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May 7th, 2010
05:36 PM ET

Should govt. revoke citizenship of Americans involved in terrorism?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's called the "Terrorist Expatriation Act"... and if it passes, the government could have the right to strip citizenship from any American suspected of supporting terrorism.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, was arrested Monday in connection with last weekend's car bombing attempt on Times Square.
Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, was arrested Monday in connection with last weekend's car bombing attempt on Times Square.

Bipartisan bills are being introduced in both the Senate and the House; and supporters point to the recent terror attempt in Times Square - which was carried out by a Pakistani-American. They say the measure reflects the "changing nature of war."

The proposal would actually update an existing - but rarely used - law run by the State Department. That 1940 measure allows the government to revoke citizenship for actions like voting in another country's elections or joining the army of a nation at war with the U.S.

What's interesting here is the measure isn't drawing the usual partisan responses. Some top Democrats seem to be supporting it... including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who says the administration will take "a hard look" at extending the existing powers of the government.

Also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she supports the "spirit" of the measure... although she still needs to hear more details.

Meanwhile some Republicans are skeptical... including House Minority Leader John Boehner, who questions the constitutionality of the measure.

Legal experts are also mixed in their opinions. Some worry that it's an "extraordinary step" to take away citizenship from someone. And they say to do it based only on suspicion, without court trials, is giving the government too much power.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government revoke citizenship of people involved in terrorism?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

John writes:
No. Remember the House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunts of the 1950s? I never want to see that again. If we turn this country into a dictatorship to prevent terrorism, the terrorists have won. And that's what you do if you penalize people without a fair trial. If they are terrorists, try them and convict them of a crime. But let's not become like the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to combat terrorism.

Art writes:
Does it really matter if such people spend the rest of their lives in a prison as a "U.S. citizen" or as a person whose citizenship has been stripped off? What purpose is being served by this move, other than an opportunity for a few senators to grand-stand and pretend that they are doing something about terrorism?

Jon writes:
I personally feel that this question need not even be asked. The answer is a resounding 'yes'. The individual in the recent Times Square incident no doubt should be stripped of his citizenship as well as the rights afforded by it. What I do fear though, is that with all of the botched investigations and mistreatment of citizens by those in authority, who will be the ultimate decision-maker in stripping citizenship?

Tracey in Texas writes:
"Involved" in terrorism or "suspected" of terrorism? Seems there is a world of difference to me. Joe Lieberman of Conn. and Scott Brown of Mass. both support draconian legislation. I guess we Texans aren't the only ones who send Constitution-challenged folks to Washington.

Greg in Pennsylvania writes:
Lieberman, God Bless him, he should be a Republican!

B. writes:
Revoke citizenship? OK. But where will they go? Arizona?


Filed under: Government • Immigration
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Bill

    No because who knows what the definition of "terrorism" morphs into.

    And this depends on what those in power or trying to gain power want it to be,.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Kyle

    Now I've heard everything. Not only do people want to keep ILLEGAL immigrants in the counry, but they also want to kick LEGAL citizens out. Does any of that sound strage to you?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  3. Bill Louis

    If they are found guilty, then citizenship should be revoked, and if immigrants, then returned to their native land. If born in the USA, then they could not be deported, just denied the rights of citizens of the US.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  4. Ian

    I think the concept of being involved in "Terrorism" is way to vague and used to describe way to many things to start revoking citizenship based on it.

    I don't trust that our law makers would be able to define what constitues Terrorism well enough to make sure this law would only apply to people who definately deserved it.

    Would William Ayers be effected? If we deported him where would we send him? What about the militia from Michigan who plotted against the police? People who bomb abortion clinics?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  5. Cameron SF, CA

    Seriously??? Anyone who is involved in terrorism should have their citizenship revoked because they obviously have no concern or honor for this country. This is a no brainer.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  6. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Only if they revoke the citizenship of Joe Lieberman, his family and friends, and anyone who has ever met him or talked to him on the phone! What a moron!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  7. Adolfo

    Yes, definitely, othe countries are doing it alerady. If you have hatred for this country, then, you need to leave. We need your leaving space for someone that want to contribute not destroy.

    Thank you

    May 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  8. Thanh

    They had better be careful with this, especially since it's based on pure suspicion. What would keep law enforcement from temporarily suspending a private person's citizenship and then interrogating them for information?

    I'm sure you all remember AG Ashcraft's "Person(s) of interest" status he gave to suspected terrorists. That basically ruined Dr. Steven Hatfill's life during the anthrax scare.

    It would also set a precedent for the government to suspend a person's citizenship in order to detain them for an indefinite period of time.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  9. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, not only revoke their citizenship, give them a swift boot in the behind before the door closes on them..forever!!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  10. Josh

    With our rather ambiguous definition of "terrorism," I have to say no. If the government can come up with a concrete, lawful definition of "terrorism," then yes, the government should be able to strip the citizenship of convicted terrorists. Note I say "convicted" and not "suspected."

    May 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  11. Chris Watford

    Obviously, "involved" is too vague. I would say if they are tried and convicted, then yes, absolutely.
    Chris Watford
    Roswell, GA

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  12. Alexander S

    If being suspected of terrorism is all that it takes, then I would like to formally accuse Sen. Joe Lieberman of being a terrorist.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  13. Buck Kopietz

    I can't believe I am agreeing with John Boehner. On the other hand if we use the definition of terrorism as : "Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion," would that mean when politicians caused terror by lying about death panels in the health bill, they could loose her citizenship? If this bill would stop politicians and media personalities from fear mongering, maybe I could support it.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  14. TheEraser

    Eeek. Tough call. The hairy part is outside of a perfect world. Ideally it would be a good law, banished. Although, if our choice for leadership continues to fail us, who then will be the one determining the definition of a terrorist?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  15. taylor blue

    No, because the last I heard, we haven't agreed upon what constitutes a terrorist or terrorist activities. And no one trusts anyone in Washington to apply this to American Citizens.

    Oviedo, FL

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  16. Francis

    Once convicted, yes!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  17. Michele Braun

    YES & they should be tried & shot for treason.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  18. Monica, NJ

    Let's set aside constitutionality and legalities on this one. If one engages in terrorist activities in this country, out they go and make sure they don't get back into our country...ever! If they succeed in killing Americans they should face the death penalty.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  19. Arthagus

    If your intent is to harm this country or it's citizens then I'm sure you don't know what it means to be a citizen of our country. Freedom of speech is not freedom to kill or destroy. Get them out of our country no questions asked after they their prison term.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  20. Rob

    Our leaders want to strip citizens of citizenship based on suspicion only, and then give citizenship to people that came here illegally. In the words of Forest Gump "Stupid is as stupid does" Jack, I feel like I'm living in an Ed Wood B-Rated movie and can't change the channel.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  21. jake

    Maybe, but only of those CONVICTED of terrorism, not simple suspicion, to do so on what is essentially a "hunch" would be completely unconstitutional and a gross overstep of power.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  22. Semo Rantamaki

    If you implement such a law, will it apply to some one like Timothy Mcveigh or Terry Nichols ? Will it apply to people like the ones in the Hutaree militia (recently arrested) ? Or will it apply only to Muslims ?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  23. AnneS

    The idea of a bureaucrat or worse, an appointed political official, having the power to revoke someone's citizenship based on suspicion is absolutely horrifying.

    No clear cut definition of terrorism or what constitutes "suspecting terrorism", no objective standard of evidence and no due process, this is NOT the direction our country should be going.

    And what do you do with those for whom you revoke citizenship? Do you allow them to stay here in some kind of 2nd class condition? You can't very well deport someone that was born in this country - where would you send them? You can't just lock them up if they haven't been convicted and sentenced to incarceration.

    This is a very scary and stupid idea.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  24. Jon

    Why not?? Aren't they going to be put in some prison anyway?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  25. Andy

    The last sentence in your entry above says it all. Revoking citizenship based upon suspicion goes too far.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  26. Aleksey Levin

    Hitler stripped German Jews from their citizenship on suspicion that they bad citizens. Now these good and great lawmakers want to perform the same surgery on Americans, and again on the basis of suspicion. Does somebody see the parallels? And what are we going to do with the Constitution?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  27. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes. The government isn't "stripping" away rights from these citizens turned terrorists. Their actions show that their behavior decided whether they want to be active US citizens or terrists.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  28. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Good God NO! This would be an ideal straight out of Iran or North Korea.

    I've never seen so many frightened people scurry around selling out on the ethics and principles that make up this society we call America.

    If we are indeed an imperfect union and culture, governed by a rule of law, then those who are imperfect, no matter their crime and no matter their citizenship, should be granted this society's fairness and justice. It is when we start altering our beliefs and virtues to fit a situation we become the evil we purport to defend against.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  29. Radagast in Minneapolis

    Only if they are convicted in a court of law of being a terrorist, certainly not on "suspicion of supporting terrorism."

    As far as I know, we still have a presumption of innocence in this country. If we're going to throw that principle out, let's just ditch the Stars and Stripes and raise the Swastika.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  30. Michael in Phoenix

    No they should keep thier citizenship.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  31. Clint Halstrom

    If someone is tried and convicted, then yes, but there will need to be a distinction between a natural born American citizen versus a naturalized citizen. After all, you can't repatriate someone back to their own country if their own country is America.
    Clint Halstrom
    Alpharetta, GA

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  32. Michael in Phoenix

    No, they should keep their citizenship. They should be tried for treason and if found guilty they should be executed.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  33. reallylivin

    absolutely yes. No miranda rights. ship their sorry asses to guantanamo and give them a military tribunal.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  34. slozomby

    if they arent citizens anymore then you cant hang them for treason....

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  35. Greg in Cabot, AR

    If we revoke their citizenship, does that mean we send them back to their home country? or hold them in GITMO for the rest of their life? maybe just deny them their right to vote? or how about deny their right to due process...you know, that little thing "innocent until proven guilty"?

    The key problem I see here is use of the phrase "suspected of supporting terrorism".

    I am more afraid of our government when they talk of suspending constitutional rights based on "suspicion" than I am of terrorists.

    What's next?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  36. Frank C

    Yes, the government should have the authority to strip away the citizenship of a naturalized citizen involved in terrorists activities...but only if this involvement has been established and proved.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  37. Ken Skelps

    When a person becomes a citizen of the United States they affirm

    "...allegiance from this day forward is to the United States of America. I pledge to support, honor, and be loyal to the United States, its Constitution, and its laws..."

