Dual Citizenship Law Done Deal -Senate Concurs with House on Amendment

The Liberian Senate has voted to concur with the House of Representatives to amend provisions of the Alien and Nationality Law that cause automatic loss of Liberian citizenship.

Article 28 of the Liberian Constitution states that “Any person, at least one of whose parents was a citizen of Liberia at the time of the Person’s birth, shall be a citizen of Liberia; provided that any such person shall upon reaching maturity renounce any other citizenship acquired by virtue of one parent being a citizen of another country.”

According to Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, the Amendment now provides that “Once a Liberian, Always a Liberian.”

“No Liberian should lose his/her citizenship upon taking citizenship of another country, unless said person/s decides so of their own accord,” Dillon stated Thursday after the Senate regular session.

Senator Dillon further disclosed that the Amendment was passed with some restrictions for which a Five-Member Conference Committee of the Senate was constituted by the President Pro Temp in keeping with legislative practice, to meet with the House and reconcile any addition or subtraction from what was passed by the House.

 “Sen. Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County Chairs the Senate’s Conference Committee, and we are humbled to be named to the Committee as well,” Dillon averred.

 It can be recalled that the Supreme Court in 2021 quashed a law that automatically takes away the citizenship of any Liberian who acquires another nationality.

 To his credit, President George M. Weah had pushed to legalize dual citizenship in the 2020 referendum, but opposition leaders called on their supporters to reject the proposition, thus killing the bill.

“The court’s decision is a fulfillment of the long-held desire to ensure Liberians of all persuasions, who left the country due to the civil war, are not deprived of their rights and privileges in the land they regard as home. This is victory for all Liberians,” President Weah had said at the time.

The decision by the Legislature to amend the Alien and Nationality Law further strengthens the Supreme Court’s 2021 ruling, which some legal pundits view as a lasting solution to the perennial citizenship curse that has bedeviled Diaspora-based Liberians, many of whom had to flee to foreign lands to seek refuge from the civil war or find better opportunities.

“This amendment will go a long way in healing the deep-seated suspicions that some home-based Liberians have about their compatriots who acquired citizenships of other countries but are still contributing to the growth and development of the Motherland,” remarks James Fasukollie of Barnerville.

“I have a son who was born in the States when I migrated there during the war. My son is now the bread winner of our family, here and in the US. This amendment will give people like my junior boy an opportunity to see Liberia in a new light,” Fasukollie stated. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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