What Countries Can X-23 Claim Citizenship?

Logan is an excellent X-Men movie. One basic human question in the film is the legal status of the “new mutants” that were born in Mexico. The multi-national company Transigen genetically engineered these children. The children were conceived from the DNA of other mutants and born to mothers of Mexican women. Just what is their citizenship?

Laura, aka X-23, had a Mexican mother and her father genetically was James “Logan” Howlett, who was born in Canada in 1832. While she might have been conceived through genetic engineering, there is no doubt her father’s DNA was Logan.

Laura can claim citizenship in Mexico, because she was born in Mexico City, pursuant to the 30th article of the Constitution of Mexico. However, Laura’s options do not end there.

The Canadian Citizenship Act allows for citizenship by descent to the first generation of a Canadian parent born abroad, pursuant to paragraph 3(1)(b). Logan technically is a Canadian citizen by birth (arguably the oldest one at 197 years old by the time of Logan). As such, Laura has a colorable claim to being a Canadian citizen due to her father.

There is also the possibility Laura could be a US Citizen. Logan served in the US military in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam (it is unclear if Logan also fought in the Spanish-American War or the Korean Conflict). Logan would have qualified for US Citizenship because of his military service dating back to at least World War I.

Logan could have been a naturalized citizen if (1) at the time of enlistment, reenlistment, extension of enlistment, or induction such person shall have been in the United States, the Canal Zone, American Samoa, or Swains Island, or on board a public vessel owned or operated by the United States for noncommercial service, whether or not he has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, or (2) at any time subsequent to enlistment or induction such person shall have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. 8 U.S.C.S. § 1440.

If Logan was a naturalized US Citizen, Laura could claim she is a “natural born” US Citizen, because her father was a naturalized citizen from his military service spanning 1861 to 1970.

Transigen argued that the “new mutants” were patents and copyrights, thus property, and ignoring their humanity. The United States fought a war over the belief that people could be property, which is effectively Transigen’s position. The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution specifically prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude. Slavery was abolished in Mexico in 1824 and Canada in 1833 by British Parliament across the entire United Kingdom. As such, no country in North America would recognize human children being “property” as patents and copyrights.

Laura has colorable claims to have dual citizenship with Mexico and either the United States or Canada. Logan did fight in over 90 years of wars for the United States and was eligible for citizenship, but it is not clear if he ever because an US Citizen. As such, the most likely scenario is Laura having dual citizenship with Mexico and Canada.

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Josh Gilliland
Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.