Schizophrenic Citizens



The very idea of dual citizenship is downright absurd.  It’s a contradiction that cannot be resolved.  The concept of citizenship is based on the expectation of loyalty to the country, and this, in turn, means that citizens owe their exclusive allegiance to the community in which they live.  So how is it possible to have dual citizenship, unless one is possessed by multiple personalities as in The Three Faces of Eve?

There is a long history to the effort to reduce the political and legal meaning of American citizenship to a vague connection.  It started in 1967, with the Supreme Court’s decision in Afroyim v. Rusk.

Beys Afroyim, a Polish national, was a naturalized American citizen who, in 1951, voted in an election for the Israeli Knesset.  Nine years later, he applied for a U.S. passport.  His application was denied on the grounds that he had lost his citizenship under the provisions of section 401(e) of the Nationality Act of 1940, which prescribes this penalty if a U.S. citizen votes “in a political election in a foreign state.”  Afroyim sued, and his lawyers argued that this violated both the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments.  Lower courts rejected the plaintiff’s arguments and upheld the law.  Afroyim appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which heard the case in 1960.

Afroyim’s lawyers argued that the government had no power to strip their client of his citizenship, and that the only way he could lose his rights and privileges as a citizen would be if he voluntarily renounced them.  The government, for its part, stupidly argued that Congress has every right to do so, since it is, after all, the government.

Unsurprisingly, the Court decided for the plaintiff, and ever since then this case has been the legal basis for the widening acceptance of dual citizenship.  Yet the logical flaws in the government’s case don’t validate Afroyim’s specious position, which obliterates the very foundations of sovereignty and redefines the historical meaning of citizenship to indicate a very loose affiliation—like being a Yankees fan.

The truth of the matter is that Afroyim did indeed voluntarily renounce his exclusive allegiance to the United States when he voted in an Israeli election.  Even if he did not know about the provision in the Nationality Act that laid out the consequences of his actions, Afroyim announced his disloyalty by voting in a foreign election.  It was a disloyal act because citizenship requires exclusivity, as is made crystal-clear by the oath all naturalized citizens take when they are admitted to the community of the American body politic:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen . . .

What could be clearer?

To vote in an election in a foreign country—or to hold office there—is to fudge, modify, and nullify one’s exclusive allegiance to this country.  In logic, this is a principle that all nations upholding their own sovereignty must adhere to, and in the case of the United States an absolute prohibition of dual citizenship is imperative because of the uniqueness of our position in the world.

Our Old Republic is long gone.  We’re an empire now, with bases—and “interests”—and armies and alliances on every continent.  Worse yet, Washington has become the arbiter of international “justice,” intervening all over the world on behalf of this “interest” and that “ally,” determining the fate of nations and undermining our own.  The rise of the hyphenated-American is a major cause of this perilous project, with “citizens” whose real loyalties lie elsewhere furiously lobbying for pelf and privileges to be accorded to the mother country.  U.S. taxpayers foot the bill—and we often pay with the lives of our soldiers.

Foreign lobbyists intent on making Uncle Sam do their bidding can easily mobilize what we might call the hyphenated community to act as foot soldiers in their war to drag us into foreign conflicts that have nothing to do with American interests.

“Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country,” says the State Department website.

They are required to obey the laws of both countries, and either country has the right to enforce its laws.  It is important to note the problems attendant to dual nationality.  Claims of other countries upon U.S. dual-nationals often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other.

To say the least.

A number of countries, mostly outside the U.S. sphere of influence (although not exclusively), have banned dual citizenship.  The so-called Anglosphere—Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.—allows dual citizenship, albeit in at least one case with political reservations.  In Australia, which bans dual citizens from running for office, a number of office-holders have been found to be dual citizens and have recently been forced to resign.  In the United States, it’s a mystery as to which of our lawmakers are dual citizens.  When a journalist from the left-wing magazine Counterpunch made inquiries, he was told, “You have no right to that information.”  A call to the Congressional Information Service was rather more polite, but no less disappointing: Apparently, that information is not being collected.

Of course it isn’t!

Mexico didn’t allow dual citizenship until 1989, when her economy flatlined and the government decided on a policy of exporting its problems to the U.S.  As Forbes reported in 2015,

With little fanfare, the Mexican government has launched a broad-ranging “new strategy” to encourage millions of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. who are eligible for U.S. citizenship through naturalization to empower themselves by seeking dual citizenship.

While the American media was silent, this invasion—and it is an invasion—was openly proclaimed and promoted among Mexicans living in the U.S., either legally or illegally, with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relations hailing the move as allowing “our citizens in the United States and people of Mexican origin to obtain significant benefits on economic, social and political matters.”  Amb. Sandra Fuentes-Berain, general counsel in New York, was more explicit: The advantages of U.S. citizenship, she explained, include “welfare benefits and healthcare, as well as voting and exercising influence over decisions by elected officials that affect their everyday lives”—and that, not coincidentally, benefit the Mexican government while burdening American taxpayers.

Ah yes, voting—this is the next and final step in the planned invasion of the United States by Mexico.

When the history of this era is written, this chapter—riffing on William Graham Sumner’s famous essay—might well be called “The Conquest of the United States by Mexico.”   


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