As troubling reports surface indicating that American citizens are being groomed by – and ultimately fighting alongside – Islamic terrorists abroad, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is set to introduce a bill that would not only prevent such militants from returning home but would strip them of their citizenship.
When the Senate resumes session, I plan to introduce a bill to stop Americans who join ISIS from returning to the US http://t.co/6WqgPUadmq
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 5, 2014
His initiative comes on the heels of a report by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel showing that as many as 100 Americans are currently fighting with members of the terrorist group Islamic State, or ISIS, in Iraq and the surrounding region.
A subsequent Pentagon clarification hardly makes the situation more palatable. Sources indicate that, while about 12 U.S. citizens are believed to be aligned with ISIS, another 100 have joined forces with other terror networks.
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According to the Washington Free Beacon, Cruz’s so-called Expatriate Terrorist Act will be presented to lawmakers upon the chamber’s return from recess next week. Cruz backed his proposal, insisting that those who choose to fight against their own country have effectively made the choice to give up any claim to their status as an American.
“Americans who choose to go to Syria or Iraq to fight with vicious ISIS terrorists are party to a terrorist organization committing horrific acts of violence,” he explained, “including beheading innocent American journalists who they have captured.”
He noted that his bill would only formalize what had already transpired.
“There can be no clearer renunciation of their citizenship in the United States,” he continued, “and we need to do everything we can to preempt any attempt on their part to re-enter our country and carry out further attacks on American civilians.”
Existing legislation offers a similar recourse by American authorities; however, Cruz’s bill would expand the parameters of involvement by an American that would constitute the loss of citizenship.
Republican Rep. Frank Wolf authored a bill with a similar objective that, if passed, would prevent any American believed to have terrorist ties from reentering the nation with his or her passport.