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.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/07/art.shahzad.jpg caption="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?
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.
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?
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!
Revoke citizenship? OK. But where will they go? Arizona?