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Joe Lieberman introducing bill to strip suspected terrorists’ citizenship

A day after suggesting that U.S. citizenship laws should be changed to strip American terrorists of their nationality, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has introduced legislation to do just that. His bill amends existing law that revokes the citizenship of any American who joins a foreign military.

“I’m now putting together legislation [so that] any individual American citizen who is found to be involved in a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by the Department of State, would be deprived of their citizenship rights,” Lieberman told reporters Tuesday. “If you have joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States to try to kill Americans I think you sacrifice your rights of citizenship.”

Lieberman plans to move the legislation as a standalone measure, according to aides.

The proposal already has some support. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) agreed with Lieberman: “Americans should lose their citizenship rights “if they’re designated an enemy combatant, yes.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tentatively offered his backing, telling AFP: “That sounds like something I’d support, but I’d have to look at the legislation.”

It’s not clear from the proposal when a person would be designated a terrorist for purposes of revoking their citizenship, but Lieberman also sided with Republicans who said that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad should not have been read his Miranda rights after his arrest. “If [authorities] make a judgment that this was a terrorist act, the person should be turned over to the military,” he said.


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