Constitutional Law Keyed to Brest
Tuan Anh Nguyen v. INS
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8 U.S.C. § 1409(a) automatically grants U.S. citizenship at birth to a child born out of wedlock outside of the United States or its territories so long as the mother is a U.S. citizen. The same statute requires a paternity decree before the child turns 18 in order to grant citizenship when the child is born out of wedlock outside of the United States or its territories and the U.S. citizen is the father. Defendant was born in Vietnam to a Vietnamese mother and American father. He came to the United States when he was six. At 22, Defendant pled guilty to sexually assaulting a minor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) later initiated deportation proceedings against him. Defendant argued that his father had established paternity when he was 28, that he was a U.S. citizen, and that § 1409(a) was unconstitutional because it violated equal protection by creating different rules depending on whether the U.S. citizen parent was the mother or the father. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari. [The remainder of the procedural posture is not included in the casebook excerpt.]
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