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Ted Cruz: Americans Who Join ISIS Should Lose Their Citizenship

Ted Cruz: Americans Who Join ISIS Should Lose Their Citizenship

“There can be no clearer renunciation of their citizenship in the United States.”

When you consider the disturbing number of Americans allegedly working with ISIS already, this sounds like a solid idea.

Senator Cruz is going to introduce legislation next week.

Mario Trujillo of The Hill reported:

Cruz: Strip citizenship from Americans in ISIS

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is slated to introduce legislation next week that would revoke the U.S. citizenship of anyone fighting or providing support to terrorist groups working to attack the United States.

Cruz said he is filing the Expatriate Terrorist Act in reaction to the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It would provide another level of protection to prevent foreign fighters from re-entering the United States, he said.

“Americans who choose to go to Syria or Iraq to fight with vicious ISIS terrorists are party to a terrorist organization committing horrific acts of violence, including beheading innocent American journalists who they have captured,” Cruz said in a statement.

“There can be no clearer renunciation of their citizenship in the United States, and we need to do everything we can to preempt any attempt on their part to re-enter our country and carry out further attacks on American civilians.”

This is a very interesting development considering what’s happening in the UK.

The Metro reported on Friday:

British jihadists want to come home, say they made ‘mistake’

British jihadist fighters have contacted a university in London to say they regret their decision to join Islamist extremists in the Middle East.

The jihadists, thought to be a 30-strong group, said they wanted to return home to Britain but were afraid they would be jailed if they did so.

They also complained about feeling ‘disillusioned’ over the last two weeks. It was unclear whether this related to the recent beheadings of two American journalists.

Some who travelled to fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime are instead being forced to get involved in in-fighting among rebel groups.

One fighter, who claimed to represent the group, said: ‘It’s not what we came for but if we go back (to Britain) we will go to jail. Right now, we are being forced to fight – what option do we have?’

Professor Peter Neumann of King’s College, who spoke to the former jihadist, said the British extremists want to quit but feel trapped by Britain’s hardline stance.

Gee. Don’t you feel bad for those guys?

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Comments

Cruz has the right idea.

As for those regretful British jihadis, I’ve no more sympathy for them than they had for their victims.

Didn’t John Wayne say “Life is tough but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.”?

I thank my Senator from Texas.

I thought it was US law that if you fought for a foreign power, you could be stripped of your citizenship. Maybe it’s the non national aspect of terrorism that is a loophole. But yes, they should lose their citizenship. The law needs to be carefully crafted to encompass all terrorist groups, but have safeguards to protect US contractors, even mercenary ones, operating under the US aegis. People like Blackwater. We use a lot of contractors for semi-military tasks, and the Democrats would love to disenfranchise them.

Anyone who travels abroad to fight with the terrorists, should also be investigated for war crimes.

I have no sympathy for those Brits. Let them go back to the sjitholes they fought for. If I was the UK, I would want to investigate them for war crimes, also.

    Milhouse in reply to Mannie. | September 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I thought it was US law that if you fought for a foreign power, you could be stripped of your citizenship.

    No, it is not US law, and it can’t be. Congress did once upoon a time pass such a law, but it was blatantly unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court quite properly struck it down nearly 50 years ago.

    And for the same reason, Cruz’s proposed law is pure grandstanding. Congress has no power to make such a law. And s good a lawyer as Cruz is, he surely knows this, which makes me think a whole lot less of him than I did.

    What’s more, Congress has no right to pass unconstitutional laws, relying on the courts to strike them down. For a congressman to vote for such a bill, knowing it to be unconstitutional, would violate his oath of office.

      arnonerik in reply to Milhouse. | September 8, 2014 at 12:49 am

      Considering how inventive the Supreme Court has been in the past in issues regarding constitutionality who is to say in advance what they would decide. The Supreme Court has recently found “rights” that never existed for hundreds of years before a majority of justices decided they did exist. The Supreme Court has even reversed itself from a previous decision. We can argue till we are blue in the face about constitutionality but that is for the Court to decide. Let’s let Congress pass the laws which is their job and then let the Court decide.

    No, fighting for a foreign power isn’t cause to lose one’s citizenship. Plenty of Americans serve(d) in the Israeli Defense Force and come back home.

    However, in this case, I think loss of citizenship isn’t enough. Milhouse above is forgetting about this completely Constitutional argument (being that I’m quoting the Constitution itself, emphasis added):

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. — Constitution of the United States, Article III, Section 3

    I’d say fighting for a State-designated terrorist group who has publicly executed Americans counts as “adhering to [the U.S.’s] Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort,” and the Congress has every authority to declare a just punishment. Stripping citizenship could/would/should be a start.

