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95 votes
Accepted

Why is it that an American in Timbuktu can vote for president but an American in San Juan cannot?

This is a peculiarity as a result of the federal nature of the USA and the exceptional position of Puerto Rico as a territory but not a state. Within the States and Territories of the USA, your ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
58 votes

Why does the US require non-resident citizens to file taxes even for non-US income?

The United States is the richest country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by financial assets per capita and first in the world by wealth per adult among the ...
Brythan's user avatar
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57 votes
Accepted

Why don't countries revoke an IS fighter's citizenship arguing they have become citizens of IS?

Because recognizing another entity as a country entails admitting it's legally entitled to hold some territory. So the next question would have been: what territory is ISIS legally entitled to hold/...
against very long user names's user avatar
55 votes
Accepted

What are the upsides of having a birthright citizenship policy?

Birth tourism is a side effect of a policy adopted for other reasons. But a simple rule that everyone is born in a country is a citizen of the country is easy to explain, enforce and defend ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.4k
54 votes

Why does Trump want a citizenship question on the census?

I think the best is for you to dive into the following two podcasts (both have a transcript) of Chris Hayes interviewing Dale Ho, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit (and won) against the Trump ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

Why do North and South American countries offer citizenship based on unrestricted Jus Soli (right of soil)?

The countries in the Americas were founded by colonial settlers declaring independence from their corresponding colonial power, predominately at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 13.7k
46 votes

If a US citizen were born on US military base abroad, would they be considered as born on US soil and thus eligible to be elected US president?

Children born to US citizens are considered 'natural' US citizens regardless of where they are born. If US citizen has a child at an overseas military base, or in a foreign country, or even on Mars, ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
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45 votes
Accepted

Are nations required to allow their own citizens entry under international law?

The ability to return to your country is considered a human right, Article 13(2) of the declaration of human rights and also Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
40 votes

Why is it that an American in Timbuktu can vote for president but an American in San Juan cannot?

The US doesn't have a presidential election. Get that idea out of your head. Instead, all 51 states* have their own presidential elections on the same day. This selects a set number of electors for ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 14.5k
38 votes

Could a US citizen born through "birth tourism" become President?

Could a US citizen born through "birth tourism" become President? Yes in principle, with some provisions: Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution imposes only three eligibility ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Who is the U.S. official with the highest position within the U.S. government who has dual citizenship?

"Highest position" is somewhat arbitrary (is the Speaker of the House higher ranking than the Attorney General?) so I'll go by the presidential line of succession. Secretary of Energy ...
xyldke's user avatar
  • 1,670
34 votes

Why are Western nations generally averse to immigration without a path to citizenship?

I think you are looking at the issue from the wrong direction. If a group of people are only allowed to stay in a country temporarily for as long as the government tolerates them, then in practice ...
quarague's user avatar
  • 8,590
32 votes
Accepted

Why would a country grant citizenship to a robot?

I think you have answered your own question (emphasis mine): Sophia made global headlines when she was granted Saudi citizenship, making the kingdom the first country in the world to offer its ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 31.9k
30 votes

Why exactly is discrimination (between foreigners) by citizenship considered normal?

If I'm reading this question right, it's assuming that discrimination between a country's own citizens and foreigners is "normal", and is only asking why are not all foreigners [to be] ...
against very long user names's user avatar
30 votes

If a US citizen were born on US military base abroad, would they be considered as born on US soil and thus eligible to be elected US president?

Military bases are not US soil; neither are US embassies or consulates. Here's what the US State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual has to say about it (8 FAM 301.1-3 NOT INCLUDED IN THE MEANING OF ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 17.8k
27 votes

Why don't countries revoke an IS fighter's citizenship arguing they have become citizens of IS?

Clever arguments don't really matter that much, it doesn't make the problem disappear, from either a political or human rights perspective. Some countries have revoked citizenship in similar ...
Relaxed's user avatar
  • 31.1k
27 votes

Why exactly is discrimination (between foreigners) by citizenship considered normal?

Citizenship is - definitionally - preferential (or to use your term, discriminatory). The concept of "citizen" only exists in a context where there are "non-citizens". If everyone ...
QuantumWalnut's user avatar
26 votes

Why countries selling passports is bad?

There are several main differences between passports from, say, Ukraine, and Dominica: Dominica's Economic Citizenship Plan didn't just sell regular passports - it sold diplomatic passports. ...
user4012's user avatar
  • 92.5k
24 votes

Will you have to prove US citizenship to receive the COVID-19 bailout money?

No. The benefit is issued as a tax credit by amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. It applies to all US taxpayers subject to the definition of "Eligible Individual" in the CARES Act, which is ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
20 votes

What are the upsides of having a birthright citizenship policy?

Generally speaking, countries have citizens, legal residents, and tourists. Citizens have a right to stay, to work, etc. Citizenship is usually inheritable. Usually this right cannot be revoked ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
19 votes

Why do North and South American countries offer citizenship based on unrestricted Jus Soli (right of soil)?

The U.S. did this in the 14th Amendment as a way to assure full rights to former slaves. The rest of the Americas, which based their constitutions heavily on the example of the United States, copied ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.4k
19 votes
Accepted

Does Snowden's Russian citizenship change his status internationally?

It doesn't really change anything for Snowden. He is actively sought by the US authorities and I was wondering whether this new citizenship can help him should he be outside Russia. I presume that he ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 49.4k
19 votes

Why are Western nations generally averse to immigration without a path to citizenship?

I don't think you can compare "Western nations" in that regard easily. At least four different situations have to be considered: North American countries are nations built of immigrants ...
ccprog's user avatar
  • 8,349
18 votes
Accepted

Are there any heads of state who are dual citizens?

The current president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, is a dual Somali-US citizen.
Peter Taylor's user avatar
  • 3,614
18 votes

Could a US citizen born through "birth tourism" become President?

To serve as president, one must: Be a natural-born citizen of the U.S. Be at least 35 years old Have been a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years Provided they've lived in the US long enough ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
18 votes

Why does Mainland China and Taiwan require Visas for each other's citizens?

As far as I can tell, they don't; they issue various types of permit to allow travel, but they are careful not to officially call those permits "visas". In this way they maintain the political ...
Peter Green's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

What is the rationale of not allowing dual citizenship?

The rationale is to not dilute loyalty. As an example, let's say person A has citizenship in both countries X and Y. Something happens, and X and Y go to war against each other, and they both ...
zeroone's user avatar
  • 459
17 votes

Why don't countries revoke an IS fighter's citizenship arguing they have become citizens of IS?

Your question is predicated on an entirely false assumption, namely: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights held that she cannot made stateless The UDHR is merely a declaration, and as such is ...
Ian Kemp's user avatar
  • 1,326
16 votes
Accepted

Why do some nations not allow renunciation of citizenship?

A quick search through scholarly literature (limited to articles not behind a paywall) turned up a few reasons: Some states are insular, meaning they do not encourage either the gain or loss of ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 23.9k

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