CBC The Current: Citizens of Nowhere

Click here to listen to "Citizens of Nowhere" a Current feature on the citizenship problems facing children of Canadian citizens who are the second generation born abroad.

Chloe Goldring is 15 months old. She lives in Brussels, Belgium. And she has no citizenship. She is officially stateless. She has ended up in this situation because of a change made to the Canadian Citizenship Act in April of 2009.

Since then Canadians who were born abroad, in this case her father, are no longer able to pass on Canadian citizenship to their children, unless those children are born in Canada. The change was brought in to target parents born outside Canada who come here, obtain citizenship, and then return to their country of origin and pass along Canadian citizenship to children who may never have any intention of coming to Canada.

You may remember this became an issue in the summer of 2006 when there was a public outcry over Canada's move to rescue Lebanese Canadians during the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon that summer. Well that is the change that Chloe Goldring has been swept up in.

Chloe's father Ian Goldring is a Canadian who lives in Brussels.

Citizens of Nowhere - Janet Dench

Janet Dench says she warned the federal government that people such as Chloe could be made stateless by the changes it was making to the Citizenship Act. She's the Executive Director of the Canadian Council for Refugees. She was in Montreal.

Citizens of Nowhere - Nicole Girard

We requested an interview with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. His office didn't respond to the request. But Nicole Girard agreed to join us. She's the Director of Legislation and Program Policy at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. She was in Ottawa.