President Trump said Wednesday that he made the decision to bar an Alabama woman fled the U.S. to join ISIS in Syria from returning to the United States.
After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return to the country, Trump said the banishment came at his direction.
‘I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!’ he tweeted.
Pompeo claimed that Muthana, who wants to return to the country with her 18-month-old son and submit herself to the justice system, does not have ‘any legal basis’ for her claim that she is an American citizen, despite her prior status as a U.S. passport holder.
The statement contradicts those made by Muthana and her family’s attorney, who say she was born in Hackensack, New Jersey and raised in Hoover, Alabama.
Hassan Shibly, an attorney for her family, said the U.S. government is trying to base their position on a claim that her father was a Yemeni diplomat at the time of her birth.
Diplomats’ children do not get birthright citizenship in the U.S. but Shibly said that her father had left his diplomatic post by the time of her birth, and produced a letter which he said proved it.
Hoda Muthana, who says she made a mistake in joining ISIS and now wants to return with her 18-month-old son, has no ‘legal basis’ to claim American citizenship, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. She is pictured during an ABC interview on Wednesday
President Trump says he made the decision to bar the Alabama woman who left home to join ISIS in Syria from returning to the United States
Neither the White House nor the State Department have explained why she isn’t a U.S. citizen
Proof? This is the letter which the ISIS bride’s family say show that she is a natural-born U.S. citizen. They say the State Department is claiming that her father was a diplomat when she was born but this letter shows she was not. DailyMail.com has not verified the letter and the State Department declined to comment
Pompeo did not say how State reached that determination, and a spokesperson for the State Department did not provide clarification.
‘Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,’ Pompeo’s statement said. ‘She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport nor any visa to travel to the United States.’
President Trump later took credit for the decision. Spokespersons for the White House were also unavailable for comment.
Muthana, who left America four years ago to join ISIS, has previously been issued two U.S. passports—one when she was a child and another in 2014.
Her birth certificate, a copy of which was shared on Twitter her family lawyer and was not independently verified by DailyMail.com, shows that she was born Oct. 28, 1994 in Hackensack, New Jersey.
A State Department spokesperson did not address Shibly’s claims directly but told DailyMail.com over email that Muthana ‘was not born a U.S. citizen and she has never been a U.S. citizen’ even though she was born in the United States.
‘Passport applicants must establish their identity, citizenship and entitlement to a U.S. passport,’ the person said. ‘However, there are many reasons that an individual previously issued a passport may subsequently be found ineligible for that passport.’
For instance: ‘If it is determined that the bearer was not entitled to the issued passport, the passport may be revoked and/or a renewal application denied.
‘Ms. Muthana’s citizenship has not been revoked because she was never a US citizen,’ the person stressed.
Hassan Shibly, an attorney for her family, said the U.S. government is trying to base their position on a ‘complicated’ interpretation of the law involving her father because he was a Yemeni diplomat
Her birth certificate, a copy of which was shared on Twitter her family lawyer and was not independently verified by DailyMail.com, shows that she was born Oct. 28, 1994 in Hackensack, New Jersey
In the United States birthright citizenship is automatically awarded to anyone who his born in the country, with several exceptions.
One of those exceptions involves the children of foreign diplomats. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, children of diplomats who are born in the U.S. are exempt and are not considered U.S. citizens at birth.
Shibly claims that Muthana’s father was discharged from his United Nations post one month before his daughter was born, which means the exemption is not valid in her case.
Shibly accused Trump of trying to strip her of citizenship and leaving her stateless.
The attorney challenged the president’s ‘power to strip citizens of their citizenship’ in a response tweet that referred to Trump as the ‘Dictator in Chief’ and encouraged him to allow her to return and stand trial.
The administration’s position could be challenged in court.
Shibly did say whether he would sue in response to an inquiry from DailyMail.com, following his call out on Twitter of the American president.
He told Trump, however: ‘Sorry Dictator in Chief but you don’t have the power to strip citizens of their citizenship.
‘Our nation is a nation of laws and we must hold everyone accountable to them. Hoda is asking to be accountable to our laws and legal system and you are essentially giving a free pass.’
Trump has taken aim at birthright citizenship in the past. He claimed last year that he could unilaterally end it, although the executive order he threatened never came to pass.
Sources told the New York Times that U.S. authorities might not have enough to charge her and this is a ‘legal dodge’ in an attempt to offload her.
