.

There is no simple, straightforward solution to strengthen social integration. The limitations of public policy have to be recognised and respected, especially in regards to people being free to develop the relationships they want. And, crucially, social integration is a two-way street. It is not enough to say migrants and their children must do more to integrate; native Brits must also make an effort to welcome and involve newcomers.

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YouGov: 67% of Republicans say people who burn the flag should be stripped of citizenship

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Thankfully no one in a position of authority has endorsed this highly illiberal idea.

Oh. Right.

There’s less to this poll than meets the eye, I think. I hope?

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I suspect most people who hear a question like that aren’t taking it at face value but are treating it as a proxy for whether flag-burning is broadly right or wrong. Would a good American burn the flag? Hell no, say Republicans! It’s our damned right to protest, counter Democrats! And that shakes out to the partisan mirror images we’re seeing here.

But it’s not that simple. A question that asked simply whether flag-burning is wrong would probably draw majorities of both parties. (Maybe?) A question that asked whether flag-burning should be punished with death wouldn’t approach majority levels on either side. (Again, I hope.) Tying it to citizenship is an in-between sanction that zeroes in on patriotism. How does a person who feels such contempt for America that he’d torch the flag rightly call himself an American? That’s what this question’s getting at. Few who answer are thinking through the implications of mainstreaming exile as a punishment for civic blasphemy. They’re treating it as a gut-check about whether someone who despises the country enough to burn Old Glory deserves the label of “American” as much as everyone else does.

Some righties who noticed the poll on Twitter this afternoon wondered how the results would have looked if YouGov had asked whether people who wave the Russian flag or celebrate Putin’s interference in the 2016 election should be deported. More Dems than Republicans would vote yes on that one, even though that result would also be obnoxious. Likewise, the idea of making “hate speech” a crime is perfectly mainstream in Europe and enjoys majority support among Democrats if you believe other YouGov polls. Asking about penalties for burning the American flag but not for desecrating other highly charged symbols more sacred to the left feels like YouGov’s way of gaming the poll to highlight illiberal tendencies on one side of the aisle only.

Exit question: Is it really that unlikely that a majority of Republicans would still support this idea after giving it some thought if Trump went all-in on championing it? Sixty-seven percent in favor seems unlikely, but what about 51 percent?

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Breaking: Trump to give up on including citizenship question in census?

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Man, this is unexpected. As of a few hours ago, it looked like he was about to pull the trigger on executive action that would force the question onto the census whether the Supreme Court liked it or not. Then it would have been up to SCOTUS to either give in or try to stop him. If it gave in, it would be a huge blow to the Court’s prestige, an unhappy outcome for John Roberts.

But if it tried to stop him, we’d be facing a constitutional crisis.

The stars seemed to have aligned, then. Trump was set to show his fans that he fights! by issuing the order, on a day when he has hardcore Trumpers surrounding him for the White House’s social media summit. Now here comes ABC to say that the plan’s been scrapped. Trump’s going to let the census go out without the citizenship question and have the feds figure out another way to survey the public about citizenship.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce later Thursday he is backing down from his effort to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and will instead take executive action that instructs the Commerce Department to survey the American public on the question through other means, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

The expected announcement will bring to a close weeks of escalating confusion within the government over his demands that the controversial question be included despite a Supreme Court order that had blocked the move. The White House declined to comment about what exactly the president plans to announce.

As recently as Thursday morning, administration officials had been repeatedly suggested the president would take executive action calling for the question be added to the census. It was not immediately clear when and why the final decision was made not to move forward with that plan.

When they say that Commerce will “survey the American public on the [citizenship] question through other means,” do they mean through an entirely separate survey? Or do they mean that Commerce will go ahead and print the census without the citizenship question but also print a supplemental page on citizenship to be included in the census if the court battle goes forward and Trump wins? That’s what Trump himself had suggested might happen, per Ed’s post this afternoon. A lot depends on the answer. It’s the census itself that matters for districting purposes; if the plan here is to exclude illegals from the count in order to shift legislative power away from immigrant-heavy blue districts then the citizenship question has to be in the census, not in a separate survey. I’m not sure what purpose the separate survey would serve except as an academic look into the size of the total illegal population.

