Center for American Unity Press Release on Hamdi Case
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June 28, 2004

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld decision released today      


WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Supreme Court released its opinion in the controversial case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld today, the Center for American Unity called it "small step forward and a missed opportunity."

The Hamdi v. Rumsfeld case is centered around a Saudi Arabian man who was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan. He is claiming all rights of citizenship because his Saudi parents lived here briefly when he was born.

"Today Justices Stevens and Scalia – generally on opposite ideological poles – used the term  'presumed American citizen' to describe Yaser Hamdi, who has sued the government for holding him in a Navy brig for two years," said Peter Brimelow, President of the Center for American Unity. "Hamdi claims to be a U.S. citizen, but as the Center for American Unity demonstrated in a friend of the court brief, Hamdi should not be recognized as a citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment's 'Birthright Citizenship Clause.'"

Peter Brimelow's Center for American Unity filed a friend of the court brief explaining that "drive-by citizenship" or "birthright citizenship" is not the original intention of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that a "birthright" citizen be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States which means having an allegiance to this country.

"Our brief in the Hamdi case explained to the Court how unconstitutional and unreasonable the automatic citizenship rule is and how that rule damages the United States," Brimelow continued. "While the Court did not choose to define the terms of citizenship in the opinion released today, which is a missed opportunity, they used the term "presumed American citizen," which shows that the Justices are aware of the issue."

"We will continue to raise this issue at every opportunity - - it is of vital importance to the future of the United States.

"United States citizenship requires more than the accident of being born on U.S. soil - - an allegiance to the United States is necessary," Brimelow said. "The  European Union countries — and Mexico — do not automatically grant citizenship to babies of tourists or those with temporary visas.

"The  Court's opinion comes at a time when the one European country permitting 'birthright' citizenship ended it. Earlier this month Irish voters overwhelmingly approved a plan to do away with birthright citizenship in that country," Brimelow said.[ The amicus brief can be read at]

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