Former FSM President on Dual Citizenship act
My Fellow FSM Citizens:
I write this Open Letter to you to share my deep concern about the proposed amendment to Section 3 of Article III of our national constitution. This current provision of our national constitution requires that an FSM citizen who is also a citizen of another country should “register his intent to remain a citizen” of our country, the Federated States of Micronesia, and “renounce his citizenship of another nation” within 3 years of his 18th birthday. In plain English, it means that a minor who holds a dual citizenship of Federated States of Micronesia and the United States, for example, because he or she was born in the United States to parents who are both FSM citizens or one was FSM citizen must register his or her intent to remain FSM citizen before he or she reaches 21 years old. If he or she fails to register as FSM citizen he or she will no longer be FSM citizen, but he or she will remain as a FSM national. A national is a person who remains in FSM, but does not have the right to run for public office and participate in state and national election.
This proposed amendment is being dressed up as a dual citizenship proposal, but is not. It deletes the citizenship provision in our national constitution, and leaves nothing in its place. Some members of our national congress tell us that the FSM Congress will enact a dual citizenship law later. The issue here is that the framers of our national constitution deemed citizenship as an important national issue that the FSM citizens must have national conversation and debate it before the voters approve or reject it in a national referendum. If our congress is given the power to enact a citizenship law, you as the member of the public and keeper of our national sovereignty will have no chance to debate and discuss the issue at all, given the current practice of almost no transparency our national congress. In essence, this proposed amendment is a disempowerment of the FSM public and voters to discuss, debate, and approve or reject any proposed amendment to the citizenship provision of our national constitution. To put it the other way, this proposed amendment is an empowerment of the FSM Congress and disempowerment of the FSM public and voters.
I think we should insist that any changes to the FSM citizenship provision in our national constitution must be approved in a national referendum because citizenship is linked directly to the ownership of land in our country. I am sure that as citizens and voters, you want to review, discuss, and debate any impact of any proposed citizenship law on your land. Here our congress is asking all of us to hand them a blank check to fashion and craft a new citizenship dual citizenship law, not knowing its impact on landownership in our country.
Now let us focus on dual citizenship itself. I think our national congress has a total misunderstanding of dual citizenship in the United States. I know that we are trying to make ourselves eligible for dual citizens of the FSM and United States. For those of us who are born here in our country, it is impossible to get that dual citizenship we coveted. We need to apply for immigration visa to migrate to the United States. We will need to meet the US government immigration law requirements. Once we are in the United States, we must go through the US naturalization process, which required us to take the OATH OF US CITIZENSHIP and pledge of allegiance. The oath of US citizenship and Pledge of Allegiance to the United States read as follows: