WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans working for foreign terrorist organizations and lone wolf terrorists could lose their citizenship under bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday in both houses of Congress.
The proposal is a reaction to Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad, a native of Pakistan who became a U.S. citizen a year ago.
The leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said the proposal "sounds like a good idea," but the State Department urged that legislation only apply to those convicted of crimes.
U.S. law identifies seven categories of acts that could result in loss of citizenship. They include serving in the armed forces of a foreign state at war with the United States, renouncing nationality when the United States is at war, and treason. Sponsors said the law needs to be updated to combat terrorism.
The bill would expand the revocation law to anyone who provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, as designated by the secretary of state. It also would apply to anyone who engages in, or supports, hostilities against the U.S. or its allies.
As in current law, the State Department would make a determination that an individual has lost his or her U.S. nationality. The target of the action could seek a State Department review and also challenge the decision in U.S. district court.
"I like the spirit of it," Pelosi told reporters.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said her agency would "certainly take a hard look at it."
"I understand the desire behind the recommendations," Clinton said. She noted that naturalized citizens swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and that "people who are serving foreign powers and, in this case, foreign terrorists, are clearly in violation, in my personal opinion, of that oath which they swore when they became citizens."
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said he was not aware of the details, but he said any new law should have restrictions.
"It's important ... that we make sure that any action, any legislation that Congress might consider would make sure that we have due process, that we are talking about people who are actually convicted of crimes as opposed to people who are just suspected of crimes," Crowley told reporters. "I think the American people would be concerned if you took prospective actions, certainly one as serious as revoking citizenship, just for someone who is suspected of committing crimes."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
Two people were killed and another person seriously injured Monday night in a multi-vehicle crash on state Route 76 in Vista.
Two people were killed Monday when a roughly 75-foot- tall tree fell onto a two-story house in the Point Loma Heights area.
Tragedy struck Monday in Point Loma Heights where a couple reportedly visiting from North Dakota died when a 75-foot tall Torrey Pine fell on the house. A fellow business owner from Grand Forks, North Dakota, identified the victims as Troy and Jessica Nelson – owners of Trojan Promotions.
Starbucks is expanding its delivery service and aims to offer it at nearly one-fourth of its U.S. company-operated coffee shops.
As the partial government shutdown continues, thousands of federal workers stand to miss a second paycheck this week.
Many Americans in places where sports betting is legal for the first time are beginning to make wagers on the Super Bowl, including some bets on the performances of individual athletes.
The highest king tides of the year peaked early Monday morning. All along San Diego’s coasts this weekend, News 8 captured footage of big waves and some flooding.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County has organized a fun and informative event to take place this Saturday. Beer + BBQ kicks off at noon at Thorn Brewing Co.’s Barrio Logan location (1745 National Ave).
San Diegans are celebrating a Jewish holiday on Monday. Tu B’Shevat marks the beginning of a new year for trees.