One of President Dwight Eisenhower's mistakes, Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, created a brand-new addition to the 14th Amendment. The Plyler v. Doe decision struck down a Texas law and created the requirement that the state of Texas must provide free public education to illegal-immigrant children.
The Plyler decision gave foreigners a powerful incentive to sneak into our country, enroll their children in our public schools and start demanding other benefits paid for by U.S. taxpayers. This decision opened our borders to a stampede of illegal immigrants, aided and abetted by one bad court decision after another.
Dual citizenship is also a problem because some immigrants have falsely been led to believe that they are or can be dual citizens. Mexico has even named a cabinet minister whose mission is to encourage Mexicans (both illegal immigrants and naturalized U.S. citizens) to vote in Mexican elections and, as he said, to "think Mexico first."
Congress has never legislated a specific prohibition on dual citizenship and the Supreme Court has never ruled on this precise point. But to become a U.S. citizen, immigrants are required by our law to swear allegiance to the United States AND to absolutely renounce any and all allegiance to the nation from which they came.
There is no ambiguity about the solemn oath that all naturalized U.S. citizens must take. "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; ... and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
Any naturalized U.S. citizen who claims dual citizenship with his native country betrays his solemn oath. We want immigrants to come to the United States and become Americans; we want patriotic assimilation.
Congress should pass a law stating that if naturalized U.S. citizens vote, hold office or serve in the armed forces of their native country, they forfeit their U.S. citizenship.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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