Most Americans Endorse Terrorist Expatriation Act

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(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – A large proportion of people in the United States would support a proposed law that would strip all Americans with links to terrorist organizations of their U.S. citizenship, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 77 per cent of respondents approve of the bill currently being discussed in Congress.

Last May 1, Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani holding American citizenship tried to trigger a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square. Shahzad is facing charges of terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Independent senator Joseph Lieberman and Republican congressman Scott Brown have introduced the Terrorist Expatriation Act, which aims to revoke the citizenship of any American who provides “material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization” or who engages in or “purposefully and materially” supports “hostilities against the United States.”

Lieberman defended the bill, saying, “It’s one thing to belong to a club, even a political group, that I might think is radical here in the United States. But when you join a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the United States Department of State, that’s not your freedom of association. You’ve joined a group, one of whose central purposes is to bring down America, to ruin our security, to change our way of life, and I think when you do that you’ve essentially said: I don’t want to be an American citizen anymore.”

Polling Data

As you may know, Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistan-born resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who had become a U.S. citizen in 2009, has been charged with terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction over the May 1 car bombing attempt in Times Square. A bill that is being discussed in Congress proposes that all Americans affiliated with a foreign terrorist group be stripped of their U.S. citizenship. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of this bill?

Approve 77%
Disapprove 12%
Not sure 11%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,016 American adults, conducted on May 13 to May 14, 2010. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)