As an American resident in
But I have never heard any
Mexican say “I want to become a
No, most Mexicans who seek American citizenship for themselves or their children do so for personal benefits, and not to become Americans.
When the Mexican government
realized it could benefit from this as well, it changed its own citizenship law
to allow Mexicans to be dual citizens of both the
In 2003, when the
Nothing much came of it, but it illustrates the vast possibilities for meddling inherent in widespread dual citizenship.
When an immigrant becomes a
citizen of the
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. [Oath of Allegiance—USCIS Website]
But in fact, because of our legislating Supreme Court, dual citizenship is now law of the land.
As the website of the
Being a dual national and carrying the passport of another
country is perfectly legal. Under
The Selective Service System even exempts some dual citizens from registration.
In the old days, when
citizenship meant something, the
Thus Clemente Perez, a
U.S.-born citizen of Mexican ancestry, moved to
But a scant nine years later, in the landmark Afroyim v. Rusk case (1967), the court ruled 5-4 that Beys Afroyim, a naturalized citizen, did not renounce his American citizenship by voting in an Israeli election. This invalidated Perez v. Brownell.
U.S. law followed suit (the denaturalization laws were repealed in 1978, since they were a dead letter as soon as the Supreme Court ruled), and now it’s almost impossible for an American citizen to lose his citizenship, no matter what he does in a foreign country.
Would you like to serve in a foreign military? The State Department says that
Military service in foreign countries usually does not
cause loss of citizenship since an intention to relinquish citizenship normally
is lacking. [Possible Loss of
Would you like to run for office in a foreign country? The State Department says that
Currently, there is no general prohibition on
So how could a dual citizen of the
The State Department has a document
entitled “Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality.” It does list
possible expatriating acts—being naturalized in a foreign country, serving as
an officer or NCO in a foreign army, being employed by a foreign government,
and even serving in a military engaged in hostile action with the
actions listed above can cause loss of
In other words, you can
commit a possibly expatriating act and still not lose your citizenship. In
fact, the State Department assumes people will do these things and still be
Nowadays, the only way to lose American citizenship is by
a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of
That’s it. That’s the only way to renounce citizenship.
practically speaking, it hardly happens anymore. (A rare example is the recent
Yaser Hamdi case, involving a dual U.S./Saudi national captured in
Today there are millions of
dual citizens of the
Foreign governments and immigrants are learning more and more ways to leverage dual citizenship and game the system.
Our President and Senate seem determined to increase immigration levels astronomically. But who in our government is dealing with the citizenship question?
Is it wise to open the immigration door even wider, when we haven’t really straightened out the citizenship issue?
Shouldn’t we clarify citizenship issues (including the anchor baby loophole) before we even consider increasing immigration?
Don’t all Americans have a stake
in the citizenship question—including those of us who are (unfashionable as it
may now be) merely