Biden admin. allows immigrants to select 'X' gender marker on citizenship application

A United States passport is marked with a nonbinary gender X option.
A United States passport is marked with a nonbinary gender X option. | Getty Images/Golibtolibov

The Biden administration will now allow immigrants applying for benefits to select "X" as their gender instead of male or female without supporting documentation, according to a recent update by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

In a Monday announcement, USCIS said it revised Form N-400, an application for naturalization, to include an "X" gender option. Under the new policy update, depending on the form, benefit requestors can select three gender options: Male (M), "Female (F) or "Another Gender Identity" (X).

The agency also updated the guidance in its Policy Manual to account for the change and any other "forthcoming form revisions" that include a gender option other than male and female. 

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"Form N-400 is the only USCIS form that offers the X gender option at this time," the USCIS stated. "Therefore, until we complete additional form revisions that add the X gender option, naturalization certificates are the only USCIS-issued secure identity documents that can reflect the gender X." 

The gender an applicant selects does not need to match the sex listed on other documents, such as a birth certificate, a passport or state identification, the agency said. 

"This has created significant barriers for requestors who do not identify with either of those options. Limiting benefit requestors to two gender options also creates administrative challenges for USCIS when we receive birth certificates or other official government-issued documents with a gender other than M or F," the USCIS statement reads. 

Adding a third gender option, the agency said, helps ensure the accuracy of secure identity documents and biographical data, as well as external stakeholders and individual benefit requestors. 

Responding to a Tuesday inquiry from The Christian Post about the policy change, the USCIS clarified that the "X" gender option is only available on Form N-400 at this time but anticipates that the "X" gender option will be available on all USCIS forms "where collection of gender is required for benefit adjudication." 

"This does not change USCIS' screening and vetting policies or procedures," the agency added. "USCIS remains committed to the integrity of the immigration system and is maintaining key identity verification — such as biometrics submission and fraud prevention procedures." 

The USCIS contends the change is consistent with states that allow people to mark their gender as "X" on their driver's licenses and the Department of State's announcement in 2022 that U.S. citizens could select an "X" as the gender marker on their passport

The latest policy update comes amid concerns about the Biden administration's handling of the record influx of illegal immigrants coming through the U.S. southern border. 

In a Monday X post, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., accused the administration of focusing more on implementing "woke DEI gender policies" instead of securing the border. 

"I'm sure Laken Riley's family is relieved to know that immigrants can now register as 'Gender X,'" Biggs wrote. "Close the border." 

Riley was a 22-year-old nursing student who was killed last month while out for a jog on the University of Georgia's campus. The suspect arrested in connection with the young woman's murder was Jose Antonio Ibarra, an illegal immigrant released from a detention center due to a lack of space. The 26-year-old Venezuelan national entered the country illegally in September 2022 through El Paso, Texas.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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