There is a lot of talk lately about second-generation immigrants in Illinois who are unaware that they are not legal U.S. citizens. This is obviously a shocking thing to find out and can have a huge impact on your life. If you find yourself in this situation, you should double check that you are not, in fact, a citizen under birthright citizenship.

The American Immigration Council explains that birthright citizenship is when you become a legal U.S. citizen simply because you were born on U.S. soil. Essentially, regardless of your parent’s citizenship status, if you were born here, then you are a citizen. It is a right granted by the Constitution under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The background of this law is that it came about due to the children of slaves. Back at that time, they were not considered citizens, so the amendment helped ensure they gained their rights as U.S. citizens based on the fact that they were born in this country.

Even more basic, if you think of it, that is how most of the people in this country gain their citizenship. The simple act of being born here and having a U.S. birth certificate is enough to prove you are a natural citizen. There are no other requirements to solidify citizenship. It is a basic right. It is also a Constitutional right, which is very difficult to rebut. It could help you in your immigration case. This information is for education only. It is not legal advice.