Maybe the “separate survey” isn’t separate after all but just a supplement to the census itself. Or maybe Trump thinks the separate survey could be tacked onto the census retroactively with court approval. He’s going to speak at 3:45 ET and clear this up.

Assuming he really is planning to throw in the towel on adding citizenship to the census, why the sudden cave? I’ll give you three theories.

1. It’s just too late. The deadline for settling the citizenship issue and getting the census to the printers was supposedly June 30. Supposedly printing has already begun on a version without the citizenship question. Maybe Wilbur Ross huddled with his deputies and let Trump know that it’s not logistically feasible to change course at this point, especially with more litigation ahead.

2. The DOJ was set to revolt. POTUS’s lawyers at the Justice Department have made a giant mess of this matter because the administration can’t get its story straight about why they want the citizenship question included. Is it to enforce the Voting Rights Act? To locate illegals for deportation? To redistrict the House to exclude illegals from the count? It was such a hash that maybe the White House concluded the legal case was unwinnable at this point and that if Trump tried to include the question anyway the Supreme Court would shut him down and humiliate him.

3. Trump already won, sort of. If the idea is to exclude illegal immigrants from the count, it’s a cinch that some immigrants will be so nervous about answering the census after all the media attention to this matter that they’ll end up throwing it in the trash when they get it. That is, blue districts are destined to underreport precisely because the legal battle here will have convinced some not to take a risk by sending their census questionnaire in. Maybe Trump considered that enough of a victory that he could afford to let the dispute quietly drop.

He’s speaking in exactly one hour. Stay tuned.

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Trump: Feel the power of my (nearly) fully operational EO on census citizenship question

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Can Donald Trump hack through the Gordian knot of two lawsuits over his attempts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census? It sure looks like Trump will give it a try. Earlier this morning, Trump announced a press conference on the subject as multiple news outlets reported that an executive order would be its centerpiece:

CNN’s White House sources say the EO will drop at the same time, but they’re being coy as to its contents so far:

President Donald Trump is expected to announce an executive action on the census Thursday, multiple White House officials said. …

Some type of direct action by Trump has been one of several avenues explored by the administration to place the question on the decennial population survey following the late June Supreme Court ruling. But any action by the President is likely to be challenged in court.

The Washington Post got an even more ambiguous read from its own administration sources:

White House officials did not immediately confirm Thursday morning that Trump would announce an executive order at the Rose Garden event — a move he has telegraphed for days.

The Supreme Court has called the administration’s rationale for the question “contrived” and said the government could not go forward without a solid justification.

Speaking to reporters at the White House last week, Trump said the question was needed “for many reasons.”

He raised the possibility that some kind of addendum could be printed separately after further litigation of the issue.

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “We could start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision. So we’re working on a lot of things, including an executive order.”

That prompts an obvious question: an EO to do what, exactly? It can’t be to order the inclusion of the question, because that’s the point being reviewed by the courts. The Supreme Court left Trump hanging by demanding a better justification for adding the question back into the census, but time had arguably run out for any changes before the printing needs to start. (Trump’s legal team had argued that July 1 was the drop-dead date for adding the question.)

The Post’s suggestion of printing a supplement might make some sense as an EO. The idea would be to get the regular printing done in a timely manner and have the supplemental form on hand if the courts give him a go-ahead. Would that require a formal EO, however? Probably not, but the formal EO would give Trump an opportunity to showcase his efforts and to rally public sentiment. The public is already behind Trump on the issue of identifying US citizens in the census, although one would hardly know it from the handwringing in the media over a question that once was rather routine in previous censuses.

It’s a smart move to hold a presser on this subject while the public remains on Trump’s side, especially after the setbacks in court this week. Trump will want to make sure everyone knows that he’s still fighting to get the question added, or more basically that he’s still fighting period. The EO itself is secondary, and it’s not likely to make a dramatic change to the course of the issue.

