The father of Hoda Muthana, who traveled from Alabama to marry an Islamic State fighter, has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration in hopes of getting her and his 18-month-old grandson back into the United States.
Muthana joined ISIS in 2014 after she told her parents she was going to Atlanta, Georgia for a field trip connected with her business studies at the University of Alabama Birmingham. However, she dropped out of college and used her tuition reimbursement to buy a ticket to Turkey. From Turkey, she traveled to Syria, where she married twice. Both of the ISIS fighters she married were later killed in combat.
When Muthana was in Syria, she used her social media accounts to call for death of Americans.
“Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades… Kill them,” she wrote in a now suspended Twitter account.
Muthana has since apologized for her actions and claimed she was brainwashed into going to Syria. If she is allowed to return to the United States, she has vowed to help de-radicalize other Americans.
“I know in fact that I was a citizen,” Muthana told NBC News. “I prefer America to anywhere else,” she said, adding that if she returns, “Of course, I will be given jail time.”
The Trump administration, however, has decided that New Jersey born Muthana never qualified for U.S. citizenship because her father was a diplomat at the time of her birth.
The Immigration and Nationality Act states that a person born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat isn’t subject to U.S. law and isn’t automatically a U.S. citizen at birth.
However, lawyers for the woman’s father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, said that Trump are misinformed and that Muthana was born in the U.S. after her father left diplomatic service.
The plaintiffs also cited the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside” – that only the courts can decide whether a diplomat and/or family members are immune from this jurisdiction, not a “unilateral determination by the government.”