According to the Nationality Act of 1940, any naturalized citizen who joins the forces of any foreign power that is an enemy of the United States can have their US citizenship revoked. But what about naturally born US citizens who join the forces of a foreign enemy?
Case in point is the 100 plus Americans that have traveled to Syria to join the Islamic terrorist group known as ISIS. Some of the Americans and British citizens that have joined ISIS have openly destroyed their passports. Should these traitors have their citizenship revoked?
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says yes and tried to introduce a bill that would strip US citizenship from Americans who join any enemy group or nation such as ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram and Hamas. His reasoning is more of an issue of national security rather than a punishment for their betrayal.
Standing on the Senate floor, Cruz told him fellow lawmakers about his Expatriate Terrorist Act:
“If we do not pass this legislation, the consequence will be that Americans fighting alongside ISIS today may come home tomorrow with a U.S. passport, may come home to New York or Los Angeles or Houston or Chicago and innocent Americans may be murdered if the Senate does not act today.”
Cruz makes a very good point. After all, these Americans that have joined ISIS are guilty of treason since ISIS has vowed to bring their holy war to the US. However, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hi) objected to the bill saying it first needs to go to the Senate Judiciary Committee before going to the full Senate for a vote. She explained:
“Legislation that grants the government the ability to strip citizenship from Americans is a serious matter, raising significant constitutional issues.”
Cruz responded to Hirono’s objection to the bill telling the media:
“It is unfortunate that Democratic senators chose to object to this to prevent this common-sense change in law.”
“It is current law right now that if you go and join a foreign nation and take up arms against America, that act has long been recognized as constituting a constructive renunciation of United States citizenship.”
“It saddens me that we could not see Republicans and Democrats come together. It saddens me that in an election year, the Democratic senators up for election chose to block this common-sense legislation, rather than to work together to protect the American citizens.
“I hope in time we see less election-year politics and more service to the men and women who all of us are obliged to protect.”
Due to Hirono’s lone objection, Cruz’s bill was not considered by the full Senate. Evidently protecting America from the possible attacks of returning traitors is not much of a concern to the Hawaii Democrat. She would prefer to debate the bill for an indefinite period of time instead of taking action to prevent these expatriates from using their passports and citizenship to gain access to our shores and launch their terrorist attacks on fellow Americans. But isn’t that the same lack of national security that Obama practices by leaving our borders wide open to any terrorist who wants to just walk their way here?