By the time of the 3:45 ET speech and presser, we will know more, of course. We’ll also get a sense of the outcome of the social-media summit and whether the White House will get embarrassed any further after yesterday’s pas de d’oh! with Ben Garrison. Set your Twitter follows and Facebook friending accordingly. In the meantime, be sure to read HA alum Bryan Preston’s argument as to why the question should be included in the census — and indeed was included every time until 2010. Here’s a brief excerpt:

The census is at the heart of representation in our republic. The Constitution explicitly connects the census to representation of citizens. Citizenship has been a routine part of the census for most of our national existence, and resuming capturing this data ought not be controversial. Objections to the citizenship question are speculative at best, disingenuous at worst. The citizenship question is only controversial because like nearly everything else in American life, some want to use the census to serve their own political power plays.

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“Patently deficient”: Federal judge blocks DOJ lawyers from withdrawing from case involving census citizenship question

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How much of a mess has the White House made of this census dispute? So much that the Justice Department lawyers who’ve been handling the case for months are now trying to walk away from it en masse…

…and the courts won’t let them. It’s a federal judge who’s insisting for the moment that Trump’s A-team at the DOJ remain on the job, arguing his side.

At least until they give him a good reason why they shouldn’t. Can they? From today’s order denying the lawyers’ motion to withdraw:

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Let’s back up. The DOJ initially convinced SCOTUS to take up the question of whether a citizenship question could be placed on the census in part by noting that time was of the essence. The census, supposedly, had to be at the printers by June 30. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and issued its verdict two weeks ago: Although the executive has power to add questions to the census, wrote John Roberts, it’s … pretty obvious that they’ve been lying about why they want the citizenship question added to it. The public needs clarity on that and the administration’s stated reasoning, that they need citizenship info to enforce the Voting Rights Act, simply isn’t supported by the evidence.

So the White House was thwarted unless and until it could provide a more credible explanation for wanting the citizenship question included — but since the deadline for printing the census was almost here, it seemed like there’d be no time to reconsider the matter. And so, inevitably, the DOJ announced on July 2 that the citizenship question would be dropped. Then Trump got to talking to his friends, who urged him to fight on, and he declared the next day — in a tweet — that the question wouldn’t be dropped after all, that the DOJ would fight on. And what about the June 30 deadline? Well, maybe the deadline wasn’t such a hard and fast deadline after all. Even though believing that it was helped convince SCOTUS to hear this appeal.

A federal judge in Maryland held a phone conference with the DOJ’s lawyers on July 3, after Trump’s tweet, to try to get a straight answer as to whether they were dropping the case or fighting on. The lawyers seemed as confused as the judge by the state of play:

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All they had was a tweet. “This is a very fluid situation,” said Gardner later in the call, with no small amount of understatement. A source told the WSJ that “Nobody has any f***ing idea” what Trump wanted them to do.

Then came the next newsflash this past Sunday: The entire team of DOJ lawyers working on this case was planning to withdraw from it, a move which the NYT described as “all but unprecedented in legal battles.” Even stranger, the DOJ offered no explanation for the change. They didn’t offer one to the court either, per today’s order. You can’t just walk away without a good reason, said the judge, especially when you’ve spent months insisting that there’s a deadline here and time is of the essence in resolving the matter.

Why would the entire “federal programs” seek to drop the case like a hot potato? Maybe, said the Times, it’s because they feel the administration’s told so many lies — about its reasoning for wanting the question on the census, about the supposedly hard-and-fast deadline for the census, etc — that it’d be unethical for them to continue. That is, maybe they believe there’s no way to go forward here without either lying to the court or admitting that previous representations to the court were lies.

[The motion to withdraw] strongly suggested that the department’s career lawyers had decided to quit a case that at the least seemed to lack a legal basis, and at most left them defending statements that could well turn out to be untrue.

“There is no reason they would be taken off that case unless they saw what was coming down the road and said, ‘I won’t sign my name to that,’” Justin Levitt, a former senior official in the Justice Department under President Barack Obama, said on Sunday…

Lawyers who had been working on the case apparently concluded that they faced three problems. They had told the Supreme Court that they were up against a strict deadline of June 30 for printing the census forms, and there were difficulties in finding a new justification for the question that would not seem invented out of whole cloth. They may have also concluded that there was no way to move speedily enough to restore the question in any event, given that constitutional and statutory frameworks seem to require a lengthy administrative process before new questions may be added to the census.

