State Department Strips Man of U.S. Citizenship Granted During Childhood

State Department Strips Man of U.S. Citizenship Granted During Childhood

"Abdo Hizam says he has always tried to be a good American. Born in 1980 in a small village in Yemen to a Yemeni-American father, Mr. Hizam received an American passport through a law that provides citizenship to the children of Americans.  He moved to Dearborn, Mich., when he was 9 to live with his grandparents and embraced his new world. He gave up his Yemeni citizenship. He graduated from high school and earned a business degree at a local college. He worked for years at a local restaurant, and he opened a small grocery store. Throughout, he rooted passionately for the Detroit Lions.  But last year, his life was suddenly upended. The State Department told him that he had received his citizenship in error in 1990. The mistake had been no fault of his or his parents, officials said, but rather a bureaucratic blunder by the government.  Still, the State Department said it could not fix the mistake. Officials said the law left them with only one option: They revoked his passport and effectively stripped Mr. Hizam of his nationality, plunging him into an extraordinary stateless limbo.  Mr. Hizam, who is living in the Bronx, has filed a lawsuit against the government, demanding that it affirm his citizenship and reissue his passport." - New York Times, Feb. 26, 2012.