WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) today issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced a recent policy decision by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) affecting children born to American citizens serving in various capacities outside the United States:

“The new USCIS policy is reprehensible – not just because it is anti-immigrant but also because it is anti-military.  

“President Trump’s hatred for immigrants has been on display for years, both through his rhetoric and his administration’s policies. This new change in policy is just the most recent in a long string of hateful, unpatriotic actions aimed directly at immigrants. However, I find this change in policy particularly offensive because it extends the President’s hatred for immigrants to members of our military who are faithfully serving our nation.

“The current policy has been in effect since 2004 and the underlying law that allows for this recent change in policy has been in effect since 2001, so why now? The answer is clear: The President is trying everything he can to appeal to his base and is hurting the military in the process.  

“We already ask so much of our service members and their families. Those who are stationed abroad should not have to worry about securing citizenship for their children.

“It is now critical that the Secretary of Defense work with the Department of Homeland Security and the White House to reverse their decision to implement this policy change, so that it does not have a negative impact or place undue burden on service members and their families.”