Expatriation – No Citizenship, No Constitutional Rights

At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, again, here comes another dangerous tool aimed at avoiding Constitutional restrictions in the name of fighting terrorism.  It is clear that our Congressmen believe that the pesky Constitution severely limits them in their noble efforts to keep us poor defenseless little citizens safe.  Members of Congress vehemently defended their vote for NDAA by stating that US Citizens were specifically excluded from detention under the counterterrorism provisions.  Although we know that to be doubtful, Senators Joe Liebermann and Scott Brown along with Representatives Charles Dent, Jason Altmire, Robert Latta and Frank Wolf are working to make that defense irrelevant – eliminate the person’s citizenship and he HAS no Constitutional rights – problem solved.  These men have submitted for review S. 1698 and H.R. 3166, bills that will be better known as the Enemy Expatriation Act.

Interesting how the words of our founders still come back to haunt us.  In the Letter from a Federal Farmer 8, the author warns us that:

Men may always be too cautious to commit alarming and glaring iniquities; but they, as well as systems, are liable to be corrupted by slow degrees.

That is exactly what has happened.  The elimination of Constitutional rights of US Citizens are being eroded by slow degrees. Consider the following:

Immediately after 9/11, Congress passes the Patriot Act, legislation that in part allows the FBI to conduct warrantless searches and seize people and property without probable cause and without judicial review.

Next we have Janet Napolitano issuing in an OFFICIAL REPORT of the Department of Homeland Security stating that soldiers returning from Iraq and those who oppose abortion, along with others who hold conservative American values are the real potential terrorists.

Recently, in April of 2011, the Government Accountability office reported that State Department and DHS officials could not agree on “what degree of ‘association’ with a terrorist is sufficient to render an applicant ineligible for a visa.”  Through this report we know that our US Visa offices are and have been granting legal resident status to citizens who have documented terrorist affiliation.  We also know that these legal residents have been granted full citizenship in spite of their documented terrorist affiliation.  Case in point; consider Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber, who was granted a student visa and then full citizenship all the while being on a terrorist watch list.  Because of Faisal Shahzad’s terrorist attack on America, Eric Holder went on a campaign, not to fix our immigration system or to limit the real terrorists, but to declare that OUR Constitutional rights should be “more flexible” so we can combat terrorism.

Every move that has been taken by this government moves us closer and closer to the death of the Constitution in the name of combating terrorism.

Next, the National Defense Authorization Act declares an indefinite worldwide war on terrorism and makes provision for the indefinite detention of those whom the government labels terrorists, or belligerents, or hostiles, or…?

Congressman after Congressman has declared that these sections EXCLUDE US Citizens.  They ignore section 4 that authorizes open and unchecked waivers of any established limitations. They claim that the language of this Act, “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States” gives that exclusion, even though telling a government agency they are not required to do something is not the same as prohibiting them from doing it.  Not even close.  We have declared open and undefined war on the nebulous enemy – “terrorism”, and we have given the President the ability to detain US Citizens indefinitely. Never fear, while admitting that NDAA grants such authority, the current President has promised he will not use that power.

Obama will never have to keep that promise if the Enemy Expatriation Act passes, since this act will strip US Citizens of their citizenship for simply being suspected of association with terrorist activity.

The Immigration and Nationality Act establishes guidelines of how a citizen can “lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality”.  The act then proceeds to list seven ways someone can relinquish their citizenship, among those acts is treason.  The Enemy Expatriation Act adds an additional criteria, language straight out of those troublingly worded sections of NDAA that we were told were not aimed at US Citizens.  According to Senator Leibermann and others, citizens both by birth and naturalization do not deserve their citizenship if they are suspected of:

engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States.

We should be asking ourselves, why do we need this language in addition to the crime of treason already listed as a way to lose citizenship.  The key may lie in the definition of treason in the Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist of only levying war against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving 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 Constitution and the provisions in the Immigration act both require a conviction of treason in court.  The standard of engaging in or purposefully and materially supporting, as stated in the Enemy Expatriation Act contains no requirement for CONVICTION of these activities.  The Patriot Act allows the government to build their suspicion upon information obtained using warrantless searches.  The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have made it clear who they think the enemy is and that they believe these “enemies” deserve no Constitutional rights.  But I guarantee, those in favor of the Enemy Expatriation Act will claim that they have now defined “hostilities” and this will protect those citizens who have “nothing to hide”.  The act declares “hostilities” for THIS SECTION means, any conflict subject to the laws of war.   This does not define “hostilities” for any other document in effect.  We must remember NDAA has declared open and continual war on terrorism.  This “limitation” is no limitation at all.

Do not be fooled.  Arm yourself with the truth!