Unmaking Americans: Insecure Citizenship in the United States
A Shameful History of Weaponizing CitizenshipVoices
Whether obtained through birth or naturalization, American citizenship is American citizenship. In the darkest moments of U.S. history, though, political leaders have exploited citizenship laws to promote nativist ideologies and regressive political agendas. The legacy of this exploitation is the abandonment of longstanding legal norms and protections currently eroding the fundamental promise of equality in the United States.
A new report from the Open Society Justice Initiative details the history of these efforts, which paved the way for the Trump administration to threaten the citizenship of Americans based on national origin, race, religion, and other factors.
This event, held on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, explores the current crisis as well as potential remedies to strengthen not only U.S. citizenship, but also the shared stories and values that shape and define the nation.
Amanda Baran is an attorney, policy strategist, and writer with expertise in immigration law and policy and gender-based violence who serves as a consultant for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
Laura Bingham is the senior managing legal officer for equality and inclusion in the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Until December 2020, Patrick Gaspard was president of the Open Society Foundations.
Maryam Saleh is an editor and reporter at The Intercept, where she focuses on immigration and politics.
Manar Waheed is senior legislative and advocacy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.
THE FUTURE OF JUSTICE
Open Society President Patrick Gaspard on the Meaning of Citizenship
While accepting an award from the NAACP, Open Society’s Patrick Gaspard urged the next generation of activists to renew the promise of citizenship and never give up the struggle for true equality and justice.
A Shameful History of Weaponizing Citizenship
While the revocation of citizenship is not unprecedented in the United States, its history—and its implications for the future—raise profound questions about the nature of citizenship, Americanness, and democracy itself.
Solidarity against Hatred
A History of Anti-Asian Hate in the United States
The Atlanta-area shooting was just the latest instance of rising violence against people of Asian descent. We need to understand its roots—and the intersecting factors at work—to stop hate’s spread.