I am Canadian and US citizen but born in Iran. Every week, I go to Canada to visit a friend and return to US without any issue, my question is: due to the new rule can I go to Canada to visit my friend and return without having any issue at the US border?

Is my passport/Nexus card going to be taken away from me?

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    What new rule are you talking about? Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 21:53
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    I suspect that your question is related to the recent reports of US citizens of Iranian origin being detained at the US border — is that correct? Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 21:58
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    As you a US citizen, they can't refuse you entry even if you show up naked, covered in slime and mumbling "They're heeeeeere". That's what citizenship means. The only conceivable risk I see is that for a naturalized citizen, certain very outrageous behaviors can cause such a citizenship to be revoked Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 23:25
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    @phoog That's not totally correct. INA 340(a) provides for denaturalization based on refusal to testify before a congressional committee during the 10 years after naturalization. INA 340(c) provides for denaturalization based on joining a communist, totalitarian, or anarchist organization during the 5 years after naturalization.
    – Brian
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 17:50
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    @phoog I meant outrageous behaviors after citizenship. For instance you might have associations with traffickers in Mexico, and those alone would not disqualify your citizenship. But then after becoming a citizen, you immediately become the US-side "mule" for their trafficking operation. This now makes it clear that your real motivation for citizenship was to allow you to commit crime as a citizen. The criminal activity afterwards is what makes the citizenship fraudulent. If you'd quit the syndicate and gone to Seattle to build Dreamliners, that would legitimize it. Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Your passport cannot be taken from you because you were born in Iran. You cannot be deprived of US citizenship because you were born in Iran. As a US citizen, you cannot be refused entry to the US. None of that changes because you hold another citizenship in addition to the US citizenship.

However, we can't predict whether you'll be temporarily detained for any reason, as some US citizens with Iranian backgrounds recently have been, nor how long you might be delayed at the border. As far as I've heard, those reports were limited to one port of entry in Washington state, but I have not followed it closely.

You might want to see if the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union can give you the number of a lawyer to call in case there is a problem. If you do make the trip, please come back and post an answer describing your experience.

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    Note this answer relies very heavily on border agents following the law and the Geneva convention. Which you would think is a given but shrug these days I just don't know.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 16:58
  • @corsiKa which Geneva convention? Whatever one you're thinking of, I doubt it has direct force of law in the US. What violation of the law do you imagine CBP immigration officers might commit? What would they do that would prevent a US citizen with a valid US passport from entering the US? If they have reason to question the legitimacy of the citizenship (or of the document), which isn't illegal on its face, they can do that, of course, but a person's Iranian background is not reason to question the legitimacy of the person's citizenship or passport.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 19:03
  • Geneva has become synonymous with "basic human rights" in modern vernacular. Your claim of "a person's Iranian background is not reason to question the legitimacy of the person's citizenship or passport" flies directly in the face of the experience of a number of my friends from the Middle East. If an agent was to deny entry to a US passport holder, which would be illegal, they would be unlikely to face any consequences.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 4:17
  • @corsiKa the problem with using "Geneva conventions" as a loose synonym for "basic human rights" is that there are some Geneva conventions that do have the force of law in the US, so it's imprecise and confusing. How many of your friends from the middle east have been accused or apparently suspected of falsely claiming US citizenship? How many were refused entry in the US? An agent refusing entry to a US citizen without a legitimate doubt as to the person's citizenship would not likely be protected by qualified immunity, so liable for civil damages, and/or the US would be liable under FTCA.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 0:48

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