Alexander's Column

ISIS Bride Hoda Muthana: Birthright Citizenship?

It's a legal battle that may shed some light on who is and who is not entitled to U.S. citizenship.

Mark Alexander · Feb. 22, 2019
“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” (Emphasis Added) —George Washington (1783)

Hoda Muthana, the daughter of a foreign diplomat, was born in the United States in 1994. Her father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, who subsequently became a U.S. citizen the old-fashioned way — legally — was formerly a Yemeni diplomat. Four years ago, Hoda left the U.S. to join with Islamic State fighters in Syria.

She married an ISIS terrorist and supported the jihadis’ brutal slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. Now that ISIS is nearing defeat (not to suggest its ideology will ever be defeated), Hoda has decided that maybe Alabama would be a better place to raise her son than the ruins of a Syrian desert.

This is setting up a legal battle that may shed some light on who is and, more importantly, who is not entitled to U.S. citizenship.

On 16 February, Donald Trump said, “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters,” in order that they be tried as terrorists and held accountable for their crimes against humanity. But in Hoda’s case, Trump says, “I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country.”

According to Secretary Pompeo, “She may have been born here but she is not a U.S. citizen, nor is she entitled to U.S. citizenship.” He declared: “She’s a non-citizen terrorist; she has no legal basis for a claim of U.S. citizenship. She’s not coming back to the United States to create the risk that someday she’d return to the battlefield and continue to put at risk American people, American kids, American boys and girls that were sent to help defeat ISIS – she put them at risk, she’s not a U.S. citizen, she’s not coming back.”

The administration is arguing that Hoda is subject to the “diplomatic blue list” rule, which excludes her from any right to citizenship because her father was a diplomat at the time of her birth. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines, children not born to parents who were “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” as stipulated in the 14th Amendment, including diplomats, are not entitled to citizenship.

Hoda’s father is now suing the government for repatriation of his daughter, arguing that he had been discharged from his diplomatic status by the time of her birth. He also says she was issued a U.S. passport in 2004, which could well have been a bureaucratic error. Muthana and his wife were here legally at the time of Hoda’s birth, but not as diplomats and, thus, she is not subject to the diplomat exclusion.

This case sets up what could be a consequential legal battle over the issue of so-called “birthright citizenship,” which has never been established as a “right” but rather an assumption. In this case, it will bring into focus the question of whether children born to those legally in the United States have a right to citizenship, at a time when there is an assumption of “birthright citizenship” for those born to parents illegally in our country.

According to Pompeo, “There’s litigation ongoing. Here’s what I can tell you: We have a strong legal basis for our claim she’s not a citizen, and she’s not coming back.”

As I have previously thoroughly documented in regard to “birthright citizenship,” the plain language of our Constitution’s 14th Amendment has been contorted by leftist Democrat Party leaders to comport with their contemporary political agenda. This contortion exercise is consistent with their insistence that the Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution is subordinate to their errant notion of a “living constitution” that means whatever they want it to mean.

The 14th Amendment does not establish a right to citizenship for those born here to illegal aliens, because their parents were not “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” Will this case finally provide that clarification?

And a footnote for all those advocating incarceration at Gitmo – please no! I do not want my tax dollars supporter this millennial ISIS wannabe.

(For more information, see Birthright Citizenship.)

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