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A Shameful History of Weaponizing Citizenship

Panelists sitting on a stage

Whether obtained through birth or naturalization, American citizenship is American citizenship—period.

But as is shown in Unmaking Americans: Insecure Citizenship in the United States, a new report from the Open Society Justice Initiative, there is a history of U.S. political leaders exploiting citizenship laws in order to promote nativist and xenophobic ends. Unfortunately, this tactic is being used once again, and to an unprecedented degree, by some of today’s policymakers.

Following the publication of Unmaking Americans, Open Society held a panel discussion moderated by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s Amanda Baran and featuring Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard, Open Society Justice Initiative Senior Managing Legal Officer for Equality and Inclusion Laura Bingham, ACLU Senior Legislative and Advocacy Counsel Manar Waheed, and The Intercept's Maryam Saleh.

Their discussion of Unmaking Americans, as well as its implications for the future, can be seen in the video above.

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