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8382: Re:dual citizenship (fwd)
Key words and expressions: Dual citizenship, dual nationality, U.S. citizens,
Nationality, Naturalization, U.S.C., INA, Immigration and Nationality Act.
In agreement to the posting from Nina Glick Schiller, let me add that there
is no constitutional, statutory, or judicial provision prohibiting a U.S.
citizen from holding at the same time citizenship of another country, or
requiring a dual national to relinquish either his U.S. or his foreign
The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer
to dual nationality. There is, however, still a reference to dual nationality
in U.S.C. (United States Code) section 1481 (a)(4)(A).
The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not
affect U.S. citizenship: however, the acquisition of a foreign nationality
upon one's own application or the application of a duly authorized agent may
cause loss of U.S. citizenship under Section 349(a)(1) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. section 1481(a)(1)].
In order for loss of nationality to occur under Section 349(a)(1), it must be
established that the naturalization was obtained voluntarily by a person
eighteen years of age or older with the intention of relinquishing U.S.
citizenship. Such an intention may be shown by the person's statements or
conduct. Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980), but in most cases it is
assumed that Americans who are naturalized in other countries intend to keep
their U.S. citizenship. As a result, they have both nationalities.
United States law does not contain any provisions requiring U.S. citizens who
are born with dual nationality to choose one nationality or the other when
they become adults. Mandoli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133 (1952).
While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans
to have other nationalities, the U.S. government does not endorse dual
nationality as a matter of policy.
Now here is where the rubber could conceivably meet the road for the former
Haitians (now naturalized American citizens) who are alleged to be members of
Haiti government: the Potentially Expatriating Statutes.
Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended [8 U.S.C.
section 1481], states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship
if they perform certain acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish
U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include:
(1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349(a)(1) INA [8 U.S.C.
(2) taking an oath, affirmation, or other formal declaration to a foreign
state or its political subdivisions (Sec. 349(a)(2) INA [8 U.S.C. section
(3) entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in
hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned
officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349(a)(3) INA [8 U.S.C.
(4) accepting employment with a foreign government if (a) one has the
nationality of that foreign state or (b) a declaration of allegiance is
required in accepting the position (Sec. 349(a)(4) INA [8 U.S.C. section 1481
(5) formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. consular officer
outside the United States (Sec. 349(a)(5) INA [8 U.S.C. section 1481
(6) formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only "in time
of war") (Sec. 349(a)(6) INA [8 U.S.C. section 1481(a)(6)]);
(7) conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349(a)(7) INA [8 U.S.C. section
In re: Haiti
To the self proclaimed "natif-natal" and to those like one poster (Amedard)
in corbetland who think that a dual citizen is like a polygamist and
philanderer or something of the same genre I would recommend a reading of
France's (the leading country in dual nationality) Code de la Nationalite
Francaise which is a great example of how a nation can effectively handle
situations in which multi-nationality arises without penalizing citizens who
reside abroad. Haiti could draw on the principles of France's solutions to
strengthen its ties with its citizens residing abroad and to gain and profit
from their valuable experience and dollars.
Furthermore the example of France who grants citizenship by way of birth in
the country (jus soli) and citizenship by way of birth through a parent (jus
sanguinis) can only help Haiti bridge the gap between its Haitians born and
living in Haiti and people born of Haitian parents living abroad.
It is a fact that Haiti is losing by the bushels the foreign born children of
Haitians living abroad. What a waste of talent and resource!
As an aside, does it not hurt for instance to see successful Canadian and
American athletes born of Haitian parents living in those respective
countries compete in the Olympics. They could easily be in red and blue and
just as successful instead of fleur d'erable and eagle.
When my own two daughters born in the U.S. moved to South Florida from New
York they were shocked to be treated as "Haitians, boat people." Some of
their school mates spat on them and pulled their hair just for being born of
Haitian parents. (rest assured that they defended themselves and so did my
spouse and I "by all means necessary", legal and otherwise)
Still my girls complained bitterly and to assuage some of their pain I took
them to Haiti for a visit at La Citadelle to "show them what real Haitians
were all about and were capable of."
The older one, now 20 "going on 40" is absorbed in some Haitian club at
Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee. She tells me that most of the
members are born in the U.S. of Haitian parents.
The youngest one is 15, an excellent soccer player and sought after by local
coaches. Sometimes I dream outloud and tell her "one day you could help Haiti
qualify for the world cup." She just laughs but you can see a spark in her
eyes while she does so.
Now here are children born in the U.S., citizens of the U.S. who are in their
own way reaching to Haiti and Haiti is pulling from them by calling their
parents and to an extent calling them derisively "Diaspora!", not to mention
potential bigamists, polygamists and philanderers!!!
I can see why Haiti is in the caca big time. We do not take care of our own.
Point bar. On too many important issues there is a lack of rational thinking;
it is all big mouth, "demostration", "gran pan pan" et du "voye monte."
e pi, e pi, anyen.
Jean-Robert B. Auguste
(1) United States Code
(2) Immigration and Nationality Act
(3) "Dual Nationality, The Myth of Election, And A Kinder, Gentler State
Department" by H. Ansgar Kelly
(4) "Dual Nationality In France And The United States" by Simone Tan
<<A note about US dual citizenship from my research. The US does allow dual
citizenship, despite what the regulations say and the naturalization
procedures say. Almost all of the specific prohibitions have been
challenged in court and declared illegal. The US Passport itself now
refers in passing to dual citizenship. However, US authorities don't
broadcast these facts and some officials don't even know them.
Nina Glick Schiller