    In marriage, appointment or election to public office, and other positions of trust, one must take an oath affirming their loyalty, intentions and standards of behavior. When we find that the person no longer abides by those promises, we take away their rights and privileges. Citizenship is an even greater committment by the individual and the nation. When an individual demonstrates by their actions that they are no longer loyal to our land and our laws, their citizenship should be revoked.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  38. A.B.

    Yes, Jack, The government should revoke or strip the citizenship of anyone convicted of terrorism regardless of whether that person is American-born or natualized. There are apparently provisions in U.S. immigration law that call for the revocation of citizenship of any person who serves in the army of an enemy nation, or votes in the elections of a foreign country. Revocation of citizenship for terrorism against the U.S. and treason is merely a logical extension of the 1940 law that already exists cites the provisions that I just mentioned. However, I feel that this action should be undertaken when the accused person was charged, received due process of law–a fair trial and is convicted beyond reasonable doubt. This provision should not be used arbitrarily against people with controversial views or life-styles.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  39. Gary H. Boyd

    Absolutely Jack, absolutely. This is a positive approach to a bad problem. Whoever came up with this has gotta be an idealist. and, as a youngster, was probably the one who, standing in a room full of horse shit said, "Wow, with all this stuff laying around there's just gotta be a pony in here someplace."

    Gary in Arizona

    May 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  40. Kerri

    Good grief! Why would anyone question it?! YES!!! Revoke their citizenship! We can't be marshmallows about everything! They clearly don't really have the intention of being a real citizen!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  41. Rahul

    This is truly and extraordinary measure which I would support any day. I worry though, that even if such a law was passed it would get struck down by the Supreme Court. Sadly such overlapping power within the hands of the government will be deemed unconstitutional.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  42. herb

    Being a citizen of the United States is a privilege, those who actively seek to do harm in the name of another country should absolutely have their citizenship revoked , or in this case have the harshest possible US punishment (death).

    Until this government actually has the will to do what is necessary and swiftly executes admitted traitors swiftly as a matter of law instead of giving them a platform (the courts) to spout their extreme views , the terrorism in the US and world wide will continue at an exponentially increasing rate.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  43. Ken Ramage

    Revoke citizenship? Yes. Hell, yes! At the very least.......

    May 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  44. Khan

    What an absolutely preposterous idea. It's been said a million times, and evidently needs to be said a million more; every time there's any kind of crisis, the government responds by seizing more power, and we surrender more liberties. I'm sure we can expect as much government transparency with this as we've grown accustom to. I'm curious to see how this proposition is/will be written up, including their intended definition of terrorism. Actually, I should say I'm curious to see how 'grey' everything is written. The next question is, if this is passed.. how many innocent people will be wrongfully targeted? The ends do not justify the means.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  45. Kathleen from DC

    Short answer: YES, but only if they've been convicted of the crime, not until then. I'd like to believe that we are all innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not just in the court of public opinion, no matter how much evidence there is.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  46. Robert

    In a word, yes, revoke their citizenship, but I think there needs to be a rider detailing what is necessary in order to revoke citizenship. Such as due process or overwhelming evidence (no need to tie up the courts for cases where someone has joined an enemy military (organization?)) Suspicion alone should not be enough.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  47. Steve in North Carolina

    Absolutely. Involvement in terrorism is no different than joining an army at war with the US.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  48. Stephen in Middle Georgia

    For the first time in many years I find myself agreeing with a major Republican politician. The fifth amendment guarantees that we can't be denied life, liberty or property without due process of law. The last time I checked, suspicion does not equal due process.

    Instead of revoking citizenship, why not prosecute treason? Because, from a constitutional definition, it's too hard to prove. Due process, again.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  49. Dana

    Jack,

    I don't think revoking someone's citizenship (naturalized or born) is going to accomplish anything. It is like giving someone a slap in the wrist for murder. Once someone has become a terrorist, their main concern is not the citizenship part.. they will try to flee to whichever country that harbours terrorist and by revoking their citizenship we might give these terrorist nations more rights on protecting such a mass murderer/terrorist. I think terror, whether it is home grown or brought from outside should be monitored and special intelligence should be more dilligent and citizens more wary. That is the only way to defeat terrorism.

    Thanks,
    Dana, Phoenix, AZ

    May 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  50. Tiffany, Chicago Ohio

    Yes, Of Course. It makes me sad that this is where America is now. I want us not to be vulnerable and hated. I think of our founding fathers and what they would want for us. I want America to be this brave place where we can withstand terrorism. I want us to be valant and not need to take measure that very well could lead to witch hunts. But at this point, I say: Yes, of course.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  51. Nick P.

    On the one side we talk about how government is incapable of doing a good job and how big government is the problem, but now we want the same government being in charge of deciding on a whim if we are worthy of our citizenship status, things are just getting more and more absurd in this country everyday!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  52. Tony...Ky.

    Jack.........I think they should get amnesty, like the other law breakers are going to get! Lets just do away with all our laws and grant everyone amnesty for their crimes! We dont enforce immigration laws, so why enforce any other laws?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  53. frankie

    I think the Congress should pass financial reform right now, and then vigorously tackle energy reform and immigration reform at the same time. Whether or not to revoke citizenship of people involved in terrorism, does not seem important to me. They need their freedom revoked; once in prison their citizenship doesn't actually matter.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  54. Jeff

    Yes heck yes!
    But also very carefully, because that IS an extraordinary step. Full trial and due process would have to be part of the process, and it would need to be a-political.
    But to fight against the USA as a terrorist, or as a line soldier is treason, either way.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  55. Nicholas M Cummings, Rochester, MA

    I think taking away Americans' rights in the name of "terrorism" defeats the purpose. If we give up the Constitutional rights our forefathers fought for us to have, the terrorists win.

    This seems to me like the government is using each terrorist action as an excuse for a power grab. I truly believe we have the technology to fight terrorism without taking away the People's rights.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  56. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    To the question as written:
    "Should the government revoke citizenship of people involved in terrorism?"
    With due Process, ABSOLUTELY. If one is convicted of being involved with terrorists, they should lose their citizenship.

    So long as they are not advocating for or participating in terrorist activities, if one simply believes that the terrorists might have some valid points for taking their actions and says so, I don't see that as a revoke-able situation...

    May 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  57. Stan

    Will this new law apply to European Americans? say of 7th generation – or it will only apply to people with non-white skin color, or people with accents.

    Paul Verhoeven was right, "War makes fascists of us all,"anyone remember NAZI germany? and how the Jews were stripped off their citizenship – then it was a justifiable law, years later we call it abject racism.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  58. Chad from Los Angeles

    We can torture and imprison without trial, and this is what is being debated right now?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  59. Randy Robertson

    No. They should be shot for treason.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  60. Jay

    Of course Jack. People who arm threatening society on this scale do not deserve the rights of Americans. I believe they must have a fair trial and be found guilty first though, which is where this idea and me part ways.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  61. Tommy Johnson

    The U.S. it far too liberal in giving citizenship to people of other countries. American can visit other countries but very few will allow us to be citizens and we should do the same. Give Visas, not Citizenship. Citizendship is a right, not a privilege and should be revoked if those rights are violated. Lagos, Nigeria

    May 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  62. whimkey

    JACK,

    When convicted–not until. There is something called 'due process'!
    But again some ignore the laws at their convenience–like flipflop senators –so maybe this is just another grandstanding moment for them!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  63. Onawa Cutshall

    No no and no. There should be sufficient laws to try American terrorists without having to expatriate them in order to subject them to torture. If not, strengthen the current laws rather than trying to find a way around them. Once you are an American citizen, you should be an American citizen and allowed the same rights as one born here.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  64. zak41

    Yes not only should we take away the citizenship but also pass harsher punishment like this Paki guy shold be flogged and thrown out of the country better still give him an islamic punishment behead him on friday after prayers as they do in Saudi Arabia only then would cowards like think 3 times before they carry out acts like this.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  65. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Common since says yes revoke but stupidity says no don't revoke .

    May 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  66. Kristy

    absolutely! they should not enjoy the rights of American citizenship if they support terrorism.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  67. Verise

    The problem with the proposed Act is that it is much too broad and subjective. It doesn't just authorize the government to strip a US citizen of their citizenship for directly performing specifically defined terrorist acts against the United States; instead, it more generally authorizes stripping a US citizen of their citizenship for "providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization"... including terrorist organizations that are NOT targeting the US but rather are targeting foreign governments that are at any time our allies in "hostilities". I'm guessing that this could be interpreted, if the government wanted, to revoke the citizenship of several Presidents let alone millions of Americans who have made donations to earthquake/hurricane/hunger etc. relief funds over the years.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  68. GSchuyler

    My comment... You're an American citizen, you commit or support terror, you should be charged with treason and prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.

    However, as Bill Clinton would say, define terror.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  69. Kurt Schroeder

    Does this also apply to Americans who advocate taking up arms against our own government? Does it apply to those who threaten to kill doctors who perform abortions? Where do you draw the line? Does it apply to white collar criminals who steal billions from our citizenry?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  70. Steven Foyer

    The LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) in Congo, who want to set up the Ten Commandments, have killed and raped thousands in the African country. Would an Evangelical group who has contributed money there, be considered to be associated with this Christian terrorist group ? Should members of such an Evangelical group be stripped of their citizenship ?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  71. Dan in Colorado

    I think its a great idea. We can get rid of the klan, neo nazi groups, that looney militia in Michigan, all while getting rid of islamic extremeists as well. Rid the country of these people ASAP. We can give their citizenship to hard working mexicans and kill two birds with one stone.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  72. abouttime

    about time they started doing something. Start with tht cleric that was spouting off a couple of weeks ago in NY about the South ParK cartoon.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  73. Kevin in CA

    Let me get this right – you're an American until someone decides to call you a terrorist, and then you are a ????
    Sounds like a John Yoo-ism.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  74. SCOTT ROSE --- PANAMA CITY, FL

    Jack, yes citizenship should be revoked immeadiatly, and the terrorists put in a military prison - hard labor for the rest of their lives no chance for release and bread and water and a vitamin tablet every day.no recreation, no reading, no koran, no exersize equiptment, just hard labor. first time they screw with a guard - shot them.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  75. Paul Austin, Texas

    Something very strick needs to be done and if you hate your country that much to act against it with violent actions then the Government should have the right to strip you of your citizenship. After all Jack I am sure you and many others remember the old saying Love It Or Leave It. But what country would these ya who's be sent to if deported for lessor acts. Iran? Maybe they should be sent out to sea on a raft with 2 days water and food no that would be to good of a deal.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  76. Brandon

    Kind of a moot point if you ask me. By the time someone has dedicated themselves to an act of terror and has gone far enough to get caught and convicted, I don't think they are going to have much interest in remaining a citizen anyway.

