– Via Burn Bag
“The CG [consul general] of our very large consular section was recently on leave for several weeks, not that anybody noticed. She interacts with her staff so rarely that we’ve begun to make jokes about “CG sightings” in the consular section (Note: she’s up to six after a year here). Apparently, however, this was simply too much interaction and she has convinced CA [Consular Affairs] to create a Deputy CG position. Huh?”
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Filed under Consul Generals, Consular Work, Foreign Service, FSOs, Functional Bureaus, Huh? News, Leadership and Management, Org Life, Realities of the FS, Staffing the FS, State Department, U.S. Missions
– Domani Spero
Some Members of Congress have advocated and sponsored bills for expatriation, one way of losing citizenship, as a method of dealing with U.S. citizens fighting abroad for foreign terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In early September S.2779 was introduced in Congress to amend section 349 of the Immigration and NationalityAct to deem specified activities in support of terrorism as renunciation of U.S. nationality.
Below via the CRS:
The current law enumerates seven actions that may result in the expatriation of a U.S. citizen, regardless of whether that person is a citizen by birth or naturalization. These acts demonstrate an allegiance to another nation which may be incompatible with allegiance to the U.S. The most relevant acts for the pending bills include: (1) taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign state or one of its political subdivisions; (2) serving in the armed forces of a hostile foreign state or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of any foreign state; and (3) serving in any office, post or employment under a foreign state’s government after turning 18 years old, if one is also either a dual national of that state or is required to swear or declare allegiance to that state for the position. For these particular acts, a citizen cannot be expatriated while he is in the U.S. or its possessions. However, acts committed in the U.S. or its possessions can be grounds for expatriation once the citizen leaves the U.S. and resides outside of it and its possessions. Also, a citizen who asserts his claim to U.S. citizenship within six months of becoming 18 years old cannot be expatriated because of serving in the armed forces of a foreign state or making a formal renunciation abroad before a U.S. diplomatic or consular official before the age of 18 years.
None of the acts listed above result in expatriation unless committed voluntarily and with the intent to relinquish citizenship. These requirements are derived from U.S Supreme Court interpretation of the constitutional requirements for expatriation. In Afroyim v. Rusk, the Court found that the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevents Congress from legislating the automatic loss of citizenship acquired by naturalization or birth in the U.S. merely because of specified conduct, without the citizen’s assent. Then, in Vance v. Terrazas, the Court elaborated on its earlier Afroyim decision by holding that the U.S. Government must prove specific intent to renounce citizenship. The current expatriation statute requires that the burden of proof is on the party claiming that expatriation occurred, i.e., the U.S. Government, to establish the claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Any act of expatriation will be presumed to have been done voluntarily, but the presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that the act was not done voluntarily. In Terrazas, the Court upheld these statutory evidentiary standards as constitutional, but in light of Afroyim and the Fourteenth Amendment, it held that no presumption of intent arises from an expatriating act. The Court also indicated that a finding of intent does not require a written, express relinquishment of citizenship, but could be inferred from conduct that was completely inconsistent with and derogatory to allegiance to the U.S. and could be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
Congress does not have unlimited authority to prescribe acts as potentially expatriating. Certain actions, formerly included in the list of expatriating acts under the current statute or its precursor, were found unconstitutional for various reasons by the U.S. Supreme Court and subsequently repealed. These include desertion from the armed forces in wartime, draft evasion during wartime or a national emergency, and voting in a foreign election. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Fifth Amendment bars lawfully naturalized citizens from losing citizenship for acts that do not apply to native-born citizens.
Read in full here (pdf).
Also, former FSO Peter Van Buren has a piece related to this at Firedoglake/The Dissenter: Can the US Seize Would-Be Jihadis’ Passports? that would go well with the CRS material.
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Via Burn Bag:
“Well, the results of the new Consular Bidder Assessment Tool are out. Based on the median scores, every bidder is in the top 20% of all bidders according to the rankings assigned by his peers. How much did we pay a contractor to come up with something just as useless as the 360?”
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– Domani Spero
On September 9, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Michele Thoren Bond as the next Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs. Ms. Bond has been the Acting A/S for the CA bureau since the retirement of Janice Jacobs this past spring.
Photo via Embassy Maseru/FB
The WH released the following brief bio:
Michele Thoren Bond is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Department of State (DOS), a position she has held since December 2012. Since April 2014, she has also served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs at DOS. From 2010 to 2012, she served as the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho and from 2007 to 2010, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services at DOS. From 2006 to 2007, Ms. Bond was the Director of the Office of Policy Coordination and Public Affairs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at DOS. From 2003 to 2006, she served as a Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and she was Managing Director for Overseas Citizens Services at DOS from 2001 to 2003. From 1999 to 2001, Ms. Bond was the Director of Consular Training at the Foreign Service Institute. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1977, she has also served in Guatemala City, Guatemala; Belgrade, Serbia; Prague, Czech Republic; and Moscow, Russia.
Ms. Bond received a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.A. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and an M.A. from the National War College.
She is married to Clifford G. Bond, a retired Foreign Service Officer and former Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ms. Bond speaks Spanish, French, Serbian, and Swedish. Her official state.gov bio also includes the following:
Ambassador Bond received a Presidential Award for Meritorious Service in 2013, and the Mary A. Ryan Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2010. She and her team at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow received a national Public Service award in 1998 for their initiatives in support of adoptions in Russia and seven other formerly Soviet nations.
Click here for an interview she did when she was ambassador to Lesotho.
Ms. Bond will still need to go through the Senate confirmation process but we expect that she will get confirmed just as soon as the most deliberative body gets its interpersonal disharmony worked out.
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