Aiden and Ethan Dvash-Banks are twin brothers who were born minutes apart but only one of them was considered to be a United States citizen by the State Department.
A federal judge ruled this week that was a mistake. The State Department was wrong to deny citizenship to 2-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks because U.S. law does not require a child to show a biological relationship with their parents if their parents were married at the time of their birth, District Judge John F. Walter said in a statement.
A lawsuit filed by the boys’ parents, Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, sought the same rights for Ethan that his brother, Aiden, has as a citizen.
Lawyers for Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks filed suit in January 2018 against the federal government. They alleged that because one son was conceived with the genetic material of a U.S. citizen and the other son with the genetic material of his Israeli-born partner, one of the twins was being treated by the government as a U.S. citizen while the other was forced to enter the country on a tourist visa.
How the twins were born:
Each boy was conceived with donor eggs and the sperm from a different father. One an American, the other an Israeli citizen but born by the same surrogate mother in Toronto minutes apart.
“Two kids who have almost identical life experiences and parenting,” said Aaron C Morris, a lawyer for the family and the executive director of Immigration Equality, a legal advocacy group that worked on the case. “To treat them differently is absurd,” he added.
The lawsuit was one of two filed last year by an LGBTQ immigrant rights group. The statement said the State Department is discriminating against same-sex binational couples by denying their children citizenship at birth. The cases was filed in Los Angeles and Washington by Immigration Equality. They said the children of a U.S. citizen who marries abroad are entitled to U.S. citizenship at birth no matter where they are born, even if the other parent is a foreigner.
Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks said in a statement,
“For two years, this is something that weighed on us every single day. Not knowing whether Ethan would be allowed to stay in the U.S. is something we went to bed with every night. Now, our family is whole and safe.”
“This is justice! We are hopeful that no other family will ever have to go through this again. It’s like a giant rock has been removed from our hearts,” Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks said in a statement provided by Immigration Equality.
Source – independent.co.uk, cbc.ca, nytimes.com, usnews.com, patch.com