And stay out!!
The Trump administration on Wednesday dropped a bombshell in the case of Hoda Muthana — the American-born “ISIS bride” who is begging to be let back into the country — when it declared that she is not a US citizen and will not be allowed back.
“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid US passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
“We continue to strongly advise all US citizens not to travel to Syria.”
President Trump quickly followed up with a tweet, taking credit for the rebuke.
“I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” he wrote.
The announcement now sets the stage for a legal battle between the 24-year-old — who claims to be a US citizen despite fleeing her home in Alabama to join ISIS — and the government that wants to keep her out.
The State Department did not explain its basis for declaring that Muthana isn’t a citizen, but a lawyer for her family says the feds claim her father was a diplomat at the time of her birth.
While most babies born in America are automatically granted citizenship, the offspring of accredited foreign diplomatic officers are not because their parents aren’t subject to US law.
However, her family’s attorney says her dad had ceased working as a Yemeni diplomat months before she was born on Oct. 28, 1994.
“Hoda was born in the United States. She absolutely is a citizen. The Department of State is wrong,” Hassan Shibly told The Post.
As proof, he provided a photo of her birth certificate from Hackensack, NJ — and one of a letter from the United States Mission to the United States dated Oct. 14, 2004, stating that her dad, Ahemed Ali Muthana, was a diplomat for Yemen from Oct. 15, 1990, to Sept. 1, 1994.
Another lawyer representing Muthana’s family told The New York Times Muthana’s dad provided a letter to officials when her first American passport was issued as a child, showing that he had been discharged as a diplomat.
Hoda Muthana then successfully renewed her passport before running off to join ISIS in late 2014, Charlie Swift, director of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, told the Times.
Once Muthana joined the terror group — tweeting out that she was going to burn her passport and urging US jihadis to commit massacres back home — the government sent her family a letter saying her passport had been revoked, according to Swift.
Legal eagles say the government may be able to mount a case against her claim to citizenship — but it’s far from as certain as Trump and Pompeo make it.
“It is completely possible that there is a factual and legal dispute to be resolved here. But that can’t just be resolved by the president’s dictate,” said Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law who specializes in constitutional and national security law.
“There’s supposed to be a process. If she applies for a passport and is rejected, she’s entitled to challenge that. If the government claims she’s not a citizen, she’s entitled to challenge that. If the government concedes she’s a citizen but wants to revoke that, there’s a process for that,” he continued.
“No matter what the right answer, it’s supposed to come at the end of a process that’s not clear to me has taken place at all.”
Because of the power of diplomatic immunity, there’s no gray area or transitional period once someone ceases to be a diplomat, Vladeck said.
“If he was no longer a diplomat at the time she was born, the exceptions shouldn’t apply,“ he said.
“It’s possible she may not be a citizen, but that depends upon what was true at the time she was born and not just what the president says today.”
The administration’s official position on American ISIS fighters captured abroad is that they should be repatriated to the United States and prosecuted.
Over the weekend, Trump urged European nations to bring back their own jihadis being held in Syria, saying that otherwise, “we will be forced to release them.”
His vehement refusal to allow Muthana to return to the US comes after she gave her first TV interview — saying she hopes Americans will have sympathy for her and suggesting that therapy would be a reasonable form of punishment for joining the savage terrorists.
“Maybe therapy lessons. Maybe a process that will ensure us we will never do this again. I am definitely planning, definitely wanting people to not make the same decision that I’ve made,” she told ABC News in an interview that aired Tuesday.
She added that she hopes Americans will “excuse me because of how young and ignorant I was. Now I’m changed. Now I’m a mother and I have none of the ideology, and hopefully, everyone will see it when I come back.”
Muthana gave the interview from a refugee camp in northern Syria, where she’s been since fleeing the last ISIS stronghold a few weeks ago.
Also present was her 18-month-old son, whom she had with one of the three fighters she married as a member of the terror organization.
Muthana blamed her grief over her first husband’s death for the hateful tweets she posted — which included urging followers in the US to “rent a big truck and drive all over” people at Memorial Day parades and to attack then-President Barack Obama.
“I was still at the peak of being brainwashed, I guess, and I had people all around me that were just widowed so we were very angry . . . because we were all just young girls married for the first time — most of us it was our first relationships — and then he just suddenly died,” she said.
“I can’t even believe I thought of that.”