The Times wrote that Muthana’s father provided proof that he had left his diplomatic post when he applied for his daughter’s passport when she was a child.
U.S. authorities granted Muthana a passport as a child and gave her one again when she applied for renewal in 2014. She used her second U.S. passport to fly from Birmingham, Alabama to Istanbul, which she fled to join ISIS, her lawyer said.
Pompeo said Muthana, who left home to join the Islamic State group in Syria, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return to the United States
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the 24-year-old does not have a U.S. passport. Pompeo’s statement offered no details as to how the determination was reached
Trump’s attempt to keep her from returning to the U.S. comes on the heels of a similar case in the U.K.
Hoda’s first husband was Australian extremist Suhan Abdul Rahman who was killed in battle in Syria
A British teen who joined ISIS in Syria also had her UK citizenship revoked on Wednesday. Shamima Begum, who traveled to Syria in 2015 and now wants to return to Britain after giving birth in a refugee camp in Syria last week, was denied entry.
Prior to Pompeo’s statement that the U.S. was revoking her passport, Muthana said in an interview with ABC News earlier on Wednesday that she hoped the U.S. government would pay for her to undergo therapy if she was allowed to return.
‘I’m a normal human being who has been manipulated,’ she said. ‘I hope America doesn’t think I am a threat to them and I hope they accept me…I hope they excuse me because of how young and ignorant I was.’
Asked what she would expect as a reasonable form of punishment for joining ISIS, she said: ‘Maybe therapy lessons, maybe a process that will ensure us that we’ll never do this again.
‘Jail time, I don’t know if that has an effect on people. I need help mentally as well, I don’t have the ideology any more but I am just traumatized by my experience.’
She added that she cries herself to sleep ‘almost every night’ at the thought of being put behind bars.
‘I know that when I do get back I probably will be sentenced to jail for I don’t know how much time.’
Looking at her son, she said: ‘Thinking that my last few moments with him is stuck in a prison before another prison…’
The lawyer said Muthana is putting herself at risk by speaking out against ISIS from a refugee camp where she has lived since fleeing the group a few weeks ago. She had to dodge sniper fire and bombs to leave.
She has married ISIS fighters twice in the time that she was overseas, both of whom are deceased. She said in a handwritten letter that her lawyer released that she realizes now that she erred in judgement.
‘During my years in Syria I would see and experience a way of life and the terrible effects of war which changed me,’ she wrote.
Prior to Pompeo’s statement, Muthana said in an interview with ABC News earlier on Wednesday that she hoped the U.S. government would pay for her to undergo therapy if she was allowed to return
After fleeing her home in suburban Birmingham, Alabama in late 2014 and resurfacing in Syria, Muthana used social media to advocate violence against the United States.
In the letter, Muthana wrote that she didn’t understand the importance of freedoms provided by the United States at the time.
‘To say that I regret my past words, any pain that I caused my family and any concerns I would cause my country would be hard for me to really express properly,’ the letter said.
Shibly said Muthana was brainwashed online before she left Alabama and now could have valuable intelligence for U.S. forces, but he said the FBI didn’t seem interested in retrieving her from the refugee camp where she is living with her son.
Muthana’s father would welcome the woman back, Shibly said, but she is not on speaking terms with her mother.
In her ABC interview, Hoda gave a confusing explanation for why she initially fled her parents’ home to join ISIS, saying that it was because she wanted a more ‘Americanized life’.
‘I had a good relationship with my family but I wanted a more Americanized life. I just wanted to go out, I wanted to have, like, friends, go to places. I didn’t get any of that.
‘The only way out for me was to become practicing… to become more religious,’ she said.
Before she fled, she was part of a network of young Muslims who used Twitter to soak up extremist ideas. She said they were brainwashed and interpreted what they were told by predatory ISIS members ‘very wrong.’
The young mother also described how she chose her three husbands, two of whom were killed in battle, by selecting them from a list.
A look at the 14th Amendment’s ‘anchor baby’ clause
President Trump says he wants to order the end of automatic citizenship for babies of illegal immigrants born in the United States.
The U.S. government has traditionally held that section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which contains the Citizenship Clause, guarantees that right for all children born on American soil.
WHAT DOES THE CITIZENSHIP CLAUSE SAY?
‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.’
The sentence that follows specifies citizen rights: ‘No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’
HOW DID IT GET IN THE CONSTITUTION?
Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866. It was ratified on July 9, 1868 by three-fourths of the states.
The amendment effictively nullified an 1857 Supreme Court decision – Dred Scott v. Sandford – which had held that people descended from slaves could not be citizens.
The amendment’s opening sentence, which served to define its vocabulary, has become among the most controversial clauses in the entire Constitution.
WHAT WAS THE GOAL OF REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS?
The Fourteenth Amendment was proposed and ratified to help blacks, especially emancipated former slaves, have a chance to integrate into society after the American Civil War. Congress wanted to prevent the U.S. states where they lived from sidestepping the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and other Republicans to guarantee their rights to ‘life, liberty and property.’
By 1868 Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had freed slaves in southern U.S. states, but they still didn’t have the same constitutional rights as citizens. That legal limbo led to the formation of ‘Colonization Societies’ that sought to remove them from the nationcountry and send them either to Caribbean islands or to Africa.
Some southern states also enacted ‘Black Code’ laws in a bid to preserve the rights of slave-owners by calling their slaves ‘apprentices’ who couldn’t be removed from their ‘service.’
Ohio Republican Rep. John A. Bingham, a friend of President Lincoln, proposed the amendment to remedy these problems, writing specific language to guarantee that any slave born on American soil would retractively be declared a citizen.
Bingham wrote at the time that his text wasn’t intended to create any new legal rights, but was ‘simply a proposition to arm the Congress with the power to enforce the Bill of Rights as it stands in the Constitution today. It hath that extent – no more.’
WHY DO SOME THINK IT EXCLUDES ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS’ BABIES?
While the amendment was being debated, Michigan Republican Senator Jacob Howard, who drafted the amendment along with Bingham, said that was never his intention.
‘This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons,’ he said.
‘It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States,’ Howard added.
WAS THERE ANOTHER SIDE?
California Republican Sen. John Conness was concerned that U.S.-born children of the large number of Chinese immigrants in his state would end up with out American citizenship.
Conness declared in a debate that the amendment ‘proposed to declare that they shall be citizens,’ adding that ‘I am in favor of doing so.’
That point wasn’t debated, but Howard also didn’t object to Conness’s interpretation, which twenty-first century immigration advocates often cite as proof that birthright citizenship is constitutional.
WHAT HAS THE SUPREME COURT SAID?
In 1873 the Supreme Court ruled that the phrase ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude children of non-citizen immigrants.
That decision answered a narrow question, establishing that the 14th Amendment only guaranteed rights to people who were U.S. citizens, and didn’t cover anyone who was only granted ‘citizenship’ by an individual U.S. state.
The majority opinion includes a note that ‘the phrase ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to ‘exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.’
Two years later the high court ruled that immigrants can only have automatic citizenship for their children when they – the adults – owe ‘allegiance’ to the U.S. and not to a foreign nation.
In 1898 the Supreme Court ruled that a specific Chinese immigrant’s cihld was a citizen of the United States, citing the 14th Amendment’s text. That decision has stood for 120 years, but it was decided decades before the concept of ‘illegal aliens’ was part of Americans’ vocabulary.
More recently, at a dinner party in 2010, then-Justice Antonin Scalia said he believed Howard’s original view was right – but for an unrelated reason.
He told his fellow guests that purposely including the words ‘and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ suggested that people born in the U.S. weren’t automatically citizens, especially if they were ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of some other nation. He thought the words were included to rule out a large number of people.
Scalia, who died in 2016, allowed at the time that the way the modern U.S. interprets dual citizenships could also mean many people are be ‘subject to the jurisdiction of’ more than one country.
WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF TRUMP SIGNS AN EXECUTIVE ORDER?
If the president orders that the federal government must treat children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. as noncitizens, two things would likely happen.
States where Democrats control the legislatures and that have Democratic governors would quickly enact laws doing the opposite. And civil rightss groups would sue U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in federal court.
Whichever reaches a full bpoil first – the lawsuits or the question of the federal government’s ‘supremacy’ over state laws – the whole thing will likely end up at the Supreme Court.
Trump has already appointed two justices, creating what some observers believe will be a 5-4 conservative majority. If that holds, Trump will win the debate and his order will stand.
A future Democratic president, however, could undo it – unless the Supreme Court were to declare that Trump’s interpretation of the Constitution is correct, and not just that he had the legal right to issue the order.