From Citizen Scribe on American Citizenship:
I’m an American citizen who has had children born overseas.
In 1976, I was living in Denmark and was married to a Danish woman. We had a daughter together who was born in Copenhagen.
Within six weeks of her birth, she required a passport so she could travel to England with her mother. To this end, I went to the US Embassy in Copenhagen to inquire about what was needed.
Other than documentation proving her birth and my parentage, along with the cutest six-week-old passport photo ever, nothing was required to establish her American citizenship.
Naturally, I had to know why. I had expected all kinds of red tape, but the embassy personnel were quite clear. This situation (foreign born of American parentage) is something they routinely encounter and their training specifically addresses it.
The child of an American citizen born ANYWHERE is automatically an American citizen. It may be possible to stir up some ambiguity if only one parent is American and is also a minor, but there is no ambiguity at all if either parent is an American citizen and is also an adult.
I asked questions about dual citizenship, about retention or loss of citizenship, about documentation required.
For a child of an adult American parent to lose his citizenship, he must deliberately apply to rescind that citizenship after having reached the age of majority (which was at that time, and is today, 18 years of age).
Absent that personal and deliberate action, the child retains his NATURAL AMERICAN citizenship for his whole life.
Just in case it wasn’t clear in the first reading, let me say again: either parent is an adult American citizen, the child — born ANYWHERE — is a natural American citizen.
So, for those worried that Cruz, having been born on foreign soil, might not be a “real” American, let me put that to rest.
This more latter-day thing of “born on American soil” is a perversion of the 14th Amendment, which was written to fix the situation of blacks in this country who had been here for generations but, because of slave status in the family, had been denied their citizenship rights.
The broader (and very latter day) interpretation that created the “anchor baby” dilemma is a misreading that has cost the nation dearly and has created this weird idea that citizenship is ONLY a function of being born on American soil. That’s never been true.
It’s the parentage that conveys natural citizenship, not the geography.
I hope those of you who receive this will find it useful and enlightening.