Unprotected from Politics

The Fragility of American Citizenship (Amanda Frost)

As this history shows, for nearly a century after the Fourteenth Amendment supposedly protected citizenship, the government took it away from groups and individuals that it deemed “un-American.”

So far, the Trump administration has explicitly targeted the citizenship of Americans born near the southern border and naturalized citizens, jeopardizing the citizenship of millions of people on the grounds that there was fraud or error in the naturalization process—the one avenue left to revoke citizenship after Afroyim v. Rusk. But there is no reason to think the government will stop there.

Nor is it paranoid to predict that in a world in which citizenship is up for grabs, the government will attack its critics as less than “real” Americans.

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