I just noticed this article in National Review Online discussing the question of dual-citizenship, and particularly the unique issue of Mexican-American dual citizenship. This is a complex question, of course, touching on the unique relationship between the US and Mexico, assimilation, the trans-national Southwestern economy, and so forth.
The broader issue, however — the idea of dual-citizenship — is one about which I have quite strong views.
I don’t think the United States should allow dual-citizenship at all. Not ever. Not with Australia, not with Canada, not with Israel, not with Mexico. Not with anyone.
Children present a unique case, of course. They should be allowed to maintain a dual nationality until they reach adulthood so they can make a mature decision about which country to adhere to. But why should any adult be allowed to be a citizen of two countries at once. And under what theory of citizenship does such a practice make sense?
I’m very pro-globalization, very internationalist in foreign policy and outlook. But citizenship is inherently unitary. It implies not only membership but allegiance to a political community and a state. One can no sooner be a citizen of two countries than a husband to two wives or a wife to two husbands. The very idea is a solecism in civic thought.
To my mind, this isn’t a conservative view. It’s a liberal one. One of the things that makes us all equal as citizens is the fundamental reality that makes us citizens: membership and allegiance to this political community, this country. That’s what allows an immigrant citizen to be just as much an American as the guy whose ancestors came on the Mayflower.