There’s a new disturbing trend happening, and it’s most malicious manifestation is happening right here in the United States.
The goal is to strip inconvenient folks of their citizenship.
Here’s U.S. Representative Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, describing the legislation he’s introduced along with Pennsylvania colleague Jason Altmire. The companion measure in the upper house is sponsored by Senators Joe Leiberman [Connecticut independent] and Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican being challenged by Elizabeth Warren.
Here’s the text of the bill:
To add engaging in or supporting hostilities against the United States to the list of acts for which United States nationals would lose their nationality.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Enemy Expatriation Act’.
SEC. 2. LOSS OF NATIONALITY.
(a) In General- Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481) is amended–
(1) in subsection (a)–
(A) in each of paragraphs (1) through (6), by striking ‘or’ at the end;
(B) in paragraph (7), by striking the period at the end and inserting ‘; or’; and
(C) by adding at the end the following:
‘(8) engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States.’; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:
‘(c) For purposes of this section, the term ‘hostilities’ means any conflict subject to the laws of war.’.
(b) Technical Amendment- Section 351(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1483(a)) is amended by striking ‘(6) and (7)’ and inserting ‘(6), (7), and (8)’.
Note first the name of the legislation the bill would amend: “Loss of nationality by native-born or naturalized citizen; voluntary action; burden of proof; presumptions.”
Also note that to lose citizenship under the existing law requires the government to make its case only by a “preponderance of the evidence,” a much lower standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” required for conviction in a criminal case.
In other words, you could lose your citizenship even if the government prosecuted you in criminal court and you were found not guilty.
And what, precisely, is meant by “materially supporting”?
Citizenship under attack in France, too
Not only is it becoming harder to win French citizenship, but there’s a move afoot to end dual citizenship
From FRANCE 24:
Foreigners seeking French nationality face tougher requirements as of January 1, when new rules drawn up by Interior Minister Claude Guéant come into force.
Candidates will be tested on French culture and history, and will have to prove their French language skills are equivalent to those of a 15-year-old mother tongue speaker. They will also be required to sign a new charter establishing their rights and responsibilities.
“Becoming French is not a mere administrative step. It is a decision that requires a lot of thought”, reads the charter, drafted by France’s High Council for Integration (HCI). In a more obscure passage, the charter suggests that by taking on French citizenship, “applicants will no longer be able to claim allegiance to another country while on French soil”, although dual nationality will still be allowed.
Guéant, a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party, described the process as “a solemn occasion between the host nation and the applicant”, adding that migrants should be integrated through language and “an adherence to the principals, values and symbols of our democracy”. He stressed the importance of the secular state and equality between women and men: rhetoric perceived largely as a snipe at Muslim applicants, who make up the majority of the 100,000 new French citizens admitted each year.
Guéant has come under criticism numerous times over the past year for allegedly pandering to the whims of far-right voters in his efforts to secure a second term for Sarkozy in 2012. The UMP has edged progressively further right over the course of Sarkozy’s term, even as the far-right National Front party continued to bite into its pool of voters.
Marine Le Pen, the popular leader of the anti-immigration National Front, has been campaigning in favour of a ban on dual citizenship in France, which she blames for encouraging immigration and weakening French values. While several UMP members have endorsed her stance, Guéant has stopped short of calling for a ban on dual nationality, largely because of the legal difficulties such a move would entail.
But the interior minister has taken a hard line on immigration, announcing plans to reduce the number of legal immigrants coming to France annually from 200,000 to 180,000 and calling for those convicted of felony to be expelled from the country.
Under further proposals put forward by the ruling UMP party, non-French children who would normally be naturalised at the age of 18 (those who are born in the country and have spent most of their childhood there) would instead have to formally apply to the state.
Should Sarkozy and his party secure a second term in 2012, analysts predict a return to an immigration stance that hasn’t been seen in France for almost two decades. They point to a case of déjà vu: in 1993 Charles Pasqua, then France’s interior minister, coined the slogan “zero immigration” and introduced a bill that made it virtually impossible for children born in France to non-French parents to be naturalised.
So what’s it all mean?
To a student of history, all this begins to look like the rise of same kind of fascist nationalist that followed the onset of the Great Depression.
France and Italy, which boasted strong fascist movements in the 1930s, have been targeting Roma and Sinti communities, the same people who were also the lesser-known victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
And Muslims have replaced Jews as targets of the radical right, both in Europe and the United States.
It’s enough to send chills down our spine.