I’m glad to see that my earlier post on dual citizenship has sparked a lot of responses on various sites and in a number of emails.
Let me elaborate on a few points.
There are a number of people who believe that dual-citizens are so many potential fifth columnists, or that the current existence of many dual-citizens presents some real and present danger to our national fabric. I don’t think either of these is true.
Another point. A number of people write in to say that this is largely an enforcement issue and that it’s unenforceable. The point being that the United States can’t dictate to France or Israel or Mexico or any other country who they do or do not consider to be their citizens.
This is true of course. But I think it’s beside the point, because we do have quite a bit of control over and say about American citizens who either claim a second citizenship or, more importantly, exercise citizenship rights in another country. (I seem to remember once being told that the old Soviet Union deemed its own citizenship to be un-alienable. Once a Soviet citizen, always a Soviet citizen. But again, who cares?) Other countries can say whatever they want. The issue is what American citizens do.
One reader from the British Isles writes in to say that my sense of citizenship as unitary is a uniquely — and perhaps revealingly — American understanding of what citizenship is. I think is true. And actually that’s part of the point.
More on this tomorrow.