America should follow the British in taking passports away from citizens who fight for ISIS, says Scott Brown who is currently neck and neck in the Republican Senate Primary in New Hampshire.
Brown applauded Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement yesterday that the British government would seek a change in the law to extend the right of the government to remove passports from terrorists and deny them the right to return to the UK.
There are believed to be 300 U.S. citizens fighting for ISIS who are joined by 500 British and 700 French. There are now real fears across Europe that these extremists will return to the countries in which they hold citizenship and commit acts of terrorism.
Under the terms of the Royal Prerogative, the British government can take passports away from its citizens, and regularly does in cases of football hooligans. More recently, the Home Secretary has used the historic powers to confiscate the passports of 23 people, thus preventing them from attempting to get to Syria.
On the face of it, allowing them to leave would appear to make more sense as they are no-longer in the UK, however they often come back better trained and even more radical. So now the British government is seeking a solution to deal with these returning fighters.
So far the UK has stripped citizenship from dual-nationals and naturalised citizens but international treaties ban countries from making their citizens stateless. In response to this, the UK proposes to deny British nationals who have fought for ISIS access to the UK.
It is not clear exactly how this will work, but they may have their movement limited to specially designated facilities away from the public. This would leave them legally in the UK – which is the right of any British citizen – but with their movement restricted, which could be enshrined in law by parliament.
Scott Brown told Breitbart London: “I applaud David Cameron for taking decisive action to make it harder for homegrown ISIS fighters to return to the UK. We need to take similar action here in America.
“When Americans join foreign terrorist organizations, they have effectively renounced their citizenship. Hundreds of Americans have reportedly gone overseas to fight with ISIS. We need to bar them from re-entering the country because of the very real threat they pose to the homeland.”
He called on Congress to immediately pass legislation that would strip US nationals who engage in terrorism of their American citizenship, which goes further than Cameron’s policy. However, the practical implication would be similar, as in both cases terrorists would be denied the right to reintegrate into the community they previously lived in. Whether citizenship can be revoked without breaking treaties depends on whether ISIS is a country or not. In practical terms it is, but at the same time their is some reluctance in the west to accepting that fact.
Brown previously served in the Senate from 2010 – 2013, during that time he introduced the 2010 bipartisan Terrorist Expatriation Act, which would revoke the citizenship of those “providing material support or resources to a Foreign Terrorist Organization” or “actively engaging” in “hostilities against the United States or its allies.” In 2011, he introduced another similar piece of legislation called the Enemy Expatriation Act.