Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Hoda Muthana, the young woman who is trying to come home after she fled Alabama for ISIS, is not a U.S. Citizen, according to a report from ABC News.
Pompeo said Muthana has no “legal basis” to claim American citizenship, the AP reported.
“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,” Pompeo said. “She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport nor any visa to travel to the United States.”
An attorney for the woman’s family, Hassan Shibly, said the administration’s position is based on a “complicated” interpretation of the law involving her father.
“The Trump administration continues its attempts to wrongfully strip citizens of their citizenship,” Shibly told AL.com. “Hoda Muthana had a valid US passport and is a citizen. She was born in Hackensack, NJ in October 1994, months after her father stopped being a diplomat.”
Most people born in the United States are accorded so-called birthright citizenship but there are exceptions.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a person born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomatic officer is not subject to U.S. law and is not automatically considered a U.S. citizen at birth.
Muthana left her home in Hoover to join ISIS in 2014. She claims she escaped ISIS and was captured by Kurdish forces.
She says she “deeply regrets” her decision to join ISIS and understands she may face prison time in the United States if she returns home. She is believed to be the only American woman inside the al-Hawl refugee camp.
Alabama woman who left US for ISIS hopes people will show sympathy
A young woman from London, Shamima Begum, who left her home to join ISIS in 2015 who is also trying to come home just had her citizenship revoked.
Britain said Tuesday that it was revoking the citizenship of Shamima Begum, The Washington Post reported.
The British Home Office informed Begum’s family of its decision in a letter on Tuesday and asked them to make their daughter aware of the potential for her to appeal.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking to read,” a teary Begum, 19, told an ITV News reporter who showed her a copy of the letter. “My family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the U.K. when I was speaking to them in Baghouz. It’s kind of hard to swallow.”
Begum is living in a Syrian refugee camp, where she gave birth to a boy last weekend. Her baby also has potential claims on British citizenship.
Under British law, the Home Secretary can revoke citizenship if it is “conducive to the public good” and if it does not make a person stateless. More than 100 dual nationals were stripped of their British citizenship in 2017.
Updated at 1:55 p.m. to add a statement from Muthana’s family attorney, Hassan Shibly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.