Monday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, filed the Expatriate Terrorist Act (E.T.A.) of 2014 to prevent Americans who join ISIS from returning to the United States.
“We should take common sense steps to make fighting for, or supporting ISIS, an affirmative renunciation of American citizenship. We know today that there are over a hundred Americans who have joined ISIS, who have taken up arms alongside the Jihadists, along with thousands of others from the European Union. And we also know that they are trying to return to their countries of origin to carry out terrorist attacks there. We know this because on May 24, an ISIS member returned to Belgium, where he attacked innocent visitors at a Jewish museum, slaughtering four people. And it was reported today that he had been plotting an even larger attack on Paris on Bastille Day. In addition, on August 11 of this year, an accused ISIS sympathizer, Donald Ray Morgan, was arrested at JFK airport trying to reenter the United States. Mr. President, we know that this threat is real.
“Mr. President, that is why I have today filed legislation, the Expatriate Terrorist Act of 2014, which would amend the existing statute governing renunciation of United States citizenship to designate fighting for a hostile foreign government or foreign terrorist organization as an affirmative renunciation of citizenship. By fighting for ISIS, U.S. citizens have expressed their desire to become citizens of the Islamic State, and that cannot and will not peacefully coexist with remaining American citizens. The desire to become a citizen of a terrorist organization that has expressed a desire to wage war on the American people, has demonstrated a brutal capacity to do so, murdering American civilians on the global stage and promising to bring that Jihad home to America. We should not be facilitating their efforts by allowing fighters fighting alongside ISIS to come back to America with American passports and walk freely in our cities to carry out unspeakable acts of terror. It is my hope that the legislation I’m introducing today will earn support on both sides of the aisle, that we will see this body come together and say while there are many partisan issues that divide us, when it comes to protecting United States citizens from acts of terror, we are all as one.”
Why this legislation is necessary via The Conversation: State Dept: Fighting With ISIS Doesn’t Automatically Mean Your Passport Will Be Revoked.
In Great Britain, where an estimated 500 British citizens have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS, Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for Parliament to pass tough new sanctions, including passport seizures and banning Brits who join the jihadists from returning home.
We’re not yet seeing a similar push in the United States from the Obama administration.
Earlier this year, Rep. Michele Bachmann asked the FBI, what would happen when terrorists from her state tried to return home. She revealed the answer she got on the Glenn Beck Show.“Two from my state were the first Americans who were fighting for ISIS,” Bachmann told The Glenn Beck Program on Tuesday. “I had gone earlier this year and asked the FBI, ‘Are there any Minnesotans that are over fighting with ISIS?’ It was classified information at the time, I couldn’t reveal it. Now everyone knows.”
“At that time, these two hadn’t been killed yet. So what I asked is, ‘OK, once they’re done fighting with ISIS, what’s going to happen if they try to return?’ And they said, ‘Well, they’ll come into the country.’ Are you kidding me? We are not going to prevent them from coming into the United States?’”
During a press briefing on Sept. 2, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked if joining a designated terrorist group was something for which you could lose your passport. She answered, “it’s not as black and white as that.”Two days later, State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf admitted that being a member of a designated terrorist organization “does not automatically mean your passport will be revoked.”