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Saeima continues viewing proposal to no longer issue non-citizen status to newborns

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Latvia’s parliament supported in the first reading the proposal to cease issuance of non-citizen status to children born in the country after 1 January 2020.

62 Saeima deputies voted in favour, 25 deputies voted against. One deputy abstained in the vote.
 

It is intended to ensure that newborns in Latvia will no longer be given non-citizen status as long as parents have no plans to give their child citizenship of another country.
 

The legislative draft, which was submitted to the parliament by the president, mentions in its annotation that this new practice will apply to only a small number of children, because according to data from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. This data states that 47 children were registered as non-citizens in Latvia in 2016, 51 in 2017 and 33 in 2018.
 

«The objective of the legislative draft is making 31 December 2019 the last time when non-citizens will be born in Latvia. Even now parents are permitted to pick citizenship for their children. However, parents vary, and children are not to blame if their parents have a different opinion about our country. I believe automatic provision of citizenship for such a small number of children is no threat to Latvia’s existence or patriotism,» said Human Rights Committee’s chairman Artuss Kaimiņš.
 

Approval of the legislative draft will contribute to cohesion and development of Latvia’s nation around shared values. Abolishment of the practice to provide non-citizen status to children is a symbolic step towards ending confrontations between groups of residents in Latvia, as mentioned in the annotation.
 

For the legislative draft to come to force, it needs to be approved in two more readings in the Saeima.

BNN

10-05-2019
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