Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nationality Of Baby Born Mid-Flight?

When I was in law school years ago I remember rolling my eyes at repeated essay questions based on highly unlikely hypotheticals drafted intentionally to create ambiguous legal issues (like an airplane crashing exactly on the border between two countries).

THIS news story reminded me immediately of that. It begins by stating, "Officials were trying Tuesday to ascertain the nationality of a baby born mid-flight, apparently over international waters, in a passenger jet heading from the Philippines to the United States."  That's actually an interesting legal question, I thought. Making it more complicated, the pregnant woman is a Philippine national who apparently had a visa allowing her to emigrate legally to the United States when her flight arrived.

The article ends with these two sentences, implying to me that this is a legal issue which has arisen many times before. "According to Jennifer Vaughn, from the Center for Immigration Studies, if a child is born over open ocean it is generally considered a citizen of the country where the parent has legal citizenship in. If a baby is born in American airspace it is a U.S. citizen."

No comments:

Post a Comment