Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Can Ilhan Omar Be Stripped of U.S. Citizenship?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns naturalization of some types of foreign-born individuals as citizens of the United States. Some prominent Republicans are calling for U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to be expulsed from Congress, denaturalized, and deported. In case you missed the news, Omar recently spoke at an event in Minneapolis.

According to an article by Matt O’Brien and Dale L. Wilcox, she discussed “the fledgling Republic of Somaliland’s efforts to break away from greater Somalia.” During her speech, “she assured her mostly Somali audience that she is ‘Somali first, Muslim second.’” She added that they could “sleep in comfort knowing I am here to protect the interests of Somalia from inside the U.S. system.” 

 The O’Brien and Wilcox wondered if Omar is a “Manchurian candidate serving the interests of an unstable terror haven like Somalia from within the U.S. Congress”? Then they ask “are Omar’s statements actionable? The answer to that question is complex,” and then they gave their explanation.

The Immigration and Nationality Act does allow foreign nationals to be stripped of their citizenship in certain very limited circumstances. Aliens who have committed certain acts (obtaining naturalization through fraud; declaring allegiance to a foreign state; bearing arms against the U.S.; committing treason, etc.) may be tried before a federal court and stripped of their citizenship. This process is known as “denaturalization.”

But a confusing tangle of complex judicial decisions and executive-branch policies have made it increasingly difficult to take citizenship away from those who should never have been naturalized in the first place.

So where does that leave Omar, who has an established track record of anti-American utterances and who sometimes seems to be working harder on behalf of vicious terror groups like al-Shabab and Hamas than she does for the American people?

There certainly is a plausible argument that what Omar said violates the oath of allegiance she took when being naturalized. That pledge begins, “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen…”

The oath concludes with a statement that the individual takes “this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.” And Omar’s statements do seem to indicate that she held mental reservations with regard to the vows she was taking.

Nevertheless, American courts have generally required abstract states of mind to be proven by evidence of action consistent with the presumed thought process. Right now, we have no proof that Omar has engaged in acts like passing classified information to Somalia or to terror groups.

Thus, any reviewing court is likely construe very broadly any statements that Omar is “Somali first” or that she will “protect” the “interests of Somalia,” as political speech protected under the First Amendment that cannot serve as a basis for denaturalization. And, in any case, the Biden administration, with whom Omar is ideologically aligned, is unlikely to take any legal action against her.

A more promising avenue of stripping Omar of her citizenship might be the ongoing claims that she committed fraud to aid a relative in gaining access to the United States….

By any reasonable measure, Ilhan Omar has shown repeatedly that she neither likes nor respects the nation that welcomed her family as refugees and presented her with a path to success. As such, it is reasonable to conclude that she ran for Congress either to further her own interests or to further the interests of her beloved Somalia -- nation riddled with terrorists from al-Shabab, one of the world’s most dangerous jihadist groups.

Accordingly, Ilham Omar’s case should serve as a cautionary tale for American lawmakers and jurists. Rendering it virtually impossible to denaturalize foreigners who never deserved U.S. citizenship in the first place is disaster waiting to happen. When you hand the Visigoths the keys to the gates of Rome, the empire will inevitably fall.

O’Brien and Wilcox asked some good questions. Are we electing our enemies to Congress? Are we voting for destruction of our nation? After the watching how the Biden administration has destroyed America, I believe that we have more than one Manchurian candidate in the government.

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