Many immigrant families first rely on the support of one parent working in the United States for their livelihood. Once that parent obtains citizenship, he or she can sponsor the rest of the family into the country. However, this idea can make for precarious immigration guidelines for children born of unmarried parents with mixed status.
A recent Supreme Court ruling will level the playing field for children born outside the U.S. who were previously treated differently based on the citizenship of their unwed father or mother. Before the ruling, unwed mothers who were naturalized citizens of the United States could pass on citizenship to their children after being in the U.S. for one year. Meanwhile, unwed fathers had to be citizens of the U.S. for 10 years to pass on the same rights to their children.