Guy Farmer: ISIS wives not welcome in U.S.
March 10, 2019
New Jersey-born Hoda Muthana, the 24-year-old ISIS bride who urged her fellow terrorists to kill Americans, wants to return "home" to the U.S., but President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo say she isn't an American citizen and won't be permitted to return to the U.S. I agree and think we should slam our golden door right in Ms. Muthana's photogenic face. She earned it.
Some ISIS apologists and sympathizers are depicting Ms. Muthana as a "victim" because victimhood is in fashion and "trending" on Twitter these days. I'm not buying that nonsense, however, because she made the despicable decision to abandon her Alabama college and defect to ISIS in 2014, and is solely responsible for her decision to become a traitor. I reject those who make excuses for her.
"Americans, wake up!" Ms. Muthana tweeted in 2015. "Go on drive-bys and spill their blood, or rent a big truck and run over them." But now she claims she was brainwashed by ISIS. A likely story.
"I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . . . not to allow Hoda Muthana back into our country," tweeted President Trump. Pompeo complied, saying "she's not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She has no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States."
In order to keep her out of the U.S., Pompeo is relying on the fact Ms. Muthana's father was a Yemeni diplomat when she was born in New Jersey. Children born to foreign diplomats in the U.S. aren't automatically granted American citizenship, as are children born to other foreigners in our country. President Trump calls those children "anchor babies" and wants to deny them citizenship. I agree with the president on this issue.
My daughter, who was born in Caracas, Venezuela, while I was stationed there as an American diplomat, was never a Venezuelan citizen. She was immediately registered at the U.S. Consulate as an American citizen. That's how most countries, including the U.S., treat the children of foreign diplomats.
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But Ms. Muthana's attorneys have filed a lawsuit to force U.S. officials to admit her back into this country because she was born here. However, a federal judge last Monday declined to expedite her case, meaning it probably won't be resolved until this summer at the earliest. In the meantime, she and her 18-month-old son are living in a Syrian refugee camp, where she belongs, together with other captured ISIS fighters and wives.
According to her apologists and defenders, we're supposed to feel sorry for Ms. Muthana. "The United States can serve as an example for its allies," wrote former enemy combatant Bryant Neal Vinas in the New York Times. "Bring back the Americans who joined the Islamic State and let the American legal system do its work." Vinas, who identifies himself as "the first American foreign fighter . . . turned over to U.S. law enforcement" after Sept. 11, 2001, now works with a nonprofit counterterrorism group in New York.
Of course I disagree with Vinas because I remember foreign fighters who were captured on the battlefield after Sept. 11 were sent to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where some of them have been held ever since. That's where they belong because we don't want them in the United States. Enemy combatants and their enablers, like Ms. Muthana, have no U.S. constitutional rights and should be kept out of our country. Perhaps we need to open a women's facility at Guantanamo to assure female terrorists are treated exactly like their male counterparts.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal's senior political columnist.