    That being said – hell yeah, get em out of here.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  77. robbie

    You mean you can commit treason and STILL be a US citizen? huh... let's fix that fast.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  78. Debbie

    Can't Congress get ANYTHING RIGHT???? How about taking citizenship away AFTER a court trial has proven beyond a doubt that they are guilty! I am all for taking away citizenship from proven American terrorists....but doing so with only suspicion and no trial ....what if the government just doesn't like you????

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  79. Sue

    Yes, absolutely. Why wait until they do something?
    Why doesn't Boehner and company want to do this? Maybe they want more military trials and then turn the terrorist loose like most of the ones they have tried. Whatever happened to the guy from the wealthy family in the U.S.? His name was John something or other. He was caught in Iraq on the battlefield with the terrorist. He was brought back here and the former administration did nothing to him. To my notion, he was a traitor to our country.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  80. Phil

    Some things never change. This is just a 21st Century version of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Do we need to find and stop terrorists? Yes. Are there less extreme but still effective ways of dealing with them? Yes.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  81. Glenn May

    Biloxi, MS

    Jack:

    The short answer is NO. There are enough laws against treason, just enforce those. The next 50 years will see increased social pressures as citizens adapt to the growing and changing role of government in their lives. There will be strong citizen protest as we come to terms with living in a more and more resource deprived country. Giving a federal (or state) agency the power to ad hoc decide a citizen has crossed the line from lawful dissent to treason opens the door for unimaginable horrors of witch hunts like the McCarthy hearings in the 1950’s. With all the social networking sites providing the “evidence” a citizens words or affiliations, written years earlier, will be used in or out of context as needed to suppress dissent. The only reason many of the writers and producers in Hollywood were not stripped of their citizenship was that the law forbade the committees from doing so. Shame on Joe Lieberman, he should know better.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  82. Fernando

    I don't think this is a good idea.

    First of all, what about native born American terrorrists?
    What would it mean for them to lose their citizenship?

    Or would it only apply to naturalized citizens?

    I don't think this tackles the problem of terrorrism, as terrorrists can be 100% American.

    Second, with all the anti-immigrant atmosphere, I don't doubt that sooner or later this will be a way to strip hispanics out of their citizenship. After all, if they have an illegal relative (a criminal in many people's minds) then they probably would be accused of being terrorrists.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  83. Paul

    Seriously? You can revoke someones citizenship WITHOUT a trial?

    Can you say "Police State?"

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  84. Tom from LA

    This is Robert Heinlein's crazy years where up is down and the moon rises up in the morning

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  85. David - NC

    Not sure what difference it would make to somebody who will spend the rest of their life in a high security federal prison.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  86. R, pennsylvania

    Should the government revoke citizenship of people involved in terrorism?
    That's a leading question. Or rather a misleading question.
    As you say in your first paragraph, it is actually about revoking the citizenship of one "suspected" or terrorism. That's the problem.
    Whatever happened to due process, innocent until proven guilty, habeas corpus, and all that stuff?
    If mere suspicion is the basis of an action, it will then become a self-justifying action, as the person, now denied due process, cannot prove otherwise.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  87. Mike Palin

    It doesn't matter Jack. No matter what the government revokes it won't help you get a full head of hair again.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  88. John D

    I could probably support it if these people are convicted under due process of law. However, I would definitely not support this idea if it were applied to people who are merely suspected of being involved with terrorism due to the potential for abuse by the government.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  89. Lori

    What happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? I don't have any problem with stripping citizenship once it's been PROVEN, but this seems to be unconstitutional under "due process".

    May 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  90. Brian

    I think stripping citizenship of people CONVICTED of aiding terrorists is an appropriate punishment. But if they can do it even if you're suspected of aiding a terrorist, then possible abuse of people's civil rights come into play. Let's not let emotion dictate policy. A good healthy bi-partisan debate on this subject would hopefully yield a strong amendment to this law, but that's asking alot nowdays.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  91. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    Jack, why don't we just scrp the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and every other document our founding fathers put in place. If you're a U.S. citizen and you commit a crime, due process should be afforded to you. I frankly would would not be inclined to give the government any more powers to abuse. Where would the checks and balances be? Next we'll want to do away with the Supreme Court for fear that they may over rule something that goes against someones "personal special interests" and political power play.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  92. Pisher from Harrisburg

    Jack,

    Call me Pisher, but I think any person who becomes a naturalized citizen and becomes involved with terrorism should be charged with treason, stripped of citizenship and either executed or deported and never allowed back into this country. As the son of a naturalized immigrant who fled persecution in the old country, I say with all of our faults, this is the finest and most generous country in the world and if you come here to destroy it, get the hell out!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  93. Paolo

    I suspect that dropping the citizenship will provide a loophole to evade our US legal system. Losing the citizenship would create an endless international legal issue between the USA and the country of origin of the terrorist.
    A US citizen that commits an act of terrorism against the USA should be prosecuted by a US tribunal according to the US laws.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  94. JDQ (Stanton, VA)

    The problem with doing something like stripping citizenship from someone is that the reasons for the government doing so, once the first step has been taken, will multiply beyond our power to foresee. While anger is strong that someone would become a citizen and then attempt to commit an illegal act, this person is a citizen and should be tried in a court of law as any other citizen would be. To do otherwise is to take a step on a very slippery slope.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  95. JW

    If there was such a law in 1940, I am wondering why they didnt strip the citizenship of Bush's Grandpappy when his Union Bank was the one doing business with the Nazi's. They got hauled before congress and chastized for helping the enemy. If Grandpa Prescott got to still hang out in the good old USofA, then I think terrorist sympathizers should to.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  96. Carol Auburndale, Fl

    That is a YES. There should be an extensive investigation into anyone wanting to become a citizen of the United States and if there is a whiff of anything extremi.st then they should not be allowed to become a citizen

    May 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  97. SCOTT ROSE --- PANAMA CITY, FL

    Jack, yes citizenship should be revoked immeadiatly, and the terrorists put in a military prison – hard labor for the rest of their lives no chance for release and bread and water and a vitamin tablet every day.no recreation, no reading, no koran, no exersize equiptment, just hard labor. first time they screw with a guard – shoot them dead. It is time to wake up to reality. they are here to kill us. Liberals want to give them a big hug and everything will be all right. Put the liberals in prison with the terrorists for a week and see who comes walking out.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  98. Tula

    I thing they should revoke citizenship.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  99. Doug

    Alaska

    If convicted of supporting, planning, or carrying out terrorist acts, anyone should lose their citizenship, inlcuding native born and naturalized citizens.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  100. CK in SD

    Maybe, but only after they are convicted. Being tough on terrorism does not mean we have to abandon the values of fairness and justice upon which this nation was founded. Everyone should be assumed innocent until proven guilty, otherwise we are no better than the dictatorships and fundamentalists states we are at odds with.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  101. Alice Newton

    ABSOLUTEY!!! Yes, the governement should revoke citizenship of people involved in terrorism. No ifs and or butts, about that! Becoming a citizen of a country is a priviledge, and anyone who has ties (of any knd) with terrorists, terrorism, in ANY way, do not deserve to be a citizen. To want to harm people from the country that has ALLOWED you to become a citizen should not be tolerated, and those who do engage in supporting terrorism, or being a terrorist, should have their citizenship revoked. Terrorists hate, and don't care whom they hurt in their crazy beliefs. They should not be allowed to keep their citizenship.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  102. Steve

    No, this is the right way to go.

    It's about time if you ask me.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  103. Johnathan, WPB

    Something could probably we worked out by both parties on this as long as it is constitutional and legal. I don't think that military trials are the way to go as there have only been 3 convictions, sort of, since 9/11 and the whole Gitmo disaster. Our court system has succesfully convicted and jailed way more terrorists than all that other stuff ever has.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  104. carol braun

    Jack:-
    regarding the issue of taking one's citizenship away,
    I most definitely would agree that it should happen and
    perhaps show the others like him that if they commit
    a crime they can be sent back home to face their
    own tyrrants because they failed just like him.
    We have too many people here that don't belong.
    either they want the same freedoms we enjoy, or
    send them home to wallow in their country's
    hatred and misery.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  105. John in Lubbock

    Maybe I watch too much TV but I fear anything where our government is involved.

    However, isn't terrorism by a US Citizen equivalent to TREASON. So why not use the existing law to address terrorism by a US Citizen. As a citizen they have certain rights. Take away that citizenship and all you have now is another terrorist from another country who will be treated as a 'hero' for their actions.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  106. Mark

    Lose citizenship?!? Back terror, you are effectivly a terrorist, and a trator. Trators deserve to be shot. So there ya go. Back terror, forfit your right to live.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  107. perry jones

    yes to any one that attacks the general public with a bomb shoulb lose there citizenship as well any one who is convicted of helping them

    perry jones
    council bluffs ia

    May 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  108. Eric

    It's probably unconstitutional, and not very well thought through, either. Doesn't Sen. Lieberman realize he's proposing giving sole authority to revoke someone's citizenship to HILLARY CLINTON!?!?

    Eric in Toronto

    May 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  109. Lisa

    Mr. Cafferty, on very important thing to note about this proposed law: it allows the State Department to strip the citizenship away from anyone they _suspect_ was involved with terrorism. Notice that key word: it allows punitive action before any conviction.

    Richard Jewell (Atlanta'96 security guard) and Steve Hatfill (early anthrax mailer suspect) could easily have been stripped of their citizenship under this law. Not only were they not guilty, all charges were dropped against them and there wasn't even any trial. Send some money 30 years ago to one of your Irish relatives who happened to write an anti-Unionist letter to the paper: there goes your citizenship.

    This law is not "strip citizenship from terrorists". It is "strip citizenship from people we currently don't like".

    May 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  110. Terry from Illinois

    Jack,

    Only if an American is proven to have aided the terrorists should their citizenship be revoked. Its over the top to revoke citizenship if just a suspect ...

