Ted Cruz's Expatriate Terrorist Act is Constitutional and Necessary

Should a Jihadist be allowed back into the US after he pledged allegiance to ISIS?

ted cruz

An editorial in the National Review attacks Ted Cruz's and Steve King's Expatriate Terrorist Act to remove the citizenship of Islamic terrorists so that they can't return to this country.

First let's discuss why this bill is necessary.

"If we do not pass this legislation, the consequence will be that Americans fighting alongside ISIS today may come home tomorrow with a U.S. passport, may come home to New York or Los Angeles or Houston or Chicago and innocent Americans may be murdered if the Senate does not act today," Ted Cruz said.

We've already seen it happen in France just now. So there is no serious debate about this bill being needed.

The National Review argues that, "If the U.S. government has enough information to identify citizen-terrorists abroad and intercept them on their attempted return, it has enough information to bring criminal prosecutions against those individuals for terrorism when they try to reenter the United States."

As Obama has shown, that clearly isn't enough by releasing multiple dangerous terrorists who are not 'prosecutable'

The criminal justice system was built for handling civilian crimes, not membership in foreign enemy organizations. It proved inadequate during the Cold War and it's still inadequate to deal with Islamic terrorists.

Are we really going to prosecute everyone who trained with ISIS? Obviously not. We're freeing plenty of terrorists who trained with Al Qaeda.

If we did jail them, for how long? Life. A few years?

The only way to deal with the problem of terrorists is to throw them out. And if they managed to pick up citizenship, the only way to do that is to strip away their citizenship since they have already pledged their allegiance to an enemy power.

The NR tries to argue the Constitutional issue.

"Citizenship is not a mere privilege. It is a right specifically protected by the Constitution. Congress cannot simply decide that individuals lose their citizenship when they commit certain acts. Rather, to strip a person’s citizenship requires that the government prove not only that he committed an act deemed expatriating by Congress but that he did so knowingly and voluntarily and with the intent to relinquish his citizenship."

First, I find it rather strange that some libertarians claim some works of an activist judiciary whose other rulings they reject is the "Constitution".

It is quite clearly not the Constitution as removing citizenship from deserters was standard procedure until fairly recent times. So instead we're talking about, among other things, a Supreme Court claim that denaturalization is cruel and unusual punishment.

That's clearly not what the Founders had in mind. But instead of revisiting an extended legal debate, let's cut to the chase.

1. We are still removing the citizenship of enemies and war criminals.

In the past the United States had denaturalized Nazis and Communists and even specifically targeted foreign agitators linked to the Nazis and Communists, denaturalized them and then deported them.

Recently Obama Inc. found the time to have two former Guatemalan soldiers accused of committing atrocities against a village linked to Communist guerrillas in the so-called Dos Erres massacre back in the 1980s stripped of their citizenship.

Other denaturalization targets under his administration included two Serbians, an Ethiopian Marxist who took part in the 70s Red Terror and a woman involved in the Rwandan genocide.

2. The provisions are already there

Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act anyone voluntarily “committing any act of treason”, bearing arms against the United States or plotting to conquer it will lose his citizenship. While establishing this has proven tricky in the past due to the preponderance of evidence standard, ISIS represents a clear case because its fighters travel voluntarily from the United States for that purpose and because the Islamic State’s creed explicitly repudiates citizenship in anything but the new Caliphate.

It is clearly apparent that any American citizen joining ISIS intends to abandon his citizenship. He is not only serving in a foreign army, but he is joining an organization whose very reason for existence is precluded on a rejection of states and manmade documents such as the United States Constitution.

The National Review is arguing the technicality of a technicality.

ISIS rejects the idea of nations, particularly infidel ones. Anyone who pledges his allegiance to ISIS is clearly committing treason and demonstrating, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he has shifted his allegiance away from the United States.

This is as blatant as it gets. Here's Ted Cruz

“Mr. President, that is why I have today filed legislation, the Expatriate Terrorist Act of 2014, which would amend the existing statute governing renunciation of United States citizenship to designate fighting for a hostile foreign government or foreign terrorist organization as an affirmative renunciation of citizenship. By fighting for ISIS, U.S. citizens have expressed their desire to become citizens of the Islamic State, and that cannot and will not peacefully coexist with remaining American citizens.”

Again, a no brainer.

Is there anyone who pledges allegiance to the Islamic State who intends to retain his allegiance to the United States? Is such a thing even possible for anyone other than a multiple personality disorder?

The NR's argument, presumably, is that terrorists would have to tell a consular employee that they are officially renouncing their citizenship. This is the liberal position. It's also completely insane.

Did Lee Harvey Oswald maintain his allegiance to the United States after he defected to the USSR? Should a Jihadist be allowed back into the US after he pledged allegiance to ISIS because he didn't stop by an embassy to sign on the dotted line?

This isn't the Constitution. It's the same liberal argument that every technicality has to be used to protect the criminal at the expense of Americans no matter how many lives it costs.

That's what Ted Cruz is fighting against. He's doing it as much as possible within the lines, but he is doing it. The alternative? It's coming back on a plane here next week.

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