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Without reliable data, however, Americans can only speculate on which senators and representatives may have divided national loyalties.“The lack of transparency regarding citizenship erodes trust in government, raising credibility doubts where there should be none, and allowing some apparent conflicts of interest to continue undetected.” So what’s the solution?Hager suggests 1) Dual citizens in Congress should recuse themselves from voting on issues where a conflict of interest might arise, e.g.a dual citizen of, say, Liberia, should not be voting on whether to increase aid to that country.And 2) The Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress ought to publish this information, along with all the other facts they routinely gather – party affiliation, age, ethnicity, gender, etc. The Rehm-Sanders controversy was a good opportunity for Israel’s American amen corner to make the usual disingenuous claims about the supposedly rising tide of anti-Semitism, claiming Israel was once again being unfairly singled out for special attention and that to even raise the question amounted to peddling The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the public square.The irony is that even as the Rehm controversy was breaking another story was breaking: Israel’s spying on the P5+1 negotiations with Iran.That very morning the Wall Street Journal was reporting that the Israelis had infiltrated some very sophisticated malware – a virus – into the computers at the hotels where the negotiations were taking place: “[T]he virus was packed with more than 100 discrete ‘modules’ that would have enabled the attackers to commandeer infected computers.
Rehm says she brought it up in the first place because of a Facebook comment, which referenced a list of alleged dual US-Israeli citizens in Congress.
None of these lists, however, are sourced, a fact the research-challenged Rehm failed to notice. Michael Hager,of the International Development Law Organization, had a good answer: “Anyone can become a dual citizen, even members of Congress, high court judges and top officials of the executive branch. Nor are they required to disclose such dual citizenship. “For most dual citizens, having the benefits of citizenship in two countries (including expedited immigration) outweigh the costs (which may include tax obligations to both countries).
It’s virtually impossible to source such information, however, unless members of Congress are forthcoming with it – which they aren’t. “Yet dual citizenship in the United States poses a hitherto unappreciated issue for policy-level members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
The divided national loyalties of dual citizens can create real or apparent conflicts of interest when such legislators, judges or senior officials make or speak out on policies that relate to their second country.
“The potential damage to our democracy is the greater when such potential conflicts of interest are concealed in undisclosed dual citizenship.