The Third Circuit has rejected a challenge to the acquired citizenship law found in INA 309, insomuch as it treats adopted children of US citizens differently than natural born children of US citizens.

“The Supreme Court has recognized the important government interest in developing the real, everyday ties that provide a connection between child and citizen parent and, in turn, the United States. We also agree with many 7 of our sister circuits that preventing immigration fraud is a legitimate interest. And finally, we have recognized the government’s legitimate interest in protecting the rights of alien parents in the immigration context.” “We also agree with the Government that the disparate treatment in Section 309 is at least rationally related to advancing these interests. Requiring an adoptive parent to apply for citizenship on behalf of his or her child, as opposed to conferring citizenship automatically upon the child, increases the probability that those who take the time to navigate that process have a real parent-child relationship. These additional requirements also reduce the likelihood that an adoption will occur solely to obtain citizenship.” “Furthermore, if adopted children could obtain automatic derivative citizenship, then the child’s biological, alien parents could be cut out of the process of determining their child’s citizenship.”

The full text of Cepeda Cabrera v. Attorney General can be found here: