Unwed Fathers Have Parental Rights Too

Consider: A single man who is a U.S. citizen fathers a child with a non-citizen woman outside the United States. For this child to be considered eligible to be a U.S. citizen, the father must have lived in this country for 10 years, five years after he turned 14.

There is a different standard, however, for the child of a single woman. The mother must have lived in the United States for one year before giving birth for that child to be considered eligible.

A U.S. District judge recently ruled that this difference violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It’s gender discrimination. The federal government should not appeal. What Judge David Ezra decided is in full accord with progressed standards of gender equality.

As a recent Express-News article explained, the case revolves around Leonardo Villegas, 41, of Eagle Pass. His father was U.S. born and lived in this country for all but five years. His Mexican mother gave birth in Mexico, in 1974. Three years later, his parents married and the family lived in Eagle Pass.

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