Immigration officials say new citizenship policy will affect only 20 to 25 people a year

Immigration officials say new citizenship policy will affect only 20 to 25 people a year
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials attempted to quell fears Thursday about new citizenship rules for the children of service members and government employees born overseas, saying the change announced the day before would only affect up to 25 people per year.

USCIS officials told The Associated Press they only expect the change to affect 20 to 25 people annually and that any child born overseas to a U.S. citizen will still be a citizen.

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The change, they said, will affect service members or government employees who are green card holders, aligning with State Department requirements, requiring a paperwork change, they said.

Under the new requirement, green card holders stationed overseas would need to move back to the U.S. and live there for three to five years before applying for citizenship for their children, according to the AP.

The Pentagon worked closely with Citizenship and Immigration Services on the rule and “understands the estimated impact of this particular change is small,” said Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Carla Gleason.

Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli attempted to head off confusion about the change on Twitter, tweeting, “This policy aligns USCIS’ process with the Department of State’s procedures for these children — that's it. Period.”