There are ways to be born outside of the United States and still be US citizens. We don’t think about these situations very often, but they happen. Prime example, if your parents are American citizens but are living in another country when you’re delivered. Just as Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney. His father was born in Mexico, but was still a US citizen. Except, George Romney didn’t really seem to have a problem getting a job with his foreign birth certificate. After all, he ended up leading the American Motors Corporation, becoming Governor of Michigan and running for President. Unfortunately, it hasn’t turned out so easy for one legal citizen, Mary*.
Mary recently moved to a new city when her husband’s job got relocated. She worked in office management for over a decade and left her previous employer on great terms. While she knew that the economy wasn’t exactly perfect for job searches, she felt like she would have a relatively easy time finding another job comparable to the one she was leaving behind. It never even occurred to her that the recent political immigration battles would impact her job hunt.
Mary was born in Mexico to two United States citizens. Her parents did missionary work in Central and South America until she was 10-years-old. When they moved back to the US, they kept all of Mary’s birth documentation and citizenship paperwork safe and at-hand. They immediately got her a US passport, knowing that it would come in handy when her birth certificate was from another country. However, aside from that, Mary and her parents never really worried about her citizenship or any problems she might face. Mary went through high school and college, married another US citizen and only traveled out of the country for senior Spring Break in Cancun.
“Really, I hadn’t ever considered that I was going to have a problem when I had to show people my documentation. And at first, it didn’t even register that people were taking a long time lingering over my foreign birth certificate, my out-of-state driver’s license and my social security card,” Mary explained to me. It took multiple interviews and awkward questions from Human Resources before Mary started to wonder if her paperwork was casting a little doubt in the eyes of employers.
In the middle of a heated Presidential election, immigration hasn’t been a key issue, but it’s still been a present one. Ever since Arizona passed it’s infamous “Papers, Please” law, the debate has been gaining momentum.