Trump Bars Woman who left U.S. to join ISIS from Returning

Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY SA 2.0

Washington claims Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen.

President Donald Trump announced via social media on February 20 that the Government of the United States would bar Hoda Muthana , an American-born woman who went to Syria to fight for the Islamic State, from returning to American soil. Muthana wants to come home.

According to Mike Pompeo, the United States Secretary of State, Muthana does not satisfy citizenship qualifications. She has no legal right to come back to the United States. Muthana, now 24-years-old, left her Alabama home in November 2014 and traveled to Syria. She at first flew to Turkey without her family's knowledge. She told her parents she was going to an event organized by her university. Muthana was then smuggled into Syria where she teamed up with other IS fighters and started urging others to attack the west.

Murthana subsequently lived in territories controlled by IS until she ran away to a refugee camp run by Kurds in January. She is presently living with her son Adam, who is 18 months old. The father is the second of the three IS men she married during the intervening period. With the IS being nearly annihilated, she expressed remorse for her actions to American officials but the U.S. is intent to close the doors on her.

In her interviews, Muthana said she hopes the U.S. Government will allow her to come back, and she is willing to serve jail time. She admitted she ran away because she was ignorant at the time of running away and young (19 years old). She continued to say it is her belief that America provides second chances. Muthana desperately wants to return, claiming once the U.S. takes her in, she will never travel back to the Middle East and said the government can even take away her passport.

According to Washington, however, Hoda Muthana is not a citizen of the United States. As per State Department officials, her father was a Yemeni diplomat when she was born in New Jersey. As per protocol, a child born to a diplomat on U.S. soil would not automatically be a U.S. citizen as diplomats fall under their home countries’ jurisdiction. This law, however, cannot be applied to Muthana’s case as explained by Charlie Swift of Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America and who is representing her family. He pointed out that Muthana was born the month after her father's discharge from his UN diplomat position.

Muthana’s father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, filed a lawsuit on Thursday for what he calls an “unlawful attempt” to revoke his daughter’s citizenship. The lawsuit will not deny any prosecution charges due to Muthana’s actions, however its goal is “lawful recognition of her US citizenship and the citizenship of her child.”


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