    George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress should loose their citizenship since they passed legislation which gave tax breaks to companies who outsourced American jobs to known countries (ie; Saudia Arabia, Ireland, etc.) who support and aided terrorists !!!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  111. Tim

    We have laws to deal with this allready. But they require someone to be charged with treason that involves a soveriegn state. Maybe a definition of a stateless enemy added to existing law would work. Please don't let the democrat trader creat another giant unworkable bureaucracy.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  112. Lex

    WoW! This is really unbelievable. Anyone suspected of supporting terrorism? If that is the wording then it tramples all over the 1st amendment. McCarthyism all over again.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  113. John

    If the US is truly fighting a war against terrorism, and a US citizen aids the enemy, does that not fall under the definition of treason in title 18 of the US Code, which could be punishable by death? It seems like the loss of citizenship would be getting off pretty easy.
    John
    Dallas, TX

    May 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  114. iceman2456789

    maybe if they do that for latin people they should do it for muslim terroists who deserve it not latin people

    May 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  115. bob basham

    I guess you lose your citizenship when you are executed. Just like Tim McVeigh.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  116. John

    Jack, A number of terroists and america haters come through illegally and also through DV lottery and marriage visas. There should be a stop on illegal immigration and also stop the Dv lottery program since it brings in people with no family ties and work skills. Also, these programs bring in people who hate America and people use fraud to get immigration benefits. I think the governmet must seriously consider stopping illegal immigration and Dv lottery progam and also givin citizenship freely to these people who hate America. People who get greenc ards through marriage must be investigated throughly and then alllowed to get benefits.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  117. Jeff

    Maybe if they are convicted of terrorism by trial, but not simply because of suspicion of being involved with terrorism. Suspicion alone is not cause enough to revoke someones citizenship.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  118. Marvin

    How ORWELLIAN of them. Let me guess, if they have a reasonable suspiscion to suspect terrorist links(Immigration status,...blah, blah, blah.) Your'e gone...? Rediculous. I would suggest boycotting the US, by not visiting, or spending any money here, but it looks like no one has any money (for very long!)anyway!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  119. Tony Sosa

    Why is this necessary? If convicted, just execute them or throw them in an American prison for the rest of their lives.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  120. Dawn

    NO! The government should not have the ability to remove citizenship without having evidence and the individual having gone thru a trial. Sounds alot like McCarthyism. Where would they repatriot the individual to? What other country would take them. This has to be some violation of your civil liberties. Which in the end will just cost the public more money once people start suing the goverment and backlog the court system. If they can prove you knowingly participated in terrorism in a court of law the remove citizenship to whatever counrty you worked with. Or better yet and cheaper just shoot them! Cheap and effective!!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  121. Andy Miller

    It really makes me feel secure when people start talking about removing other peoples rights or protections under the law. You do remember the law? It's supposed to protect all of us? The patriot Act started voiding all those useless and dangerous ideas. Now we have the politicians going for another big step back (maybe to the 1930's and 40's in Nazi Germany). And, just think, you get all this on a suspicion. I wonder if there is even going to be a requirement that a record be made of the action. Maybe a quick trip out back and a bullet, that the cost of which is of course billed to your next of kin.
    People, listen up! If a law or regulation can be perverted or corrupted, it will be. Who loses their citizenship next? you? me? Just because maybe your neighbor who works for the government doesn't like you?

    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  122. John

    Tough question that will depend on details. If a revolution happens can the goverment take away American born citizen's status (most likely not...because the people will always win...thus creating a new goverment)? Perhaps the law can be corrupted...would Shay have lost his status for his rebellion? Yes, he was hung…but he was executed as a citizen. Either way, a felon has already lost many rights...and supporting terrorism is a felony–so, there you go. Instead of a special need prison for these guys that lose citizenship through terror actives—ala Gitmo—they should be thrown in the prison where they committed the crime so they can punished by the unwritten law of prisoners…shanked, raped, beaten…dang, terrorist have it easy. I am sure some folks in upstate New York would love to get their hands on Al Qaeda.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  123. Bryan

    Chicago

    My overwhelming gut feeling is that, no, they should not revoke citizenship. It's too difficult to define terrorism and I am afraid it would be used too broadly. Most acts of terrorism fit squarely within existing crimes, like conspiracy, murder, etc.

    i could be persuaded if this were a consequence of a court conviction, part of a sentencing hearing if you will, with a requirement of an overwhelming amount of evidence that takes us beyond mere criminal intent to the point of some very narrow definition of terrorism.

    but overall, i'm very uneasy about it.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  124. Jerry, Bullhead city, AZ

    NO, do not revoke their citizenship. Try the person for treason and if convicted, invoke the death penalty and execute them. Especially if they're a naturalized citizen who took the oath to uphold our Constitution. That makes them a traitor.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  125. Christopher Lowell

    There's a huge leap between "suspected of supporting" terrorism and the phrasing of your question which speaks of people "involved" in terrorism. If I were suspected of supporting terrorism (or murder or cheating on my taxes), and then found not to have been guilty of the charge, any premature stripping of ANY of my rights as an American would be, well, premature. So yes: take away citizenship of those found, conclusively, to be involved with supporting terrorism, but not until such proof is irrefutable. Ben Franklin said that "those who would sacrifice essential liberties to gain a little, temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." Splendid sentiment, nobly expressed. The problem is defining what is and what is not "essential" liberties.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  126. Kevin

    Sounds like a no brainer to me.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  127. James McGregor

    I do not support taken away a persons citizenship with only suspicion as the reason. If you have been convicted of terrorism than I would feel that to be a just reason to take such an action, but never for just suspicion! Suspicion is just that it does not mean one has actually done anything wrong so unless its been proven beyond a reasonable doubt I would hope that this would never be allowed! I am not an American who lives in fear and I do not believe in giving up my individual rights. That will never be the way to respond to terrorism to me that just lets them win!
    James McGregor
    Cottonwood, Arizona

    May 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  128. steve- virginia beach

    Denying due process is unconstitutional and pathetic but I would otherwise support such a measure, especially if it provided for stripping citizenship of fiscal terrorists like Congress and the President.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  129. Tony

    No not at all we wouldn't want to hurt their feeling now would we? Give me a break!!! My question is why in the world is anyone allowed to stay in this country if they are on a "No-Fly" list much less if we know they are involved in terrorism!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  130. David - NC

    Yes Jack these are obviously the machinations of politicians who are more interested in public pandering than in matters of real practicality. What would it matter to somebody who will most likely spend the rest of their natural days in Englewood, Colorado to have their citizenship revoked? Can we not address issues of real importance to the public like banking re-regulation, securing our borders, energy policy, rather than theater??

    May 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  131. MACK

    Congress will have to pass a law allowing the deportation of Naturalized aliens after a serious criminal act. If there is bipartisan support for the bill there should be no problem. Lets see them "put their money where their mouth is ".

    May 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  132. Ryan, Sacramento, CA

    Taking away rights based on a suspicion is nothing short of Stalinist, whether it's based on being on some extra-constitutional "watch list" or based on this new law they want to pass. And imagine combining the two! Anyone on the watch list is no longer an American citizen by default?! Have we gone mad?!

    Here I thought kicking Bush out of office would put this "Red Scare 2.0" to rest, but apparently, as predicted, both parties are one and the same...

    May 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  133. Todd stevens

    I'm rather skeptical. What does "Terrorism" mean? If you want to see harm happen to the members of the Westboro church, is that terrorism?

    If you are an abortion provider, is that terrorism?

    If you believe in the separation of church and state, is that terrorism?

    If you feel that gay people can change orientation, or can't for that matter, is either side terrorism?

    Disavow Nazism = terrorism?

    Deny the Holocaust = terrorism?

    Believe/not believe in evolution = terrorism?

    The devil is definitely in the details.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  134. Felicity Tibbs

    How did he get citizenship just a year ago. When I went through the process for citizenship the FBI and other investigations were thorough. How did this man who was obviously training in Pakistan ot get picked up earlier.

    I am proud to be an American but fear someone in the FBI failed us all on this case.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  135. Rob

    Rob Talley
    Orlando, FL
    Should the government revoke citizenship of people involved in terrorism?

    For non-naturalized citizens I would feel that revocation of citizenship would be automatic upon a court verdict of guilty of anything involving terrorism against the US, be it on domestic soil or non-domestic soil, or anywhere outside the US. We cannot condone terrorism from any of our citizens.
    For naturalized citizens, I would say you could not take away that birthright, however that does not mean that you cannot impose the death penalty.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  136. B.Labelle

    Anyone aiding and abetting terrorism is not fit to be a citizen of this Continent.. I speak fr0m Canada. Had we all been harsher after 9/11 we would all be living in a safer world. Stop being so wishy-washy about hurting someone's feelings, or stepping on someone's toes.

    We live in a democratic continent. It should not be changed for a few who want to force their way upon the world. Get them all back to wherever they originate from. Let them EARN the right to live here.

    The harshest sentence available should be the punishment; never mind just taking away citizenship.. Take away all freedom to be here, Deport them. How many illegals are there on this side of the ocean anyway? Citizenship is just a piece of paper to them, it does not have any meaning obviously.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  137. Stewart in GA

    Does it matter, Jack? If found guilty, hey should be tried as enemy of the state and locked up accordingly. Did it matter if Tim McVey was a citizen?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  138. JeremyW

    There is nothing in the constitution that allows the US to revoke citizenship. Bad bill

    May 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  139. Keith

    Cafferty, you have opposed my political views more than once, and thus, I suspect YOU of supporting terrorism. Bam! You just lost all your rights. Now I, Mr. Government, am entirely freed of the nuisance of proving that my suspicions are correct – have fun spending the rest of your life in your new CIA prison cell!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  140. Smith in Oregon

    During the final days of East Germany this was put into place. They didn't exist much longer after that. The Ex-Patriot Act would entirely be vetted by unknown groups which have already placed children and young adults on the 'terror' and 'no fly list' which are to young to even understand anything about terror groups or their organizations.

    This law is entirely unconstitutional, unlawful and anti-American.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  141. george bloomingdale

    i think the times square bomber should be hung by his neck and the hanging should be shown on TV in Asia.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  142. Martin

    Absolutely. I believe that citizenship and the related priviledges should be revoked from ANYONE convicted of a felony.

    After all, you have made a concious decision to rebel against the rules of society – why should you be allowed to continue to participate in the society?

    As far as convicted felons who have emigrated to the United States (whether illegally or legally) their citizenships should be revoked if they have them (as well as legal immigrant status) and they should be immediately returned to their country of origin after completion of their FULL sentence (no parole for people who came here of their own accord, ESPECIALLY illegals).

