Should Terrorists Have Their Citizenship Revoked?

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hi, this is Michael Niren, immigration lawyer and founder of VisaPlace.com. Recently, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu declared that individuals who are considered enemies of the state, who declared the destruction of Israel, who are terrorists should have their citizenship revoked if they’re, in fact, Israeli citizens. Canada has also made mention of a similar policy where potential individuals who are citizens, who engage in terrorist activities overseas should have their citizenship revoked.

Should Terrorists Have Their Citizenship Revoked?

Now, the question is, “Is this a reasonable approach, a reasonable policy?” In my view, it is. Being a citizen, whether you are born or naturalized, means that you share in the fundamental values of the country of citizenship. It doesn’t mean you agree with all the government policies nor should you necessarily. But if you’re living in a free country like Canada or Israel, a relatively free country, and you do not support the fundamental values of that country, the question becomes should you keep your citizenship? I think not.

Challenges of Administering This Policy 

The challenge is to administer this, to determine this, and you have to be careful as a government to remove citizenship just based on someone’s ideas as opposed to their actions. If an individual has engaged in terrorist activities, of course, but if someone just declares their opposition to the values, well, it becomes a little bit of a challenge to administer that or to investigate that. So I think it’s an interesting question and let me know your thoughts.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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