When Can You Be Stripped Of Your Citizenship?


In early 2016, following terror attacks in
Paris, the French Justice Minister resigned. She had opposed a proposal to strip French
nationals of their citizenship if convicted of terrorism. This amendment faced criticism,
suggesting it would discriminate and not likely deter terrorists. In fact, stripping a person
of citizenship is a rare occurrence in many parts of the world. So, what does it actually
take to lose your citizenship? Well, in most of the world, you are either
granted citizenship upon birth, or you can naturalize after immigration. It is almost
always easier for naturalized citizens to lose citizenship than for those who are born
into it. However, in both cases, there are very few offenses serious enough to warrant
revocation, outside of voluntarily renouncing your own citizenship. For naturalized citizens in the US, it may
be revoked for illegally obtaining citizenship by not fulfilling the necessary requirements,
and by concealing or misrepresenting a fact that would have originally prevented citizenship.
This is called “denaturalization”. You can also lose citizenship by being part of
a subversive organization, which would usually include any group advocating to overthrow
the US government, or harm US officials. You also can lose it for refusing to testify before
a Congressional committee on your supposed subversive activity. Following World War II, more than 100 former
Nazis, and others involved in war crimes who had not disclosed their status, were stripped
of their naturalized US citizenship. Later, during the Red Scare in the 1950s, some people
lost their citizenship on accusations of being communist spies. But for those who are born into citizenship,
there are specific actions which can cause one to lose citizenship. However this is only
when it’s clear that the action was done with the intention of relinquishing it. You
will lose your US citizenship if you join the military of a country which is engaged
in hostilities with the US, or achieve a high rank within another non-hostile country’s
military. Additionally, acts of treason, which are defined as partaking in conspiracy to
overthrow the government, would qualify for revocation. In 2001, a man born in Louisiana
was captured in Afghanistan, allegedly fighting alongside the Taliban against the US. The
question of whether to strip his citizenship on the basis that he had joined a hostile
military was an important distinction, as he was detained for multiple years by the
US government, without being charged. Eventually he was deported to Saudi Arabia on the condition
that he agree to personally renounce his American citizenship. For most European countries, in addition to
serving in another country’s military, other potential cases apply. These include the loss
of citizenship by both parents if the person in question is still a child, or if adopted
by foreign citizens. In some countries, like Japan, if you are born with dual citizenship,
you must renounce the non-Japanese one by the age of 22. But overall, it is actually relatively difficult
to lose a legally acquired, or natural born citizenship. France’s potential amendment
may resonate with those hoping to stop terrorism, but in practice it seems unlikely to matter
to any potential terrorists. There are over ten million people around the
world who are not citizens of any country. To learn about what it means to be stateless,
watch our video here. Thanks for watching TestTube News, make sure to like and subscribe
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