    May 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  143. Julie

    This is in response to the question anounce on TV about Homeland Security = I don't see it on the site. First get rid of Napolatino who has contributed nothing and was appointed as a sop to the ethnocentric lobby. Homelan Security has never really functioned. Its charter should be limited to preventing terrorism. It clearly has expendede no effort on disaster recovery – no planning, no preperation.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  144. richard gregor

    i don't take seriously anything the pres.an d congress does, especiallu on immigration, every one is ignoring the real problem and that is the mexican government, if they would start to do somethingb for thier people, we wouldn't have a proble, how many canadians do we ship back to canada. tthey come up here to get all tyhe FREE benifits, that the mexican gov. will not provide for them. get the mexican government to take care of thier people and we wouldn't have a problem......

    May 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  145. Bob in Kansas City

    YES, if these people want to engage in activities with the express intent to kill people then revoke their citizenship and ship them back to where they came from and never ever consider them for reentry into the country, or execute them, problem solved either way–it should apply to drug dealers, terrorists and any other foreigners who become naturalized Americans...forget this bs about their "rights", they willingly forfeited them by participation in illegal ventures.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  146. Syz Kumar

    The concept of extending the parameters of the 1940 law is certainly not without merit given the current terrorist-prone climate. One of the most salient issues is the protocol by which the State must abide in deciding whether to revoke an individual's US citizenship.

    The dire consequences of losing one's citizenship mandates the application of a process far more stringent than fear-blinded suspicion. It requires the due process of law granted under the US Constitution before one's citizenship is taken away by the State. Furthermore, there must also be a decision made by the legislators as to the level of scrutiny which a court is required to apply in arriving at its determination.

    Many legal scholars and practitioners will agree that the applicable standard would have to be severe or, in the parlance of the law, strict scrutiny.

    In sum, the idea is one that has merit and should be explored. The means by which the idea is executed must preserve the sanctity of US citizenship by making the State prove its allegations as overwhelmingly likely.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  147. Keith

    Taking away a person's citizenship is a very serious punishment. Think about all the rights involved. They should only do this if the terrorist activity the person was involved in was very serious. I think terrorists should be punished, but taking away citizenship sounds like a way to justify cruel and unusual treatment. And I'm a little worried about how broadly "terrorist activity" can be interpreted.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  148. publius enigma

    Geez, next thing you know they will be using this law to punish those who make comments criticizing the government. "How unpatriotic of you to question this righteous war".

    May 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  149. Lois Rodgers

    I consider myself an activist Christian but I still believe that ALL immigrants should apply through legal channels. . l have read Michner's book Texas and try to understand the mind of all those "Tejanos" and others who wish to immigrate to the U.S. Why do Latinos from Mexico think they have a "mandate" to come to this country? If they are "illegal immigrants" they are ILLEGAL. Just keep our immigration laws the same for EVERYONE.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  150. Johnathon

    A government we don't trust, with the power to revoke citizenship? Yea, how about they attempt to solve the problem with the tools they have. This is absurd, we must stop the expansion of Federal power at all costs. Just look at the Patriot Act, they pushed it along because "We were at war"!

    When will the war end? Will we ever gain our freedoms back from an encroaching government that cares not for the will of it's people?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  151. Brad Berg

    "Terrorist Expatriation Act" YES !!! Was a time they would Hang Him... mmmmmm There's a thought .

    May 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  152. Karen Virginia

    So, let me get this straight. The government wants to revoke citizenship of someone who is only accused of being a terrorist but no concrete facts to back it up. Can we say STUPID! That would mean that anyone can be accused just like the McCarthy trials. Yet another knee-jerk reaction from Congress (Chicken Little wantabees!).

    May 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  153. MJ

    Wow.. now the federal government gets to take citizenship if you disagree with them? I can't believe this is even being brought up for debate.. people need to wake up to what is happening or we will lose it all..

    May 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  154. publius enigma

    The big deal is this would be done without trial.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  155. Edward

    Jack
    1. Why would members of congress write such a bill in the first place?

    2. Why would the President sign a bill like this?

    3. Who could benefit for calling anyone a terrorist at will?

    4. Who's to say you could not call your political opponent a terrorist?

    5. Who's to say you could not call the protesters out side the white house terrorist?

    I sure hope they don't get away with signing this bill with out hitting bigger news. We have to realize as American citizens that living in fear is not what America is about. Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Stand up for yourself and take charge of your lives because you never know if your name will end up on the next terrorist watch list next.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  156. Mohammad

    Jack, I'm an American muslim. What if I'm mistakenly put on the terror watch list, pulled aside and–on the basis of being a suspected terrorist–my citizenship is stripped of me? This law is not specific enough. You can't just revoke someone's citizenship based on suspicions.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  157. Chris - Denver

    Reckless power grab and possibly in violation of the due process clause of the 14th amendment to the constitution. Figures this would be the only thing to get bipartisan support. I'm getting as fed up as a Tea Partier, and half as crazy.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  158. Tory, Georgia

    Revoke citizenship? Pfffft! We used to execute traitors.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  159. Adel Abouelseoud

    Hi , I am an American Citizen, but I was not born here in the US, before any immigrant apply for the Citizenship, they do background check and finger print to make sure he or she is ok to be a US citizen , and It should be the same if a US Citizen Brakes the Rules the government could have the right to strip citizenship from him/her if they are suspected of supporting terrorism
    Terrorism Is against God And all Religions.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  160. Brad

    The only thing that is broken is enforcement of our laws. We don't need comprehensive immigration reform. We just need our leaders to enforce our laws. That is the very least we should expect from them. Fine the employers of illegal aliens effectively; and there won't be any jobs for the criminal trespassers. With no jobs, and no welfare; they will go home. It's working in Arizona. Illegals are leaving. Unfortunately, most of them are going to other states. The federal laws are basically the same as the new Arizona law. If the federal laws were enforced; they would leave. No reform – enforce existing laws. Nothing is broken except our government's refusal to do its job

    May 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  161. PJ in CT

    Aside from the fact that it is against the constitution...where would we stop if we could take away citizenship for "suspected" support? We have prisons for a reason, if someone is guilty throw them in there for life, otherwise you can't punish someone who hasn't committed a crime last i checked

    May 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  162. Randy Jackson

    Didn't the Bush administration do this with Jose Padilla? The idea that the government could do this without due process is scary indeed. And if passed would this apply to natural-born citizens or just naturalized citizens? How does a governement strip a citizen of one's birthright?

    I would cite Padilla & also John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban"; in the latter's case he violated the 1940 statute but he wasn't stripped of his citizenship. Timothy McVeigh was executed for his crime but what of Terry Nichols? Will the law be retroactive? Will he be stripped of citizenship? Wasn't his crime an act of terror?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  163. RICK FROM PENNSYLVANIA

    If you are a citizen of ANY COUNTRY and wish to either kill or mame your fellow citizens or overthrow the government and the laws that they the citizens created, then you do not deserve to be a citizen in good standing!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  164. Jim Crumrine

    Once you are tagged a terrorist, domistic or foriegn, you not only should lose your citizenship but should appear before a military tribunal and if convicted should be given a new citizenship in Guantanamo Bay for the rest of thier lives or shot before a firing squad. We should show no weakness.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  165. Annie, Atlanta

    Where, then, do we draw the line? The dictionary defines terrorism as: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. That would include every politician who plays the fear card to garner votes. They’re way too numerous to list here. Then there’s everyone involved with that “F-Word” station and hate radio. So I say if we go for it, we go all in.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  166. Solitude

    "You either asked the wrong question on/over the air, or you closed the wrong blog. If you mean you want to stop these guys getting into the USA, you had better put ten times more pressure on Obama, who love his Muslim fellow compardries (ok I cant spell again, but I dont have a secretaty.)

    May 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  167. txkboy

    ABSOLUTELY!! Most terrorists are educated in the United States and come on student Visa's. Don't you have to state the "Pledge of Allegiance" when you become a citizen? If you don't believe in this country and designated as a "terrorist", then why be given the rights of law abiding citizens? I say immediate deportation and revocation of naturalization certificate, passport, and Visa.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  168. CJT

    Frightening. Assumed guilty before a trial – and then not even able to get a trial by your peers because you were stripped of your citizenship. It could happen to anyone on the street who gets caught up in the frenzy of the moment. Wrong place – wrong time – wrong county.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  169. Steve Schoner

    ABSOLUTELY YES !

    Those shown to be terrorists, or voting in another nations elections, or fighting for other nations irregardless of whether they are at war with the U.S. must have their citizenship in the U.S. revoked.

    It is only common sense to do so. And this goes for U.S.. Mexican citizens that are also citizens of the United States. If they vote in a Mexican election then they too must have their U. S. citizen rights revoked.

    That is the way it should be and must be to preserve the integrity of the United States and its loyal citizens.

    Steve Schoner
    Flagstaff, AZ

    May 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  170. chris

    I agree that the definition of 'terrorism' has been muddied in the past few years and that's where the sticking point would be.
    If someone attempts a violent act against the United States in the name of a religion or another nation, then let's show them the door asap AFTER due process and a fair trial.

    But in today's nebulous haze of media, anything and everything is termed as a 'terrorist' act if one of the sides disagrees with what's being carried out.

    Ironically, a comment above accuses congress and the president of being terrorists. See how ridiculous Americans get when you let them?
    It's a slap in the face to those who have lost loved ones in true terrorist acts. And since nobody can really sanely define 'terrorism' correctly these days, then we're going to have a tough time revoking their citizenship.
    Some americans want to label every person they disagree with as a terrorist (see above) and that's just one of the reasons American just isn't the country it used to be.
    They've accused Obama of being a muslim, a terrorist, a socialist, a marxist, a corporatist, a kenyan...when does this insanity stop? Because that's what it is, pure and simple: insanity.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  171. steve- virginia beach

    Absolutely but only for those who are naturalized citizens and only in a manner that includes due process. The oath of citizenship is federal law and is a loyalty oath. I see nothing wrong with breaking our end of the deal when they break theirs by demonstrating that they are actually an enemy of the state..

    May 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  172. Chris

    "Suspected of terrorism"...Jack, that term right there scares me to death. Where is the line drawn? Taking away citizenship for someone who is "suspected" goes too far.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  173. jason

    Though i understand where this revoking of citizenship is coming from, i feel the only way someone's citizenship should be revoked is by a jury of ones peers...as through a trial...not by the government.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  174. sheldon

    not a problem, they will still be able to buy a gun and explosives

    May 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  175. Davey

    If you have a natural born American terrorist and you revoke his citizenship, then what happens to him? he is a person without any citizenship in the world. Do we ship him to another country?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  176. Ron Lawrence

    While I'm totally against our government having as much control over it's citizens as it currently does at this time, and is pushing for more and more, I am in favor of it revoking the citizenship of any American Citizen or citizens that has chosen to provide any type of support to any terrorist group or has chosen to attack this country on their own whether here or abroad. I am also in favor or using waterboarding and other slightly questionable harsh methods as tools to quickly extract valuable information from any suspected terrorist.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  177. tyhouston

    If you betray your country you have NO right and are NOT protected by the constituition. You can have it one way but NOT the other.

