:: Monday, March 24, 2003 ::

Fighting for Democracy

This is the democracy being fought for, the 'Patriot II' anti-terrorism legislation.

FindLaw's Writ - Ramasastry: Patriot II

"Denaturalization: The Citizenship Death Penalty

In sum, Patriot II puts in jeopardy the First Amendment right to speak freely, statutory and common law rights to privacy, the right to go to court to challenge government illegality, and the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. But that's not all.

It also puts in jeopardy perhaps the most basic right of all: The right to walk the streets in safety without being "disappeared" by the government. Chileans have not always enjoyed this right. Americans, until now, always have.

Suppose you, as a citizen, attended a legal protest for which one of the hosts, unbeknownst to you, is an organization the government has listed as terrorist. Under Patriot II, you may be deported and deemed no longer an American citizen.

Under Patriot II, if you are simply suspected of terrorist activity, this can occur. More specifically, a U.S. citizen may be expatriated "if, with the intent to relinquish his nationality, he becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United Stated has designated as a 'terrorist organization'."

How can you tell if the citizen wanted to relinquish citizenship? Under Patriot II, the intent can be inferred from conduct. So any association with even the legal activities of a designated group, plus any act that can be interpreted as disloyal to the United States, can mean you are deported, and no longer considered a citizen."

:: Alister | 4:33 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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