As if we American “ex-pats” don’t have enough concerns, a Republican U.S. presidential candidate is advocating a new law that would virtually forbid American citizens living outside the country to hold dual nationality. The legislation, proposed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee would place severe restrictions on any U.S. citizen who holds citizenship in another country. Huckabee, a lesser known presidential hopeful, has already spoken out on a number of very sensitive issues, including immigration, and restriction on visitation visas for foreigners who come from countries which have come under “suspicion” in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorism attack on New York City and Washington D.C.
An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Huckabee has a history of speaking out on ultra conservative topics, and was active in television evangelical crusades that preached “conservative American values” over the airwaves. Some of the restrictions in his proposed “Secure America” bill concerning dual citizenship include forbidding Americans from voting in foreign elections as well as enlisting in military service in other countries. Holding and using a foreign passport would also be forbidden.
For American citizens living in countries like Israel, Poland and Taiwan, the new bill, if ever passed, would cause all sorts of problems, especially for the over 100,000 American citizens living in Israel. The likelihood of this kind of legislation being made into law in the foreseeable future is probably not very possible as this would alienate literally thousands of American citizens who live outside the U.S.A. and vote on absentee ballets in both national and state elections. As for the children of native born U.S. Citizens who receive citizenship through their parents, any bill of this sort would certainly affect them as well.
Huckabee’s chances of gaining his party’s nomination, as well as winning the presidency, are a bit remote, to say the least. Nevertheless, that this kind of change is being talked about in Washington, by others as well does make it a topic that should not be ignored. Israel in particular maintains a special relationship with the U.S.A, and any drastic changes regarding the status of American citizens living in Israel will not be taken lightly. Mr. Huckabee better realize that he really wants to go “all the way to the top” in his political aspirations, then this is not the way to make friends and influence people; especially among the large number of U.S. citizens who maintain foreign domiciles.