The Australian parliament passed a law Friday allowing the country to strip dual citizens of their Australian passport if they participate in terrorist activities.
The measure will be used in “very limited circumstances,” according to Attorney General George Brandis, and includes crimes related to fighting with terrorist groups abroad or otherwise financing, training and recruiting on behalf of these organizations.
The only way to accomplish something similar in the U.S. at the moment is in cases where it can be proved the person was radicalized before becoming a naturalized citizen.
“If you can back up their activities on behalf of the terrorist organization prior to when they naturalized, basically what you’re showing them is that when they naturalized they weren’t serious about it,” Dan Cadman, a retired Immigrations Customs Enforcement officer, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “If attachment to terrorism, whether it’s jihad or whatever, proceeds naturalization, then you can take their naturalization from them.”
Creating similar legislation as what just passed in Australia would be easily accomplished, according to Cadman. Congress would have to pass a law where any forms of terrorism activities went under the net of treason.
“It is entirely feasible but Congress would have to act,” Cadman told TheDCNF. “If they say that engaging in an act of terror by an organization that considers us an enemy is treason, then they don’t have to back it up prior to naturalization.”
A legislation like this would go a step further than the Australian legislation by putting U.S.-born citizens to the same standards.
“This would not only effect dual citizens or naturalized, it effects anyone,” Cadman said. “Theoretically someone born in the United States, who commits an act of terror on behalf of an enemy of the U.S., would be engaging in an act of treason. Treason is just about the only act that you can commit that allows the United States to remove your citizenship whoever you are.”
The obvious problem in this case is that the person will be stateless and will have to remain in the U.S. until another country decides to take him or her.
“By their action they would have basically put themselves outside society,” Cadman said. “they would in essence be exiled within the United States unless and until someone was willing to take them.”
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