U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday a woman born in the United States who joined the Islamic State militant group did not qualify for U.S. citizenship and had no legal basis to return to the country.
Hoda Muthana, 24, traveled to Syria over four years ago to join Islamic State, also known as ISIS. She married a succession of Islamic State fighters and went on Twitter to encourage attacks on the West.
In media interviews this week from a detention camp in Syria, Muthana said she was sorry for her actions and wanted to return to her family in Alabama with her toddler son.
Pompeo said Muthana was not a U.S. citizen and would not be admitted into the United States.
“She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States,” Pompeo said in a statement.
President Donald Trump said on Twitter he had directed Pompeo “not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!”
Pompeo’s statement did not explain why the State Department did not consider Muthana a U.S. citizen.
The action followed Britain’s move to revoke the citizenship of a teenager after she joined Islamic State, citing security concerns.
The U.S. Department of State did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but U.S. officials appeared to be basing their position on an exception in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”
Muthana’s father was a Yemeni diplomat, working in the United States. Children born in the United States to accredited diplomats, under the 14th Amendment, do not acquire citizenship since they are not “born … subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Hassan Shibly, a representative for the Muthana family and a staff member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tweeted that she was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, in October 1994, months after her father informed the U.S. government he was no longer a diplomat.
Charles Swift, director of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, said her father’s revocation of his diplomatic status meant Hoda Muthana was a U.S. citizen. Swift said he planned to file a lawsuit over her case.
Reporting by Andrew Hay in New Mexico; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Peter Cooney
Here’s why Devin Nunes’ repeated meltdowns over impeachment threatrics are so silly
“A televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats.” With these words, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes expressed his discontent with the beginning of presidential impeachment hearings. He indirectly invited listeners – both supporters and detractors – to consider the relationship between theater and politics.
As the hearings continue, it’s important to remember that theater is one of the most consequential elements in U.S. history, enabling the killing of a president, the election of at least two, and probably the impeachment of another.
‘Where the hell is John Bolton?’: CNN’s Toobin rips ex-Trump adviser for cashing in while aide Hill testifies before Congress
A CNN panel discussion on the anticipated testimony by a former top aide to John Bolton -- who served as President Donald Trump's national security advisor before the two had a falling out -- turned into an attack on Bolton by legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for standing by and saying nothing as the impeachment inquiry unfolds.
At the mention of Bolton's name, in reference to the testimony expected from Fiona Hill on Thursday, Toobin blurted, "Where the hell is John Bolton?"
"Why is he not testifying?" Toobin asked the CNN panel. "Why doesn't he walk in there and testify? She [Hill] has an interesting line in her testimony where she says, I believe that those who have information that Congress deems relevant have a legal and moral obligation to provide it."
Trump calls the US Senate ‘our turf’ – accidentally admitting he knows the House will vote to impeach him
Making perfectly clear just how corrupt he is President Donald Trump went on yet another morning "executive time" tweetstorm Thursday morning. The President went after the Intelligence Committee chairman while amplifying his belief he has the U.S. Senate in his back pocket – and accidentally admitting he knows the House will vote to impeach him.
"Corrupt politician Adam Schiff’s lies are growing by the day," the President of the United States tweeted. "Keep fighting tough, Republicans, you are dealing with human scum who have taken Due Process and all of the Republican Party’s rights away from us during the most unfair hearings in American History."