    Just my $0.02.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is slated to introduce legislation next week that would revoke the U.S. citizenship of anyone fighting or providing support to terrorist groups working to attack the United States.

Pretty weak stuff. Back when the US wasn’t a testosterone-free zone, “fighting or providing support to [anybody] working to attack the United States” was treason, and could be punished appropriately. And by “appropriately” I mean something a bit more severe than loss of citizenship.

It would provide another level of protection to prevent foreign fighters from re-entering the United States

Pure moonshine. We have no protection, no matter what laws Congress may pass for its own entertainment; a few more won’t make any difference. All of them are useless if we have no enforcement.

    Milhouse in reply to tom swift. | September 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    To punish treason appropriately you have to catch the person first.

      Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Really…??? What does “in absentia” mean, Milhouse?

      Now, Rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure holds that a defendant must be present personally at the beginning of trial, and there are court rulings upholding that.

      But that is a RULE of procedure. It is subject to change.

      Isn’t it?

        Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | September 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm

        You can try someone in absentia, but how do you punish them? Stripping citizenship, if it were possible, could be done without catching them; but it isn’t possible. Any other kind of punishment requires catching them (or their assets, if they have any, but that’s unlikely).

I strongly disagree. We should not be stripping American citizens of their citizenship if only because I would never trust Eric Holder to be the one deciding to whom this new law would apply.

We have a simpler way of handling Americans who join ISIS.

Try them for treason.

We have a constitutional provision for that. We have law and case law. ISIS has declared itself to be an enemy of the U.S. Fine, they are now our enemy, and any U.S. citizen who joins up with them is a traitor.

Try them and then hang them. Seems simple enough to me.

    TX-rifraph in reply to stevewhitemd. | September 7, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I agree with substance of what you say and I suspect that Cruz would also agree. I think Cruz, who is very smart, may be working on the process side of this issue. His bill will get (some) people talking about what to do with these treasonous scum. In the past, he has attempted to get some of these politician out into the sunlight which they hate. He may be doing that again here.

      Milhouse in reply to TX-rifraph. | September 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      That may be so, but he swore to uphold the constitution, and proposing a blatantly unconstitutional bill is, in spirit, just a little treasonous.

        Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm

        Milhouse, you are letting your “IDIOT” flag fly WAY too freely here.

        We see you, and are laughing at you.

          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | September 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

          Who’s “we”, Rags? You can laugh all you like, but it won’t change the law. You know damn well that the fourteenth amendment makes it impossible to revoke anyone’s citizenship without their consent, so long as that person was either born here or lawfully naturalized. And knowingly proposing unconstitutional bills violates a senator’s oath to uphold the constituition.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm

          That’s a lie, Milhouse. And you are a liar.

          See comment below.

          I invite anyone to look up the statute cited on the State Department website.

          You can renounce by conduct. Dummy.

    Try them and hang them …

    Would that advocate a warrant and arrest / capture commitment, or trial in absentia and execution if captured or by drone?

    I just wonder how you envision that working, Steve.

These Americans are fighting for a 10th century society.

They should now enjoy the fruits of their labor…over there.
They should lose their passports, be refused entry to the US, should have charges of sedition/treason filed against them so no other nation can accept them.

There were no UN or Geneva Conventions in the 10th century. They are entitled by their own actions to be stateless persons for the rest of their lives.

Before we feel a smidgen of sorry, let’s remember the good men who have died in the service of THIS country and the many more who now live with severe disabilities and unspeakably horrible injuries.

Letter from the parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, who lost their admirable — and only — son, a Navy SEAL, to the filth in Afghanistan.

PersonFromPorlock | September 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

Nice idea, but not constitutional: there is no power granted to Congress that allows it to strip citizenship from natural-born citizens absent a renunciation of that citizenship by them, and the courts have been unkind to the idea that this or that ‘disloyal’ action is implicitly such a renunciation. Cruz should know better.

    It’s not that clear at all. Many cases, including de-naturalizing naturalized citizens under certain conditions, and declaring certain acts to be the voluntary renunciation of citizenship.

      PersonFromPorlock in reply to janitor. | September 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      And what could be a clearer renunciation of citizenship than (for instance) failing to buy an ACA-approved medical policy?

      This is not somewhere we want to go.

      Milhouse in reply to janitor. | September 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      It is very clear, and there are no such cases. You are simply lying. Once someone is a US citizen, whether by birth or naturalization, they cannot lose their citizenship without their consent, no matter what they do. There is no such thing as “de-naturalization”. That is black-letter law, and Cruz knows it very well.

