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New Trump Ruling Likely Will Affect LGBTQ+ Military Families

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The measure could make it difficult for adopted children to acquire citizenship.

A new ruling on Wednesday will make it more difficult for some children to acquire U.S. citizenship if they're living abroad. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Wednesday, a change that could disproportionately affect LGBTQ+ families according to advocates.

As a result of the new rule, adopted children of U.S. service members and government officials serving abroad will no longer automatically acquire citizenship. Instead, these children will be subjected to a process that can, at times be length and expensive.

"We are very concerned about how this new policy may affect our LGBTQ service members looking to adopt or use surrogates, sperm or egg donors or IVF," said Peter Perkowski, legal and policy director of Modern Military Association of America, according to The Hill.

According to a study by the William's Institute, LGBTQ+ parents in the U.S. are four times more likely to adopt a child. Currently 21% of adopted children are among LGBTQ+ families -- meaning that the measure will potentially impact them more.

"Our nation's modern military families deserve better than this, and the last thing they should have to worry about is going through extra hoops in order to ensure their children are U.S. citizens," Perkowski said in a statement. "We continue to urge Congress to look into this new policy and hold this administration accountable."

The measure which is expected to affect between 20 and 25 individuals per year -- does not affect natural-born U.S. citizens.

"While this policy does not specifically target LGBTQ people, it does appear to disenfranchise many Americans who represent this nation overseas," Aaron C. Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality, said to The Hill."The administration could have construed the law to benefit our civil servants and members of our military, people who give their lives every day in service of this nation."

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif), has said that his office received numerous calls about the new policy and expressed how the change "certainly discriminates" against LGBTQ+ troops overseas.

"It's an absurd attempt for the administration to try to interpret the 14th Amendment," Khanna said on Thursday. "I know the president thinks he's very powerful, but the president of the United States has no authority to try to rewrite the 14th Amendment."

Khanna said he expects affected groups or individuals to sue and would hope that the Supreme Court recognizes "the blatant unconstitutionality of this power grab by the administration."


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