6

I am a United States citizen. However, I reside in the Middle East. Upon hearing this, a US border patrol officer asked me to disclose to him all other citizenships that I hold.

I know that US border patrol has the right to determine an individual’s admissibility to the United States. However, given that I am a US citizen, could I be arrested/denied entry if I do not wish to disclose my other nationalities for privacy reasons?

  • 1
    No US Citizen can be denied entry into the USA. This has been established in case law. You can be on a no fly list however once you manage to present yourself at US borders, you have a right to be let in regardless of whether you are a terrorist etc. On the other hand I believe they have the absolute authority to ask about your other citizenships. Remember that legally the USA merely tolerates dual citizenship i.e. it winks and looks the other way. – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer Aug 2 '18 at 16:03
  • @TheZealot dual citizenship is covered by the same case law. See Afroyim v. Rusk - its not because Department of State suddenly changed its position itself. – George Y. Aug 2 '18 at 16:21
  • 1
    @GeorgeY. I don't think we are in disagreement. Afroyim v Rusk did not say the USA loves dual citizenship. It just said he could not be stripped of his US Citizenship involuntarily just because he is a citizen elsewhere. In my interpretation, it is tolerated. The Afroyim decision opened the way for a wider acceptance of dual (or multiple) citizenship in United States law. travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/… – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer Aug 2 '18 at 16:27
5

According to ACLU:

Agents at ports of entry may question people about their citizenship and what they are bringing into the country. Even though you always have the right to remain silent, if you don’t answer questions to establish your citizenship, officials may deny you entry to the U.S. or detain you for search and/or questioning

So you must answer every question related to your US citizenship when you get to the border, but on every other question you may remain silent. What other citizenships you have is completely immaterial to your status as a US citizen and therefore CBP officers can't demand to know that information.

  • 1
    -1 It said their citizenship, doesn't necessarily have to mean only US citizenship. I'll change my vote if you offer more compelling evidence. – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer Aug 2 '18 at 17:46
  • 1
    Once border guards have established that you are a US citizen they cannot deny you entry. So you have to answer enough questions to establish your US citizenship. – DJClayworth Aug 2 '18 at 17:51
  • 1
    @DJClayworth given that a US passport is conclusive evidence of US citizenship, what other questions would they ask? – ajd Aug 2 '18 at 19:42
  • 1
    @ajd. A great question. "Did you steal this passport?" I suppose. – DJClayworth Aug 2 '18 at 19:49
  • 2
    The issue is that officials may also detain you for search and/or questioning for other reasons. You don't have to answer, but you won't necessarily like what happens after that, unless you're explicitly doing this with a plan of suing the government. – Zach Lipton Aug 2 '18 at 20:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.