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.
Several dogs are in the custody of San Diego County, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
Chilly temperatures and scattered showers started the weekend. Temperatures at the coast and inland communities hovered around 60 degrees with some areas of San Diego County receiving rain during the morning hours.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.