    It's called treason and seem Americans fool ideas of what they can say with freedom of speech is being sop abused they are flat out being traitors in public...strip them of all rights.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  178. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Every school kid for generations learned in elementary school the phrase:
    Give me liberty or give me death.

    Today Patrick Henry is rolling in his grave, and Osama Bin Laden is rolling on the floor in laughter as we continue to sell out on our liberties because of fear.

    It is time we make a choice, do we maintain our virtues, principles, and ethics in lieu of danger, or do we circumvent these tenants because we are afraid? How sorry we are becoming.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  179. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    The government ought to consider to suspend one's citizenship then revoke it after the person is found guilty of terrorist acts.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  180. aciescott

    Sounds a lot like Mcarthyism and the Red Menace. I'm retired military and find it offensive for anyone to talk of taking rights away from american citizens for any reason.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  181. John, Fort Collins, CO

    As a liberal moderate, I find the concept of revoking anyones's citizenship offensive. But after reading the articles in Rolling Stone exposing the role Goldman Sachs had in running, using, and abusing the financial sector in this country, I am leaning toward banishing all of their officers and partners to Siberia. Economic terrorism is also a weapon of mass distruction.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  182. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    When and if that day comes, we will no longer fly a flag to pledge our allegiance. We must be careful about revoking ones citizenship due to terrorism.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  183. John

    When a Ameican Citizen is involved in terrorism, after they have properly waterboarded them to get all the info we can as to their involvement, and give up the croanies that they are involved with, yes I believe we should revoke their citizenship and make sure before we remove them from the country that they are spayed or neutured. We don't need them breeding somewhere else.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  184. Paul Albert

    Yes, government should revoke an individual's citizenship if found involved in acts of terrorism. Why? it would serve as a deterrence to other would be potential individuals. Sometimes drastic illness calls for drastic treatment. A capital crime of this nature is beyond being psychotic and should be dealt with draconically.

    Paul Albert
    Spencer, North Carolina

    May 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  185. Maureen

    If it has been proven that a person participated in terrorist
    activities against America, yeah, throw them out.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  186. Pete

    Jack,

    The government has no constitutional right to strip away someone American citizenship without due process. After all, what defines a terrorist.

    If you listen to some of the liberals and progressives out there, someone a tea party supporter is a terrorist. If you listen to some of the republicans out there, the anti-war protesters were terrorists'

    If you give the government this type of power, it will eventually abuse this power and start stripping "political enemies" of their citizenship just because they have an opposite political ideology regardless of which party is in charge.

    I understand that this idea has good intentions, but the road to tyranny is built upon good intentions.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  187. Sylvain

    I'm with John McCain on this one Jack! I have no clue where I stand.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  188. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    After over a decade of a 'war on terror', we still do not have a clear definition of either 'terror' . Worse yet, we still cannot define "American".

    I've got nightmares that this sort of 'witch-hunting' could lead us don the same path we were on whne Joseph McCarthy had his 'unAmerican" hearings.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  189. Tim in Texas

    No. What they are talking about is suspending citizenship because somebody is 'suspected' of participating in an overseas terrorist organization. It is an end run around to prevent the Justice Department from doing its job and determining where somebody should be tried – in a military court or in civilian court. Bush only tried three terrorists in a military court, and two of those are now free. Congress needs to stay out of it.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  190. Pied Type

    Certainly not! Not on just a "suspicion." If they are tried and convicted of treason, then it's an option.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  191. Bob in Tampa, Fl

    Americans should be afforded all their rights. Even you, Jack!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  192. Tubbs

    How exactly do you "revoke" somebody's citizenship?.... Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  193. jonathan sauer

    Of course it's unconstitutional. Revoking someone's rights on suspicion of a crime? Ridiculous.

    This is political theater of the absurd.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  194. DIANA

    Remember what happened to the innocent Japanese CITIZENS during WWII? Do we really want a repeat?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  195. Bob Henry Canada

    Pure paranoia.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  196. Jan in NE MN

    So, why don't we just round up all of the suspected terrorists, and put them behind barbed wire?I thought Liberman lost some of his marbles when he suggested we take away citizenship from an American.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  197. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    The government ought to consider to suspend one's citizenship if involved in terrorism then revoke it after the person is found guilty of terrorist acts.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  198. samtaf

    A person can not be a terrorist and a US citizen as the same time. he has t ogive up one of them.,

    May 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  199. Richard McKinney, Texas

    No. What would be the point of doing so? Besides what makes you think that the next terrorist will even be a U.S. citizen. They will still get the same rights of any U.S, citizen in regards to do process so what would be the point of taking away their citizenship? The government already has too much power. Does this mean that the government will just take away their citizenship and send them back to the country they came from? Now there is some punishment.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  200. james roesser

    yes there citzenship should be revoked then drugged out of the court house and hung and beaten to death by the real amerians we should give them what they want to give us DEATH and only death we are at war that is never going to end why are we debateing what to do to keep our country safe this is bull

    May 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  201. alex

    Mr. Cafferty< I applaud your integrity and gut attitude. In my opinion your the Clint Eastwood of news.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  202. Gini Worthen

    People are INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY! This very basic stuff, and proven guilty means found guilty in a court of law, not in the media or on the internet but in a legal proceeding. If there are, should revolkation of citizenship be part of the penalty is something that can be considered. But merely "suspected"? Makes me shudder to think about it.

    Gini
    Westbrook, Maine

    May 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  203. Mark in IL

    When a citizen acts against the established legal order, said citizen forfiets the freedoms granted by that order until such time as a legally determined debt is paid. To remove the citizenship of a criminal is to remove attachement and responsibility to that order. The bill is unjust, ill-concieved and counter-productive.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  204. Omar

    Jack I don t think it will be good idea because the Republicans will call for all Muslims Americans citizenship to be revoked

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  205. Elizaeth

    Yes, they are traitors.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  206. Scott in NYC

    This is a bad idea. As with just about every law, the "spinsters" within would grossly misinterpret it and then utilize it as a means to harass any person who conflicts their interests. They got it right the first time by calling it treason.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  207. Fletcher Moore Charleston, SC

    This is one of the worst proposals I have ever heard. I do not think I mind so much citizenship being stripped as a consequence of some crime. However, to strip it on suspicion is terrifying.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  208. Alexander Krotov

    Yes. It is a matter of national security, to avoid anarchy.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  209. Maureen

    No. No. No. No. NO!!!!!!!! Remember when they took good Japanese Americans and put them in camps! This is paranoia at its best. Is there anyone in Congress with a brain. Think outside the box for a better answer. I'm a Democrat by the way. Government can't fix everything. It is our job as ciitzens to take the lead here. Just like that guy in Times Square. We all must pay attention.

    Mo

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  210. Ron in Oklahoma City

    Without a trial? On the basis of some bureaucratic "decision."? Of course not. Crimes are crimes and are punished by criminal penalties handed out by courts. Citizenship revocation would be just another erosion of civil liberties by know it all governments.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  211. RON

    If the the goverenment where to make it legal to take away the citizenship of an American who has not been convicted of "Treason", then the Terrorist have won, as they would have cause the U.S. Goverenment to distroy our constitutional rights.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  212. adam

    Absolutely. Any one who act in any way to harm another human being should be considered a terrorist and should be punished accordingly, that's include the ones who volunteer to serve in Israel against the civilian Palestinians in the West bank and Gaza.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  213. Steve Axne

    I think the term traitor comes to mind when a US Citizen helps or aids an enemy of the United States. Why have we not herd this term used and f that person tried to kill US Citizens we should hang them like we used to do with Traitors.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  214. Ms. On-Warii J. Fuller

    Sounds like a good idea. But there's just one 'small' problem: what do you do if the person backing terrorists is a born American citizen from – say – Brooklyn, New York? Where will you deport him or her to...Mars, perhaps?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  215. Clint

    Im scared to death that people are stupid enough to even bring this subject up. ARE YOU SERIOUS? We ALL know our government abuses every power we give them... so why give them MORE? I remember when we used to say "If we change the way we live... then the terrorists win." What ever happened to that line of thought? Why do we let terrorists rob the freedoms of innocent Americans?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  216. Sandra

    The USA has been moving towards a neo-fascist police state for some time. The Citizen’s United vs FEC decision fast tracked us, and the Terrorist Expatriation Act would complete the journey.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  217. DEBORAH BALLWEG

    I don't think we should strip them of citizenship. We should convict them of terrorism and execute them for treason.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  218. UmbrellaLeader421

    Why should we kick out people based on nothing more then hear-say, If the U.S does this and passes this law then we are no better then the governments we have fought against over the past decades, even centuries ago. we might as well hold a banner over the white house saying welcome to Capitalist America.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  219. Owanza di Mdina

    I'm concerned that it could inspire a repeat of McCarthyism.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  220. Bob Spads

    That’s ok for naturalized citizens getting their citizenship revoked and deported back to where they came from, but what about U.S. born citizens? Where are you going to deport them too? I do not believe it is constitutional to revoke a born citizen’s citizenship. Just prosecute and punish through the legal system like any other criminal. This citizen revocation crap is getting way weird.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  221. M. Tyler

    Jack, If someone commits terrorism against the US, shouldn't we be deciding electric chair or gas chamber, not whether they are a citizen anymore?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  222. Nick Calabrese

    Stripping citizenship from people SUSPECTED of terrorism? What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Convict them of Treason first for working with a foreign army, then we'll talk.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  223. C. T. Gilkes

    If a person is convicted of a felony and that person is a naturalized citizen, that person can lose his/her U.S. citizenship and be deported back to the country of origin. We already have law on this matter and we send people "back" who came here as infants, have no knowledge of their "home" country, and who have committed far less egregious crimes than those involving terrorism. If the person is convicted of a crime that is also terrorism we already have enough law to send them back. We don't need to engage in excessive demagoguery about the matter!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  224. Ken in NC

    Like starting off on a skateboard and going down hill to gather speed, we are speeding and go as far up the next hill as possible before we start to back slide. Joe Lieberman has started the back slide.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  225. Brad

    The removal of a person's citizenship should only be done through a court trial of one's peer's, not by Governmental whims. Otherwise there are no check and balance systems.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  226. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    I missed answering your first question about immigration. The President and Congress ought to be really serious about passing immigration reforms because the people are serious about it and expect reforms to pass. As for your conclusion you may be exact but my hope is that Congress will not let anyone who support the Arizona immigration law divide even more the people.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  227. Joyce

    Yes, but – "suspicion" isn't enough. What happened to the right to a trial?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  228. Douglas

    To me, it's a no brainer question. I believe most Americans would
    support govt. revoke citizenship of Americans involved in terrorism?
    I'm sure there will be some goons that disagree. I don't see how people would be against such law if passed.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  229. Agent Zed

    Take the original Arizona immigration bill, substitute "terrorists" for "illegal immigrants" and hand it over to the federal government – who would rather ignore your papers than check them – and the result is a beautifully worded political power play. Will we use it often? If it becomes law, probably not. Where the idea shines is in the fact that the mere threat of losing the ability to move freely behind enemy lines and bend our rules is too much for several aspiring terrorists to handle. Maybe that's all Congress is looking for at the moment, until an offender comes along that will require a scarier threat.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  230. Greg

    Austell, Ga.

