Birthright Citizenship Laws In Europe

With all of the talk by Mr. Trump about revoking birthright citizenship for illegal aliens I was curious how the folks in Europe handled birthright citizenship. Our birthright citizenship policy seems odd and counterproductive. The Library of Congress analyzed this question and found that most of the European policies are quite similar. If we can agree that birthright citizenship policies in the United States is a major stumbling block to immigration reform then a good first step would be to incorporate some of the European pragmatism into the United States immigration policies. Here is an excerpt about Germany’s birthright citizenship.


Germany bestows birthright citizenship only on the children of aliens who have lived long enough in Germany to petition for naturalization in their own right. A child born in Germany to parents who are aliens acquires German citizenship only if one parent has had his or her habitual abode in Germany for at least eight years and either has a permanent German residence permit that entitles him or her to reside in Germany or another European Union (EU) member country or has the citizenship of another EU member country.[3] Aliens who have had their habitual abode for eight years in Germany are entitled to petition for naturalization,[4] if no impediments exist.[5]

A foundling—that is, a child found on German soil whose parents are unknown—is deemed to be a German only for as long as it is not proven that he or she is an alien.[6] Under the generally prevailing principle of jus sanguinis, only a child born to a German parent is a German citizen, with the exception of long-term residents described above.