Detention of a minor for a short period of time can’t be used to argue against providing him citizenship that would have naturally occurred if he’d been living at home with his parents, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Thursday.

The panel, composed of Circuit Judges Dennis Jacobs, Peter Hall, and Christopher Droney, said a person held on support-for-terrorism charges he would later be found guilty of can’t be denied his citizenship, even though he was in custody when his father became a citizen ahead of his 18th birthday. Despite the government’s attempt to argue otherwise, the panel found that “a parent’s physical custody of a child does not cease due to a child’s brief, temporary separation from a parent.”

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