As Senate and House of Representatives have reached an agreement on the issue of dual citizens: Liberians in the Diaspora labeled the move as Citizen-centric
By Danlette G. Washington
A measure controlling immigration has been approved by both chambers of Liberia’s Legislature, and it has been warmly received by Liberians living abroad.
Amending Liberia’s Alien and Nationality Law, the Liberians residing outside the nation were proud to see it enacted on May 19 by the Liberian Legislature.
Liberians residing in the diaspora have long advocated for universal dual citizenship for all Liberians, regardless of whether they are biologically derived from Liberians.
The Liberian Constitution stipulates that a person must have had at least one Liberian citizen parent at the time of their birth to qualify as a citizen of Liberia.
Because of your parent’s dual citizenship, you must give up any other citizenship you may have gained as an adult.
According to Article 28 of the Liberian Constitution, “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. No citizen of the Republic shall be deprived of citizenship or nationality except as provided by law, and no person shall be denied the right to change citizenship or nationality.”
Amendments were made to the Alien and Nationality Law by an agreeable majority vote.
This enormous historical milestone followed a relatively short period after the Senate Pro Tempore formed a committee for the House of Representatives and the Senate to resolve the intricacies regarding the emotive dual citizenship.
According to official records, President George Weah advocated legalizing dual citizenship in a referendum scheduled for 2020, but opponents in the opposition and other Liberians rejected it.
Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County recently expressed his elation at the recent change in attitude among some of his colleagues and the progress that has been made on the dual citizenship legislation so far.
According to him, “No Liberian should lose his or her nationality by acquiring citizenship in another country unless such person/s decides to do so of their own free will.”
He met with ULAA’s Regional Vice President, Mr. Alpha Tongor, in the United States a few months ago. They spoke on the need of reuniting Liberians living abroad with those who remain in the country, as well as issues such as dual citizenship.
Several organizations in the diaspora support dual citizenship, such as the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas.
Everyone who helped make this happen, including Eminent Emmanuel Wettee, owes an obligation of appreciation to him and everyone else.
In addition to President Shiwoh Kamara and his vice-president Minerva Grant, as well as Board Chairman Alfred Sieh, all members of the Union of Liberian Associations in America.
It’s also worth praising the young people and everyone else engaged.