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    US strips naturalised citizen of citizenship

    By admin | December 11, 2006

    The issue of the deportation of naturalised US citizens came up in a recent discussion with √Čan members. Your correspondent did not realise that taking up citizenship was not an iron-clad guarantee against deportation from the US.

    In fact, while US citizens cannot be deported, a naturalised US citizen can be stripped of his citizenship and then deported. The US government is currently trying to deport Haitian-born Lionel Jean-Baptiste, a 58-year-old former restaurant owner who served seven years on drug charges. He was arrested and convicted of the offence after he became a citizen; he still maintains his innocence. Government officials stripped him of his citizenship because, they said, his conviction demonstrated that he was not of “good moral character”.

    Haiti refuses to accept Jean-Baptiste, saying that he is no longer a citizen under their constitution. The US then asked France to take him, but they refused. News reports say the US is going to turn next to the Dominican Republic. Jean-Baptiste has been in dentetion since June.

    An administrative review will be held tomorrow. This is the first time since 1962 that a naturalised citizen has been ordered to be deported following a drug conviction.

    The International Herald Tribune has more on the case.
    The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition has a good page of information covering deportation.

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