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house Bill H.R. 774

Should Americans Who Join Terror Groups Have Their Citizenship Revoked?

Argument in favor

If a U.S. citizen knowingly joins or assists a foreign terrorist organization they should have their passport and status as a citizen revoked to prevent them from harming other Americans. The current standard for revoking the citizenship of terrorists isn’t broad enough.

Rodel's Opinion
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02/21/2019
This rule should also apply to domestic terrorist groups.
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Jann's Opinion
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02/20/2019
Yes! Revolk the right to citizenship to anyone using terror tactics and start with the KKK AND ALL WHITE SUPREMACY GROUPS and their sympathizers. They are the enemy within! The other side of same coin.
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Lisa's Opinion
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02/20/2019
Yes. No question about it. Convict and Jail if ever steps on American soil. It is a Crime against America.
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Argument opposed

Revoking a person’s U.S. citizenship for “providing material assistance” to terrorists is problematic, as material assistance could be broadly interpreted and lead to violations of the person’s rights. The current standard for revoking the citizenship of terrorists works.

Joshkie's Opinion
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02/20/2019
If you have enough evidence to revoke their citizenship, then you have enough evidence to charge them with a crime. Say something like treason.
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Comrade's Opinion
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02/21/2019
I do not trust that the government will properly use this type of law. There are many nationalist groups that are not labeled “terrorist” that should be. I think this law could be use to expel innocent people from our nation.
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DrCindyBean's Opinion
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02/21/2019
This must be case by case. Not a blanket stripping of citizenship rights. Due process must be applied.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 774?

This bill would amend the existing law that describes actions that are grounds for loss of a citizen’s status as a U.S. national to include joining, supporting, or pledging allegiance to a foreign terrorist organization. Under current law the State Dept. can revoke the U.S. nationality of Americans who formally renounce their citizenship, become citizens of or pledge allegiance to foreign nations, engage in hostilities against the U.S., or are convicted of treason.

This legislation would expand that list to include the following actions as grounds for the loss of American citizenship:

  • Taking an oath or making a declaration of allegiance to a foreign terrorist organization after attaining the age of 18;

  • Entering, or serving in, a foreign terrorist organization;

  • Becoming a member of, or providing training or material assistance to, a foreign terrorist organization;

  • Accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or political subdivision, or a foreign terrorist group if the person knowingly declares allegiance to that government or group.

The Secretary of State would be prohibited from issuing a passport to a person who is a member, or is attempting to become a member of a foreign terrorist group. If such a passport has already been issued, the Secretary would be required to revoke that passport.

A person who is denied a passport or has their passport revoked or restricted may request a due process hearing within 60 days of receiving notice of the non-issuance, revocation, or restriction.

Impact

American citizens who have their citizenship or passport revoked because of their association with a foreign terrorist organization; the State Department and the Justice Department; and the Secretary of State.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 774

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Steve King (R-IA) reintroduced this bill from the previous Congress to broaden the circumstances under which the federal government can revoke the passport and U.S. citizenship of Americans who join terror groups:

“Over past years, many vulnerabilities to American security have emerged. Some American citizens have sworn allegiance to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), and that is why Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and I have re-introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act (ETA). Upon taking an oath to a FTO, American terrorists have voluntarily renounced their citizenship. Such individuals who comit acts of terror against the United States are demonstrating they no longer uphold their pledge to our country. Regardless of prior citizenship, by birth or naturalization, ETA will make it clear that if a national of the U.S. chooses to take an oath or pledge allegiance to a FTO, that individual has affirmatively renounced American citizenship and relinquished all protection under the law.”

Opponents of this legislation have called it “very dangerous” and an “unconstitutional deprivation of rights” on the grounds that it’d empower federal bureaucrats “to start sniping away at Americans’ rights of citizenship and travel.”


Of Note: The Supreme Court weighed in on the issue of expatriation in the 1980 case Vance v. Terrazas, holding unanimously that citizenship is protected under the Fourteenth Amendment and cannot be removed by Congress without a person’s consent. But a majority of the court also found in Vance v. Terrazas that Congress can establish a standard of preponderance of evidence that a citizen intended to give up their citizenship by undertaking actions.

On February 20, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that a 24-year old woman who held a U.S. passport and joined ISIS in Syria at age 19 but was captured and now wants to return to the U.S. with her 18-month old son wouldn’t be allowed to return to the country:

“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria.”