    Giving the govt the power to revoke citizenship is setting a dangerous precedent! It may open the door for anyone in the future to be persecuted by the gov't simply because they may be deemed an "Enemy of the State" if the gov't gets less tolerant of political dissent!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  231. MC

    Why the need to remove a citizen's citizenship for terrorism against the country? Trial them for treason! Unless the undeclared intention behind the proposal is to strip a citizen his/her constitutional right. My United State of America is above such dishonesty.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  232. Katherine39

    Yes, yes and yes again. When will the US government get the point that everyone arriving in US (either illegal or not) does not have our interest in getting here!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  233. Steve Holmes

    If the suspected terrorist was born in the USA, and has no other citizenship, then we should remove their citizenship. If that person is subsequently found not guilty of being a terrorist, then without any citizenship what happens to them? Immigration jail for life, at more taxpayer expense?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  234. Beau Stoioff

    I believe US Citizenship should be revoked in cases of Islamic Terrorisim.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  235. Jack Beslanwitch

    You touched on the vital point. Involved with terrorism. Is this an accusation? What legal support there for proving it? I could see if someone was convicted as in the case of rights of citizenship being taken away from convicted felons. There are severe constitutional questions in what I have seen so far and would have to be convinced that there would not be open to gross abuse in the future. This all sounds like a run to political advantage and not a reasoned response.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  236. db wolfe

    one cannot remove one's rights ex post facto (see constitution). however, removing one's rights as a citizen post conviction certainly is an option. dear legislators, please utilize high school civic class to guide you.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  237. Caroline Goldman

    To allow the government to take any such action against a citizen unless and until there is a court finding of guilt would be an overt overreaching of the government's powers, but, I disagree with certain laws that allow the seizure of cars and property from suspected drug dealers prior to convictions as well. This is a dangerous downward slope based solely on suspicion and not a measure that would come to mind as something the United States would ever enter into.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  238. Tracy Benson- TX

    I know it is a democracy and many people have paid the ultimate price to preserve it. As far as I am concerned those individuals chose to renounce their citizenship, when they attack America. As far as I am concern revoking it their citizen ship would only be a formality.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  239. Jake Justman

    Jack,
    Revoking the citizenship of any person suspected of terrorist activity sounds like an idea from Joseph McCarthy. Such a law would lead a situation similar to the Red Scare of the 40's & 50's. Every citizen has the right to a fair and speedy trial, guaranteed by the 6th amendment. If the defendant is convicted then yes it would be fair to revoke his/her citizenship but before that is unconstitutional.

    Regards

    May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  240. Ben

    in the case of the time square bomber because he admit to setting the bomb yes his citizenship should be revoked

    May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  241. Mary Lou

    Why can't they change the wording of the "strip citizenship" ideas to convicted rather than suspected. Then they would be talking about felons and that would cost such felons losing lots of benefits.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  242. Charles

    Jack.. There is an old short story "The Man Without A Country" The Man Without a Country" is a short story by American writer Edward Everett Hale, first published anonymously in the Atlantic Monthly in December 1863.[1] The novel is the story of American army lieutenant Philip Nolan, who renounces his country during a trial for treason and is consequently sentenced to spend the rest of his days at sea without so much as a word of news about the United States.
    So if these people dislike us so much and want to wage war against us so be it let them be a man with out a Country.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  243. Dean D. Ellis

    "Involved in terrorism"? George Bush declared that anyone who did not support him was un-American and a traitor. What if we had another idiot savant President that declared that not supporting. him was an act of terrorism? It would only require an Executive Order to do so. Would we then deprive an entire party of its citizenship? I cannot support any legislation that relied solely on "involved" especially after 8 years of George the Lesser.

    Dean D. Ellis, Palm Springs, FL

    May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  244. Robert

    Jack, I am here in the USA under an L1 Visa with hopes of gaining US citizenship for me and my family properly. I believe revocation of those participating in terrorism is critical. I want that level of protection for my own family as we become citizens of your country. Getting tough does not offend those legitimately attempting to gain citizenship.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  245. Kim VA

    Hi Jack;

    Only after trial military/or public doesn't matter.

    Then as they're sentenced their time, just give them a number until they either kick the bucket or are deported to their own country to serve the time out

    May 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  246. Christine

    We made them Americans. They should remain Americans but we should charge them with Treason and Crimes Against Humanity.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  247. Freddin

    Jo Doe is from another coutntry, became an american citizen, and is found guilty of terrorism. He would be sent to his country after serving his setnce in the USA. Jane Doe is also charged of terrorism, but she was born in the USA. Where would you send Jane after she has completed her sentence?

    Freddin

    May 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  248. Eric

    Absolutely not. Revoking the citizenship of an American because of a mere suspicion, and that's all it is, is ridiculous. Sure, it sounds good at first, but who is stop them from picking out random people all across the country who are INNOCENT and revoking their citizenship? And I'm not saying Shahzad is innocent. He absolutely guilty.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  249. Lkharris

    Yes the goverment were the ones who gave them visa's if there is any reason for suspicion.If it's not clear exactly what they're doin in USA they should be sent back to their country of origin so yes I believe they should be able to revoke visas and besides there are more immigrants than there are officials to watch them and besides does America want to be reactive or proactive 9/11

    May 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  250. Joe Lieberman

    Yes, send them back to the country of their father so that they can go free and become heroes. But what if the they are born in the USA? Where would you dump them? Smart, very smart!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  251. Pat

    Sounds like the alien and sedition acts. Just another way for the government to come after political opponents. "You don't like the new taxes and you're going to do something about it? Well my friend no Miranda Rights for you and off to a secret prision with you". NO Thanks Feds.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  252. Roz

    If you were not born here, and you are convicted of an act of terrorism, then yes you may be subject to exile. if though you were born here, then you are indeed our problem, because there is nowhere to send you back to.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  253. JR Rollins

    As America citizens these people who commit acts of terror should be charged with treason. (and very quickly hung)

    May 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  254. Rae

    ABSOLUTELY! Obviously...the accused doesn't deserve the right to be an American citizen. (But, the accused should still have the right to prove their innocence in a court of law)

    May 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  255. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    The rest of the world sees us for what we really are – hypocrites! For all the 'flag-waving' parades,... our underlying emotions are still highly prejudicial.

    The very root of the word 'prejudice' means that we're making judgements without knowing all the facts. Instead, we've got a mob-scene anarchy what goes out on the streets in anger, reacting without any pause, to the rants of 'shock jocks'.

    The basis of anger management theories begins with 'count to ten'. Supposedly during that process, we're supposed to think.

    Let's all 'count to ten' and think, Jack.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  256. Tim Mills, Jr.

    This is nothing more then another Notch in the government's belt to put tighter control over it's citizens, I am appalled over this whole situation. If the government would stop running around like a bunch of chicken's with their heads cut off, they actually might be able to make a helpful change instead of mostly just spinning our yarn.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  257. phil

    Hi jack
    i dont like what is going on in my country i think we all need to set back and look at our salf.
    We shouldnt be running scared we are Americans. .

    phil

    May 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  258. Angry American

    Why stop there, Jack? Let's revoke everyone's citizenship and only give it back to the people who can afford to buy it.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  259. Troy

    Give the power to the government to strip citizenship from any "accused" or "suspected" terrorist and they will eventually use the power to strip citizenship from anyone who they disagree with. I cannot believe people are for giving this corrupt government more power.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  260. Gita

    This is another attempt by Joe Liberman to be on the news. OK, we may be able to revoke the citizenship from the naturalized citizens! But, what would you do with the american born citizens, like GI Jane and etc... How is this going to help anything??

    May 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  261. Ken

    Considering all the events since 9/11, can you trust your law enforcement agencies to accurately identify a suspected terrorist?
    I couldn't!!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  262. Jeff

    Hell no! Let's hope therewenever see protests in our streets like what we saw in Greece. A future American govt could acuse any protester that they can't control of supporting terrorism.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  263. pam

    I wonder if George of England thought that George of Virginia was a terrorist? A vague law. What if I talk to the wrong person, volunteer for a "front", Do as Mudd did, and help someone hunted? It's easy to go down this slope.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  264. Rod Dean,Indiana

    Isn't that what TREASON is? Lets not pass more new laws for grabbing headlines, lets use what we already have on the books and enforce them. Citizen rights are on that slippery slope of disappearing by the Patriot Act and AZ's immigration law whats nezt wearing symbols to I.D. ourselves, Hm didn't that happen before

    May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  265. Dan

    Only citizens can be charged with treason and these people fighting for foreign terrorists while US citizens, should be charged with it.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  266. Wendi

    I think that is exactly what the government would love to do! After all, ex-military, and any group that excercises their freedon of speech against the government is considered a terrorist! I'm sure they would like to get rid of all of us!!
    Let's not give the government any more control over us! Enough is enough!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  267. Joseph Anthony

    Don't they already have a law called Treason?? Do we really want to give our government absolute power-–the power to take your citizenship away and all your rights?? Do Americans want to get rid of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights??? What happened to America??? Did they stop teaching our children that the Constitution is what stands between "We the people" and dictatorship by the government???

