Even if you're born in another country, you are still considered an American citizen if your parents are American citizens. But that rule was not universally applied to literally every parent and their children.
Fortunately, the State Department is reversing a relic policy that excluded some gay parents from having citizenship granted to their children.
The State Department announced Tuesday that children born outside the United States to married parents, at least one of whom is an American citizen, “will be U.S. citizens from birth if they have a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents.” Previously, the department required children born abroad to have a biological tie to a U.S. citizen.
For example, under the previous policy, a child born in Mexico to an American woman and her Mexican wife could be denied U.S. citizenship if the child had no biological tie to the American, even if the two women were legally married in the U.S. before the child was born.
Rather than attempt to rewrite federal law, the State Department says this new rule is simply an interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act that broadens the language of current law.
It's hard to imagine anyone will challenge this in court, but I can't say it would necessarily surprise me. There's no shortage of anti-immigration hardliners with extra money to burn and a deeply held belief that birthright citizenship shouldn't apply to everyone even if they're born inside the states. You may recall that Trump's top adviser Stephen Miller floated the idea of ending birthright citizenship.