      The only way to undo someone’s citizenship is to prove that they never had it in the first place. If they claim citizenship by birth, and you can prove they weren’t really born in the USA; or if they claim to have been naturalized, but you can prove that their naturalization was illegal, e.g. because they lied on their application, then of course they’re not citizens, and never were.

      Congress can also revoke the citizenship of someone who was only ever a citizen by Congress’s gift in the first place, i.e. he was neither born in the USA nor naturalized. For instance, current US law says that someone born abroad to a US citizen is entitled to citizenship, but that’s not in the constitution; it’s just an act of Congress, and Congress can change its mind any time it likes. But for those born here or naturalized, the constitution makes them citizens and that’s the end of it.

Unless I’m hugely mistaken, the notion that British subjects would be jailed upon return to the UK for having fought and killed as part of ISIS in foreign countries is complete garbage. The UK government can’t even agree on revoking citizenship for fear that other nations will go from making repatriation of non-British citizen terrorists impossible rather than merely very, very difficult. Why play such games unless there is a lack of laws for tossing them in prison? Not to mention a lack of prison space.

So I don’t know what to make of it. Misinformed? (If so, their university contact should set them straight.) Simply making propaganda about how the evil British state is forcing them to keep fighting for Allah? Who’s to say?

Shouldn’t we start with a declaration of war against ISIS?

No, just fighting for a foreign power doesn’t renounce your citizenship. At the very least you’ve got to be fighting against the U.S. See: French Foreign Legion. See: Spanish Civil War. See: Jewish Americans serving in the IDF. See: Cuban War of Independence (1895-98).

And the Supreme Court struck it down the last time we tried to make it the law that fighting for a foreign power was a crime. See: Wiborg v. U.S. (1896). Although it is still a crime to *recruit* within the U.S. for a foreign army.

    Ragspierre in reply to clintack. | September 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Technically, you are mistaken.

    Accepting a commission or non-commissioned officer status in a foreign military CAN cost you your citizenship, if I read the law correctly.

    Moreover, ISIS is more like a pirate band. I have long held the view that terrorists generally should be treated as pirates (outside the ambit of a “military” organization), and just killed anywhere you find them, unless they might have intelligence value. Then you milk them for that. THEN you kill them.

    And, yes, as an attorney, I know that deprives them of “due process”. But conduct CAN take you outside the realm of due process, IMNHO.

    Living in, and availing oneself of, civilization is a CONDITIONAL question. Again, IMNHO.

      Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | September 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Accepting a commission or non-commissioned officer status in a foreign military CAN cost you your citizenship, if I read the law correctly.

      No, Rags, this is not true, and you know it very well, because I and several others pointed it out to you just last week. There is such a statute, but it was struck down nearly 50 years ago, because it’s blatantly unconstitutional. The fourteenth amendment says anyone born in the USA or lawfully naturalized is a citizen, and there’s nothing Congress can do about it. Any statute that purports to do so is automatically void.

      And it doesn’t matter whether the “depatriating act” was voluntary or not; what has to be voluntary is the renunciation of citizenship. Even if a person voluntarily makes an explicit declaration to a foreign power renouncing his US citizenship, if he can prove that he didn’t mean it he remains a citizen. The perjury is the business of the foreign power, not of the USA.

      stevewhitemd in reply to Ragspierre. | September 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Terrorism was long considered to be another form of brigandry and piracy. Then the 5th and 6th protocols of the Geneva Convention re-defined it. Fortunately the U.S. (as I recall) never signed those.

      But yes I agree, a person who commits a terrorist act or joins a terrorist group should be considered completely “outside the law”, just as a pirate is, and should enjoy no legal protection whatsoever.

      Is it treason? I think so, but if it would help to have a congressional resolution declaring ISIS to be a formal enemy, etc., fine let’s do that. Let’s make the consequences so utterly clear that an American in service with ISIS, upon his capture, will be able to make no excuse. Then try that person for treason, and after establishing guilt execute him. That would have a salutary effect on any other American contemplating joining up with a terrorist group.

      You want citizenship? We got ways of making that work against you…

No, Milhouse. YOU are lying. Again.

You were schooled on this just last week, and your loopy “reasoning” completely dissed.

Here’s the key to how stupid your assertion is, “…if he can prove that he didn’t mean it he remains a citizen”.

Ergo, the LOSS of citizenship IS supported by the law, moron.

You MAY be able to support…BY EVIDENCE…a contention that rebuts your CONDUCT. BUT YOUR CONDUCT CAN INFERENTIALLY STAND AS EVIDENCE OF RENUNCIATION.

Now, DON’T keep chanting your blatant bullshit, or you will get owned here.

