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Leland Davidson, the 95-year-old WWII veteran who found out he wasn’t a United States Citizen, has finally received his United States Citizenship.
Davidson had applied for an enhanced driver’s license (which can be used to cross the Canadian-United States border in place of a passport) but could not show proof of citizenship. All he had was a Canadian birth certificate, and was told by the Department of Licensing that he was still a Canadian. Davidson was born in British Columbia to American parents and has lived in the United States since he was five years old, even serving in the Navy during World War II.
This week, he attended a United States Citizenship ceremony along with a number of other people who were mostly adopted from overseas countries or the otherwise naturalized children – people who were already considered United States Citizens through their parents, but needed something to show for it. He was the oldest one there.
When Davidson found out he didn’t have official United States Citizenship, his family became extremely worried that he may be deported or would lose his Social Security payments.
While this one man’s story has received a ton of media attention on both sides of the border, it’s actually becoming more common. Since the United States now requires people returning from a trip to Canada to show proof of citizenship, many United States citizens born in Canada who never got a passport are anxiously working to prove they are indeed American.
According to an immigration lawyer quoted in the Seattle Times article on Leland Davidson, “it’s very common for someone to have lived here their entire lives… without ever documenting their United States citizenship.”
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