I still remember the moment I was sitting here, writing about some celebrity and their American citizenship, and I had a crazy realization that I was an anchor baby. “Anchor baby” is a pejorative lobbed around right-wing media to describe an immigrant in America welcoming an American citizen baby. America has birthright citizenship – if you’re born here, you’re an American citizen, regardless of the immigration status or nationality of your parents. My dad only became a naturalized citizen years after I was born, therefore I was his anchor baby. It definitely sounds like Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor is going to be Prince Harry’s anchor baby too. The Daily Mail doesn’t even understand the American immigration citizenship issue, but let’s start with their reporting and go from there:
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new baby girl is likely to possess dual citizenship – just like big brother Archie.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their new addition on Friday, June 4 at 11.40am, with Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor weighing 7lbs 11oz. Following the couple stepping down as senior royals, they announced the news in their own statement, shared on the Archwell Foundation website and not through the official channels of the Royal family, in a departure from the announcement of her brother Archie in 2018, in a post written in American English.
Given Meghan, 39, is an American, having been born in California, her children are automatically entitled to citizenship in the US. The same goes for Harry, who was born in the UK and is thereby a British citizen. Under British law, citizenship can be passed down one generation, so Harry’s children are eligible to inherit that status.
Unlike his sister, Harry and Meghan’s son Archie, two, was born in the UK – at the Portland Hospital in London – but both children possess dual British and American citizenship.
When the couple married in 2018, it was announced that Meghan intended to become a British citizen, however it can take several years. It’s believed that the Sussexes chose to step down as senior royals and move across the pond before the process was complete; it’s unclear whether they are continuing to see it through now that they’ve settled in Montecito.
It appears that Meghan remains an American citizen; she voted in the presidential election last year – making her the first member of the British Royal Family to do so.
When Harry moved to the US last year, sources told the Times that he didn’t intend on applying for a green card or dual citizenship ‘in the foreseeable future’. If Harry applied for US citizenship, it would require him to renounce his titles and expose him to US taxation on his earnings worldwide, according to the Immigration and Nationalization Act. It’s not known whether he has a diplomatic or other special visa; it’s highly unlikely he has a tourist visa because that would forbid him from working.
[From The Daily Mail]
Yeah, they got a lot of this wrong. Of course Meghan “remains” an American citizen. She never gave up her American citizenship and she never completed her British citizenship. Lili is also an American citizen automatically because she was born in California, it’s not a matter of being “entitled” to American citizenship. Lili is an American. Full stop. Lili likely already has her Social Security number, or she will soon. Harry would have to apply for Lili’s British citizenship, it would not be automatically granted at birth, although I’m sure it will be easier for them considering Harry is still a member of the royal family. While it’s never been confirmed, I would assume that Meghan worked out Archie’s American citizenship soon after he was born – not only does America have birthright citizenship, but if an American citizen gives birth abroad (as Meghan did), the child is still an American, you just have to fill out the paperwork.
The point of this DM story was just to agitate the masses about how “American” the Sussex fam is and always will be. If Meghan, Archie and Lili are American citizens, protected by American laws, then they can’t be controlled by the British media or the Windsors. And I sincerely hope that Harry has already started the naturalization process. It will be easier for him because he is married to a hot American and he has two American-citizen anchor babies.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.
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