Muthana’s attorney accused the Trump administration of attempting to “wrongfully strip citizens of their citizenship”, and maintained that she should continue to have U.S. citizenship.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: hinkelstone via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Expatriate Terrorist Act

Official Title

To amend section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to deem specified activities in support of terrorism as renunciation of United States nationality, and for other purposes.

    This rule should also apply to domestic terrorist groups.
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    If you have enough evidence to revoke their citizenship, then you have enough evidence to charge them with a crime. Say something like treason.
    Like (168)
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    Yes! Revolk the right to citizenship to anyone using terror tactics and start with the KKK AND ALL WHITE SUPREMACY GROUPS and their sympathizers. They are the enemy within! The other side of same coin.
    Like (167)
    Follow
    Share
    I do not trust that the government will properly use this type of law. There are many nationalist groups that are not labeled “terrorist” that should be. I think this law could be use to expel innocent people from our nation.
    Like (127)
    Follow
    Share
    This must be case by case. Not a blanket stripping of citizenship rights. Due process must be applied.
    Like (115)
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    I feel this could start a slippery slope
    Like (48)
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    Yes. No question about it. Convict and Jail if ever steps on American soil. It is a Crime against America.
    Like (46)
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    you mean like the right wing of the Republican Party. There are tons of home grown terrorists.
    Like (38)
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    I’m sure the KKK will still not be considered a terrorist group, so this would be used to further target and discriminate against minorities. The term terrorist is not equally applied, so I do not support legislation that relies on it. If it is an egregious enough of an offense than charge the person with treason.
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    No, just ban them from entry back into the US and put them on the most wanted list. Although, I would love to see Trump's citizenship revoked for terrorizing America by shutting down the government and holding 800,000 federal employees hostage over his wall.
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    House Bill H.R. 774 AKA “Expatriate Terrorist Act” It goes without saying that I’m supporting and strongly recommend passage of the House Bill H.R. 774 AKA Expatriate Terrorist Act” which would amend the existing law that describes actions that are grounds for loss of a citizen’s status as a U.S. national to include joining, supporting, or pledging allegiance to a foreign terrorist organization. Under current law the State Dept. can revoke the U.S. nationality of Americans who formally renounce their citizenship, become citizens of or pledge allegiance to foreign nations, engage in hostilities against the U.S., or are convicted of treason. If a U.S. citizen knowingly joins or assists a foreign terrorist organization they should have their passport and status as a citizen revoked to prevent them from harming other Americans. The current standard for revoking the citizenship of terrorists isn’t broad enough. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸. 2*20*19...........
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    H.R. 774 does not go far enough. If found guilty in a court of law, the very act of joining a known and officially designated terrorist group should carry the death penalty. Merely revoking citizenship is a slap on the wrist.
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    Absolutely! Why is this a question?!? If you choose to fight for our enemy then you have given up your right to come back. Dont make this political, use common sense!
    Like (19)
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    Yes but only if we include white nationalist and White supremacist groups and all domestic terrorist period.
    Like (18)
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    Steve king put this bill forward?!?! Placebo bill to deflect and sound like he’s doing something. Revoking their citizenship makes them stateless and therefore a free agent to do their own thing and not subject to our laws!! A better bill but a constitutional nightmare perhaps would be to make it illegal to belong to a hate or terror group. That way when they return we could actually prosecute and. Lock them up. We could also outlaw the kkk and other home grown hate and terror groups which are of far greater threat to the majority of our citizenry.
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    Hold up Steve King wrote this legislation? That’s a fat no for me, that man is unfit to legislate. The opinions of a WHITE SUPREMACIST are not legitimate.
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    No! Inadequate due process, and WAY too broad a definition of "terrorist group". At various times everyone from Republicans to BLM to NRA members have been described as "terrorists". Should we revoke the citizenship of anyone who supports ANTIFA? How about Planned Parenthood? Be careful whose rights you terminate today, you just might find *yours* to be next.
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    Well....yeah!
    Like (13)
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    Absolutely they should, indictment and prosecution for treason should be our next priority to should we get our hands on them to. She made her bed now go lay in it. Just not on US soil. Our soil was paid for with the blood of patriots, I don’t want it contaminated with her treasonous views. #MAGA #NoToTraitors
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    To do so is to problematic and open to abuse. We already have penalties in place.
    Like (12)
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