GOP Rep. Offers Bill to Prevent Obama Admin from Diluting Citizenship Oath

AP/Alex Brandon

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) has introduced legislation that would prevent the Obama Administration from diluting the Oath of Allegiance required for immigrants to become citizens.

The Oath of Allegiance exists for a reason,” Black said Thursday, announcing her bill.  She added:

While our courts have long allowed exemptions to portions of this oath for those with deeply held religious and moral objections, the new guidelines from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services essentially amount to an exception for anyone who wants one. Not only is this bad policy, it also is at odds with federal law – which requires a person to show by clear and convincing evidence that they oppose reciting the clauses of the Oath that are in question.

Last week U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it was altering the eligibility requirements for modifications to the Oath of Allegiance.

While immigrants going through the naturalization process citizens are usually required to declare they will “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States,” the new guidance now allows for not only those with religious objections but also people with a strongly held beliefs to omit those portions.

Specifically the guidance says that citizenship candidates:

-May be eligible for modifications based on religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.

-Is not required to belong to a specific church or religion, follow a particular theology or belief, or to have had religious training in order to qualify.

-May submit, but is not required to provide, an attestation from a religious or other type of organization, as well as other evidence to establish eligibility.

Black’s bill would simply mandate that the Oath requirements be returned to the way they were prior to USCIS’ directive.

“I strongly support legal immigration, but to think that broad swaths of immigrants would be granted citizenship without reciting a complete Oath of Allegiance and without even providing attestation of their objection is completely nonsensical – even for this Administration and its liberal immigration priorities,” Black added. “That is why my legislation will nullify the new guidance from Citizenship and Immigration Services and return to commonsense enforcement of the full Oath of Allegiance.”


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