If they objected to continuing on with the case due to ethical reasons, it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to state that in their motion to withdraw and risk embarrassing Trump and the department. But the federal judge who issued today’s order has called their bluff. Either they have to get back to work or they have to openly admit their ethical misgivings about what they’re being asked to do, which will be an unholy PR clusterfark for the White House and the DOJ. What are they going to do?

To give you a sense of just how messy this has gotten, read this story about the many times federal officials have contradicted their own stated reasoning for wanting to add the citizenship question to the census. Remember, it’s supposed to be about the Voting Rights Act, but figures like Ken Cuccinelli have admitted at times that the information might be used in immigration enforcement. And Trump himself admitted just a few days ago that it might be used for redistricting, perhaps to try to exclude illegals from the count in apportioning House districts. My takeaway from John Roberts’s opinion in the SCOTUS ruling was that he was straining for ways to give Trump the green light to do this but, as a matter of basic judicial integrity, couldn’t allow the administration to lie baldfaced to the Court about what its motives were. Now you have the president all but confessing that the Voting Rights Act rationale wasn’t the real reason for asking about citizenship on the census. If this case comes back to SCOTUS, Roberts may feel obliged to rule against Trump purely because it would embarrass the Court at this point to reward the administration with a win after lying so brazenly.

Trump may “win” anyway, though, if not in court than by making enough of a fuss about this that some illegals will refuse to answer the census questionnaire, leading to an undercount of the population in blue districts with large illegal populations. He might still win in court too, with POTUS reportedly considering an executive order to include the question on the census and begin printing. Again, though, that would operate as a sort of middle finger to SCOTUS, ignoring Roberts’s demand for a clearer rationale for including the question and ordering the government to proceed with it anyway on Trump’s say-so. If SCOTUS tries to stop him, then we’re in constitutional crisis territory. But first, we wait to see what the DOJ will do about today’s “get back to work” order.

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Citizenship question more popular than the media would lead you to believe

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Putting the citizenship question on the census is a Republican plot to steal the next election. It’s designed to suppress funding for low-income communities. It’s just racist. Take your pick of which of these typical headlines you like. To read most of the coverage in major newspapers or on the usual cable news shows, adding the citizenship question is an evil concept that all morally upright citizens should reject. But if that’s the case, why are so many people in favor of it? As it turns out, a majority of voters favor it and not even a third oppose it. (Washington Examiner)

Americans by a wide margin agree with President Trump that the upcoming 2020 census should ask a citizenship question.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll found that 53% feel it should ask the question versus 32% who don’t.

The survey asked: “Do you think the federal government should or should not ask people whether they are American citizens as part of the 2020 census?”

The Supreme Court has rejected including the question in a form the administration proposed but left the door open to another version. And Trump is considering changing the version.

The Yes/No/Not Sure count breaks down at 53/32/14. That’s really not even close, and even if all of the “unsure” voters swung to a negative answer they’d still be in the minority.

The Supreme Court rejected the question in its current form and also didn’t care for the reason it was being asked, but they did leave open the possibility of accepting it if it was restructured a bit and different reasoning was provided. As I noted previously, it seems a bit late for that now unless we really want to drive up the cost of printing and distributing the census forms, but the President may still take another run at it.

But that’s not the big issue here, at least as I’m reading the situation. Democrats are almost universal in very publicly opposing the addition of the citizenship question to the census and slamming the President and anyone who agrees with him over it. And yet again, they’re coming up on the wrong side of the issue when it comes to the feelings of the public. Every one of them who goes on record in this fashion is basically just feeding ammunition to the GOP for next year’s elections.

How many of these issues do they need to hang around their own necks before they go underwater? The public is solidly opposed to infanticide and late-term abortion. A clear majority are still opposed to gun bans. While voters do show significant support for some tenuous form of public health plans, they broadly oppose getting rid of private health insurance. Free health care for illegal immigrants is not at all popular.

The Democrats are building their 2020 platform out of a collection of planks that the public is rejecting. Pretty much the only thing they can agree on among themselves is that the Orange Man is Bad and needs to be removed. But in terms of policies, they appear to be driving themselves into a ditch. I find it remarkable that they’re doing as well as they are in recent polling because they’re pushing a lot of ideas that voters simply do not support.

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