Globalization warms attitudes toward dual citizenship

June 13, 2012

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When former GOP presidential candidate Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann outed herself as a dual U.S.-Swiss citizen last month, it sparked a conversation about citizenship in a globalized world. Bachmann, a Tea Party darling, took considerable heat for sharing her allegiance with her husband’s ancestral homeland. Less than two days after her Swissness became public, Bachmann wrote the Swiss government, asking to withdraw her citizenship. She explained in a statement that she did so to make perfectly clear that she was born in America and is a proud American citizen.

“I am and always have been 100 percent committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America,” Bachmann said.

Longtime citizenship scholar and international law professor Peter Spiro saw the Bachmann debacle as an opportunity to have a broader conversation about citizenship. He suggested a forum, hosted by the New York Times, centered around the question: Can dual citizens be good Americans?

Spiro joins Worldview Wednesday to talk about what he calls a “dramatic shift in attitudes” on the issue of dual citizenship over the last 20 years.

Tell us what you think: Can dual citizens be good Americans? Call Worldview Wednesday at (312) 923-9239.