    May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  268. Adam

    Tough call. Obiously if Faisal Shahzad is found guilty he should have his citizenship stripped. Though if his family were to be "suspected" of supporting him (to date there are no claims suggesting so) is that enough to strip them too? SOMETHING must be done, there are those who love this country and those trying to destroy it, oddly both have the same rights in America.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  269. Moish -Atlanta

    No Jack. Last time I checked, this country still believed in due process and the rule of law.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  270. ANGIE

    wouldn't this be a great way for the goverment to get rid of all the americans that don't agree with this administration? just call us terrorists and kick us to the curb!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  271. Jonny

    At first glance, I am opposed as this could open pandora's box. But with further reflection, I still do not agree with President Ford's granting that turncoat traitor Lee, as in Robert E., his citizenship in 1975.

    I separate the issue on the grounds wherein the individual denounces his or her citizenship and takes up war against the US.

    In this context, citizenship is a gift to be given up or denied by the individual but not taken by the government..

    May 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  272. •BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    Until I just heard you read the question, I didn't think it was a good idea. You said that Republicans are against it, (Quelle suprise!), so it must be a good thing, since they're against everything that's good for us.

    If John Boehner doesn't like it, it's got to be good, so I say revoke the citizenship of American terrorists.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  273. William

    Your question is loaded, as usual, to invite a certain kind of answer. What a waste of mental energy talking about taking away a terrorist's citizenship. Should we take away Tim McVeigh's citizenship? What would that accomplish? Alleged terrorists should be tried and, if found guilty, punished to the extremist extent of the law.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  274. Fat Sean

    No. There are plenty of laws to use. Stripping citizenship for being ACCUSED? Sounds Nazi-like to me.

    I see that nearly all the people supporting this idea can barely write in English. They should be investigated as potential terrorists. But wait to strip their citizenship until AFTER they are convicted of treason.

    So tired of joe-jobbing losers trying to turn my country into a police state.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  275. Walt in Phoenix, AZ

    Hell, yeah, Jack! I bet Israel does not tolerate its citizens openly supporting terrorism, and neither should the United States.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  276. Amy Gerrie

    I'm for it – sort of.. It’s a risky law.

    Anytime a law is proposed, the broader reaches of that law must considered. What do we lose by enacting it? Currently, a terrorist is defined as anyone who aims to harm America due to religious disagreement. But who controls the definition of a "terrorist" in the future? Currently, citizens of this country have the right (responsibility) to overthrow a government that does not act upon the people's common interests. This fact helps safeguard against a government ruled by tyranny and is necessary. My concern would be.. who's to prevent the definition of "terrorist" from expanding... taking away that right. This is especially scary when suspension is all that is required.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  277. Solitude

    More Americans employed? Your population is rising Jack. Obama's health care dreams. and education dreams. This is just more of Obama (the spendthrift) to keep wasting your dollars. More teachers prove nothing, if the kids are better educated than they are."

    May 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  278. HolyKow

    No:

    Back Terror, get convicted of Treason (direct attack or aid and comfort), put to death.

    At that point, who cares what country you are a citizen of.

    HK

    May 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  279. Brandon white

    If the government revokes citizenship of people they believ are suspected terrorist then it is truly the meaning of guilty until proven innocent and not innocent until proven guilty. If America is the great country we say we are then justice system should prove that.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  280. Geeshgirl

    Timothy McVeigh didn't fair any better with being able to keep his Citizenship. Talking about this is a waste of time. So is spaying and neutering–if you pan back on this photo, this kook is holding a newborn (I swear! I've seen it on CNN!), which is why he looks so shockingly normal. My brain hurts.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  281. Tristan -CA

    Only if I get to decide what terrorism is and who is 'suspected.'

    May 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  282. matt gordon md

    The erosion of our so-called "rights" continues. Like George Carlin said so well, we should just call them a list of privileges because they can be revoked at any time. "Rights" implies permanence, whereas "privileges" are granted and subject to revocation. Personal and legal firearms were confiscated en masse in Louisiana during and post-Hurricane Katrina; so much for the 2nd Amendment. Legal and U.S. born Americans of Japanese descent were rounded up and locked in camps during WW II; so much for due process. Point is we should immediately be wary of anyone suggesting, for whatever reason, that one's legal citizenship status is subject to revocation due to a criminal act. In this contrived "war on terror", the fearmongering is bullying reasonable and sane logic out the back door. From there it's just a short train ride to a FEMA camp for the latest "transgression" of the month.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  283. Commelita

    No Jack, not until the terrorism is proven in a court of law beyond a resonable doubt. Also, we must broaden and clearly define our definition of terrorism. The Time Square incidence is but one example, but what about financial and environmental terrorism? As far as I'm concerned, the guys at BP and Transocean are guilty of environmental terrorism and Goldman Sachs is guilty of financial terrorism. Both have caused irreparable damage . I'd love to strip these guys of any citizenship rendering them unable to reign terror on our environment and economy.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  284. John R

    Jack, I believe that we should give them grape kool-aid (ala Johnstown) that would not only save millions of dollars that I am paying portion of to defend these criminals ,but would get them to their 99 virgins faster. It would also reduce the number of lawyers in this country.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  285. Rusty Taylor

    Jack this is a BAD bill, This will give the government ultimate power over the citizens,,,,they are so corrupt I can see now the government using this bill against ANY citizen who does not support the governments actions,,,,remember "your either with us or against us"? Disagree with the government and essentially you violate this law, How many people agree with everything the government does?,,,,,NOT VERY MANY.How about if the BILLIONS of dollars we spend on Homeland Security be actually used for some good,,,as it is they are WASTED,,,just like everything else the government does,,,failures. I can see our forefathers spinning like tops in their graves right now.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  286. Christina in San Antonio

    In order to do this (stupid as the idea is) it would require a Constitutional Amendment. The rights of citizenship are enshrined in the Constitution, not bills passed by Congress. "Of the blood and of the soil" are irrefutable and permanent paths to citizenship. If we decide to take those rights away, you might as well find a new place to live, because next week, someone will decide that reporters are 'terrorists' and you'll lose your own citizenship.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  287. pb

    I am a naturalized citizen. I love this country's history, constitution etc. On theory though, stripping citizenship sounds like it means I am a second class citizen. There is a possibility of real sinister things happening, folks if this ends of happening. Are they going to strip someone of citizenship from the likes to McVeigh too? Probably not, since he was born in this country. Is this about Miranda rights? Every terrorist we capture will be convicted, I have that much faith on our law enforcement. They are not going to see the light of day anyway. So, I think everyone needs to stop the paranoia and stop screwing around with the constitution.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  288. Morgan

    Where in the Constitution does it give anyone the remotest possibility of revoking someone's citizenship? It can't be done under this Constitution, end of story.
    14nth Amendment:
    1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside

    May 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  289. Sheryl

    Absolutely not! That is what they would like to do. After all our military veterans have already been referred to as terrorists. Let's not give the government any more control over our lives than they already have. Pretty soon they will be rounding up anyone that does not agree with them!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  290. Jerome

    Not an easy subject. Some terrorism begins here at home. Don't know who heads it up, may be CIA. Anyway, this Marine raised a lot of hell in his day. God bless America.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  291. Ellen Cuccurullo

    I would agree with this bill provided it applies only to naturalized American citizens....not native born Americans.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  292. Bob

    Well, you better make sure you win–sorta like George Washington, et al, did.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  293. Joe, Chicago IL

    An American citizen would be charged with 'Treason'. Treason is grounds for denaturalization, only for naturalized citizens.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  294. robert

    People suspected of membership in terrorist groups should include Bostonians who made financial contributions to the IRA, southerners who are members of the KKK and others who are members of hate groups such as the Arian Nation. I think that if the proposed bill is to be inforced, it should revoke passports only after conviction for crimes against the US of A. Otherwise, it is vague as to who is associated with a terrorist group. We have our own Talibans in the US of A.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  295. Papa

    Citizenship is not a privilege, it's a right to all Americans. Let's not give the Government the opportunity to divide our Great Nation into First Class Citizens and second class citizens. All Americans should be equal under the Law of the Land.
    Sincerely,
    Papa.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  296. Jane Oliver

    Great idea–as long as you agree with the government in power. What happens when you don't? Isn't that the historical reason why sane people don't grant goverments the power to expatriate them? We have the world's greatest Constitution and Bill of Rights. My father lost his eye to defend these guarantees. I refuse to give the likes of Lieberman and Pelosi the power to take them away.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  297. wayne

    I think this requires a "Hell Yes".However I think one should look at the question very carefully. If that person is in fact guilty of such an act, then yes. If someone thinks or simply states that he or she is guilty, a resounding," NO".

    May 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  298. Robert L. Rothermel

    In these times of terrorism, I can see and feel the frustration of the American citizens who where born in this country. When we hear about these acts being carried out by people from other nations after they have acquired citizenship in this country, we feel a sense of misstrust and sometimes bewilderment about why they became a citizen in the first place. I personnally feel they have violated the very oath they took when they gained their citizenship and it should be evoked. Also they should be deported back to their country of origin after serving their due time in an American prison or sent back in a casket., whichever the outcome is, as long as they never occupy any part of American soil again.
    As far as a natural born citizen caught in the act of terrorism, being arrested and convicted of being a traitor to this nation and serving due time in prison, if they are that lucky, should be sufficient. I do not feel that in this case they should lose their citizenship. If and when this person gets out of prison I feel that the isolation and shame the American people would display to them would be a great part of the ungoing punishment for the crime they committed.
    The next case would envolve members of our armed forces, Caught in the act of terrorism against the very nation they have sworn to protect is being a traitor. I feel the military already has plans of what needs to be done with this problem if it ever comes up.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  299. Scott Stodden

    Absoutly Jack and why not? If you become a U.S. citizen and your not a natural born citizen and after you become a citizen your accused of terror attempts against the country your citizenship should automatically be revoked and you should be sent back to the country you came from no questions asked! We have laws in this country and those laws have to be followed we cannot allow immigrants to continue to come into our country and practice terroist attempts! This is why I appllaud Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona for looking out for her state and her people and other states should definitely follow!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    May 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  300. Amanda - Saratoga, New York

    I think that the government should be able to revoke the citizenship of convicted terrorists, but only after they’ve been found guilty in a court of law. They should be entitled to all the rights that citizenship affords to them until they are actually convicted of a terrorism related crime because in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. We are a nation of laws and I don’t see why Faisal Shahzad is less entitled to his rights than, say, Gary Ridgway or Timothy McVeigh. Ridgway brutally murdered at least 71 women and McVeigh killed 168 people in an act of terrorism very similar to (though far more deadly than) Shahzad’s attempted bombing, yet no one ever debated taking away their legal rights. We can’t just start taking away citizens’ legal rights whenever we feel like it because then where does it end? Since when is a fair trial too much to ask for in America?

    May 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm |