Media Contact: Christine Glunz, 202.225.3072
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) introduced the Amerasian Naturalization Act of 2003 (H.R. 3360) to ensure that children born to American servicemen and Vietnamese women in Vietnam during the Vietnam War (Amerasians) are accorded U.S. citizenship just like the offspring of other American fathers.
“Despite being born to American fathers, a group of forgotten sons and daughters cannot take advantage of the Child Citizenship Act or other existing provisions of law,” Lofgren said. “This legislation is about fairness and equality. Amerasians should not be treated differently than other sons and daughters born to U.S citizen fathers.”
“These individuals lived through devastation during the Vietnam War and have been mistreated by the Vietnamese government because of their mixed race. Now is the time to treat them as the U.S. citizens they are and give them the equality they deserve.”
Unlike other foreign-born offspring of American fathers, Amerasians are required to apply for naturalization and fulfill all the requirements of naturalization like immigrants who do not have U.S. citizen parents. This lengthy process is not ordinarily required of the sons and daughters of American citizens who gain U.S. citizenship based on the American citizenship of their parent. Many Amerasians never become U.S citizens because of these requirements.
“There is no doubt that they are sons and daughters of American fathers. That determination was made when the U.S. government invited these individuals to come to the Untied States to live and granted them legal permanent residence,” said Lofgren. “It is time to finally close a chapter in our history that has too long denied Amerasians the opportunity to be recognized as the American citizens they are.”
The Amerasian Naturalization Act of 2003 would confer automatic U.S. citizenship upon Amerasians who legally enter the U.S. in the future or have already entered in the past through the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1988. For those who already entered, they would become U.S. citizens upon the effective date of the Amerasian Naturalization Act of 2003 without having to undergo any additional processes. Those who enter in the future would attain U.S. citizenship once they legally enter and reside in the U.S. through the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1988.