The evolving acceptance of dual citizenship – LA Times

Peter Spiro on dual citizenship and the question of potential dual loyalties in the US context. Agree with him mostly, and reflects the Canadian approach, but no discussion of where some of the dual loyalty issues lie (e.g, violent extremism, foreign military service):

Recent efforts to enforce the renunciation oath have gone nowhere because the advantages of dual citizenship cut across a variety of politically powerful constituencies. Our new citizens deserve a revised oath reflecting contemporary realities. In the meantime, the archaic phraseology wont stop many from holding on to their original nationality.

And shouldnt they? Citizenship is an important part of individual identity. Theres no reason it needs to be exclusive. Those of us who are U.S. citizens also have other associations: religions, civic institutions, advocacy groups. That some of us belong to other nations doesnt undermine our capacity to be good Americans.

The evolving acceptance of dual citizenship – LA Times.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to The evolving acceptance of dual citizenship – LA Times

  1. Victoria says:

    Good op-ed from Peter Spiro. I heard that he will have a book out soon on the subject of dual citizenship but I don’t have a publication date.

    One quibble I have with his piece is avoiding how the average person in France, Canada, the US and many other places feels about the fact of dual citizenship. States have been forced into accepting it but there is still a great deal of uneasiness about it. One of the more startling attidues about it that I have encountered in the past few years is a sense that it is deeply unfair. It is not fair that a person is born with two passports which gives that person opportunities that the one-passport native citizen in a nation-state does not have unless he leaves and naturalizes somewhere else. And why, if that person leaves, should he retain his former citizenship? Especially when it is clear that he has settled somewhere else and hasn’t been “home” in 30 years.

    Honestly, I can see where they are coming from and I take their feelings about it very seriously. Clearly I don’t feel that same way about it but I come from a place where it is clearly advantageous for me to support it and become myself one day a dual. But I can see why they feel it is not in theirs.

  2. Andrew says:

    I haven’t seen much direct polling in Canada on the question of dual citizenship. All political parties in Canada accept it and encourage diaspora links as ways of improving trade and other ties with key markets.

    Government did try to insert messaging, when arguing for revocation of dual nationals convicted or terror or treason, that dual nationals had benefits than sole nationals did not, but did not press that point too much.

    But who said that life was fair anyways? It is not fair that one child is born in a democratic country, another in a dictatorship (amid other examples).

    Having a generation limit to citizenship is one way to address the fairness issue.

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