You…or anybody…can go to the State Department site and find the OPERATIVE statute…WHICH YOU LYINGLY SAY WAS STRUCK DOWN.

Nobody need to take my word for it.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | September 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    You’re a damned liar, Rags.

    Here’s the key to how stupid your assertion is, “…if he can prove that he didn’t mean it he remains a citizen”.

    Ergo, the LOSS of citizenship IS supported by the law, moron.

    Voluntary loss of citizensip, and only voluntary loss of citizenship, is supported by the law. If a person says he’s renouncing his citizenship, it can be reasonably inferred that he intended to lose it. But even in such a case, if he can prove he didn’t mean it he keeps his citizenship. Because all that matters is his intention, not his actions or words. Actions and words can only be used as rebuttable evidence of intention. The bottom line remains that citizenship cannot be lost involuntarily.

    The thing is, you know all this. You were “schooled” last week, not me. And yet you now lie through your damned teeth about it. Go to Hell, Rags. Quickly.

      Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | September 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      You poor idiot. You just agreed with everything in my post.

      Please…just stop.

      The law DOES provide for loss of citizenship CONTRARY to what you’ve been stupidly asserting.

      CONDUCT does provide evidence of intention to renounce citizenship, which you JUST AFFIRMED, stupid.

      An accused MAY…by EVIDENCE…rebut that. Evidence of coercion MAY suffice. It is TOTALLY up to a “finder of fact”, CONTRARY to your bullshit about it NEVER being possible.

      You can shut up now, if you are smart.

I do like Ted Cruz and I’ll vote for him again and probably for President if he chooses to run. I don’t care if it’s constitutional or if it’s grandstanding! Go Ted Go!

Geert Wilders. Great statesman. Anything Wilders can do, Cruz can do, too.

Hanging them for treason really rings my bell. Let’s do it!

OK, I have a question or 2 about the 14th amendment. It reads (in part):

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the JURISDICTION thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they RESIDE.”

Questions: Can a person born or naturalized in the US NOT be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States? e.g., does JURISDICTION depend on RESIDEnce?

“No STATE shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any STATE deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its JURISDICTION the equal protection of the laws.”

Question: Can the FEDERAL gov’t do what the 14th amendment says that the STATE can not? I.e., can FEDERAL law/action revoke citizenship from American ISIS fighters?

IANAL, but wonder what with the clear mention of STATE and JURISDICTION in the 14th, if the FEDS can do what the STATE can not, with regard to American citizens, not residing in the US, who have participated in acts of war and terrorism against the US?

    Dave B. in reply to MrE. | September 8, 2014 at 11:24 am

    A child born in the United States to foreign parents with diplomatic status would not be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. Should some foreign army invade the United States, and a national of the invading country (who is not also a US national) give birth in the territory controlled by that foreign army, the child would not be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.
    The 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause doesn’t apply to the federal government; but the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment states that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” And that is most certainly supposed to apply to the federal government.

“Citizenship is not a license that expires upon misbehavior.” –Chief Justice Earl Warren, in Trop v. Dulles

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Dave B.. | September 8, 2014 at 8:56 am

    If treason can cause the impeachment of a president, then it can cause the loss of citizenship of an alien. When you take an oath of citizenship, you SWEAR to uphold and defend the Constitution and flag of the USA. You SWEAR to protect her against enemies within and without. Joining with enemies of the USA is a violation of that oath. If these people are born here, well, perhaps it’s time the USA started requiring an oath of citizenship for the American-born.

Go, Ted!

Lying to advance the Islamic cause is bred into Islam, the Koran, and Hadiths. I don’t believe the British jihadists not one bit. They wanted to fight for the caliphate; well, let them fight and die for it outside of Britain. I hope the Brits strip them and their families of citizenship, and take it a step further by deporting the imams of the mosques and stripping them and their families of residency and citizenship.

These people have been invited into our communities as refugees or as residents seeking a better life. All they really want to do is inflict the misery they have left behind on the rest of us.

Go, Ted!

    “These people have been invited into our communities as refugees or as residents seeking a better life. All they really want to do is inflict the misery they have left behind on the rest of us.”

    That’s no way to talk about Californians.

I support arresting them when they re-enter the country, put them on trial for treason and then shoot them.

he is likely referring to the immigration and nationality act. Specifically, section Section 349(a)(3). while it isn’t illegal, you can still have your citizenship stripped. I believe the current state policy is, “…voluntary service in the armed forces of a state engaged in hostilities against the United States could be viewed as indicative of an intention to relinquish U.S. nationality.”

The question here is whether ISIS constitutes a state and if so, do the groups fighting constitute armed forces of that state.

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