Nearly one hundred members of Congress, including five presidential candidates, have added their names to a pair of letters calling on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to immediately reverse a State Department policy that withholds American citizenship from some children of U.S. citizens who are born abroad.
One letter, led by Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Kamala Harris of California and signed by 17 other Democratic members of the chamber, calls the policy “a thinly veiled attack on LGBTQ Americans whose children are conceived through the use of egg donors and gestational surrogacy.”
“Your Department’s reinterpretation of immigration law to deny the constitutional right of citizenship to the children of same-sex couples who are born outside the United States is extraordinary and deeply disturbing,” the letter states. The letter’s 19 signatories urge Pompeo to immediately drop the State Department’s appeal of a court ruling striking down the policy, “and make it clear that every U.S. married couple is entitled to the same rights under the U.S. Constitution, no matter whom they love.”
In addition to Merkley and Harris, the letter was signed by Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tom Udall (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Another letter, signed by the co-chairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and every gay, lesbian and bisexual member of the House of Representatives, was delivered to Pompeo on Thursday afternoon. In that letter, the 80 signatories called the policy “discriminatory and cruel.” Read more via Daily Beast