Dual Citizenship Group Writes President Weah

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Emmanuel S. Wettee, Chairman, The All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship.

Dual citizenship for natural born Liberians does not include “opening up citizenship to non-Negroes.”

The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship, representing over 500,000 Liberians in the Diaspora, has revealed in a letter to President George Weah that dual citizenship for natural born Liberians, for which it is seeking support from the Government of Liberia does not involve “opening up citizenship to non-Negroes.”

The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship comprises the following: The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), The European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), The Federation of Liberian Communities in Australia (FOLICA), Conference of Liberian Organizations in the South Western United States (COLOSUS), and United Liberian Association Ghana (ULAG).

In a letter dated February 8 to President Weah, the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship said the two issues should not be combined because combining these parallel and entirely different propositions (Dual Citizenship for natural born Liberians and opening citizenship to all races) as one item in a referendum will pose a significant challenge if not destroy its efforts for dual citizenship for natural born Liberians.

“We need to immediately bring to your attention that these issues should be addressed separately in any future legislative action or referendum.

“Furthermore, we strongly believe that combining the two issues into one proposition in any proposed referendum will confuse the Liberian people and lead to an unwelcome and untimely defeat of the cause of Dual Citizenship that we all believe is good for the unity and development of Mother Liberia,” the letter, signed by Eminent Emmanuel S. Wettee,
Chairman, The All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship, said.

They told President Weah that “now that you have publicly and emphatically expressed your support for Dual Citizenship in Liberia, our appeal to you is to provide the necessary push with the Liberian people and their elected representatives using your powerful bully pulpit to campaign for the passage of a Dual Citizenship law in 2018.”

The group also requested President Weah not to support “what appears to be a new proposal coming out of a House of Representatives committee to combine Dual Citizenship for natural born Liberians with citizenship for all races.”

The group said over 500,000 Liberians in the Diaspora from the Atlantic to Pacific, have acknowledged President Weah’s concern and meaningful support for dual citizenship for those born as Liberians and those born of Liberian parentage.

“Therefore, we have resolved to request a partnership relationship with your office to work together to achieve Dual Citizenship for natural-born Liberians and those born of Liberian parentage. We are encouraged by your expressed committed leadership and support for Dual Citizenship in your Annual Message to the 54th National Legislature, on Monday, January 29th.

“Mr. President, your vision to involve all Liberians in the development of our country has added weight towards your call for Dual Citizenship for those born as Liberians and those born of Liberian parentage who are currently in the Diaspora and fully committed to the development of Liberia,” the group stated.

The group also expressed appreciation to President Weah when he acknowledged that “our laws provide that only Liberian citizens can own real property in Liberia, and the current 1973 Alien and Nationality Law as amended in 1974 through the Fourth Regular Session of the Forty-Fifth Legislature strips natural born Liberians of their citizenship for assuming additional citizenship.

“This imposes legal restrictions on many Liberians by birth, who fled abroad due to war and conflict, from investing in the country as they cannot own or inherit real property in Liberia. It also stifles the participation of Diaspora Liberians in the reconstruction and economic recovery of the land of our nativity.”

The letter further noted that “For the past 10 years or more we have continued to take numerous steps to remove this legal impediment so that Diaspora Liberians can actively invest in the country and participate in the economic recovery. These include several meetings with you during which we have continued to crave your indulgence to help repeal the Alien and Nationality Law.

“We have sent delegations to Liberia, written letters and held meetings with the leadership and individual members of the National Legislature. We have submitted proposals and actively lobbied to repeal the Alien and Nationality Law.

“We were deeply involved in the national consultation to amend the National Constitution, and were represented at the National Constitution Review Conference in Gbarnga, Bong County.”

The group expressed gratitude to President Weah for his public support for dual citizenship and urged him to bless it with the terrific platform of his office to fully advocate for its passage into law.

Authors

15 COMMENTS

  1. Unlike other politicians, President Weah spoke with clarify and compassion on the citizenship issues. That’s leadership. My only issue with the proposed citizenship bill that is presently before the House is the timeframe. If both Houses of the legislature approve it, let say by May of this year, the earliest that a national referendum could be held would be June of 2018. On the other hand, if the immediate concern is to grant dual citizenship to natural born Liberians, then same could be handled in a matter of a month or two through a bill by both Houses of the legislature repealing the automatic loss of citizenship in the aliens and nationality law.

    • Mr. Kollie, our focus now is for legislature to repeal the 1974 Alien and Nationality Law, after that we can focus on a constitutional change for dual citizenship.

  2. And please stop this racist bullshit regarding ‘non-negro’ people.
    No other country on the planet has a such a racist clause in their Constitution, only Liberia, and it’s crap like that which accounts for much of why Liberia viewed as a joke by the world at large. Liberia, is just a bunch of racists.

    • This is an intellectual discussion so there is no need for foul language. If you want to get involved in public discourse, then you need to address yourself accordingly.

  3. Mr. Wettee, Certainly. That is the issue(Dual Citizenship for naturally born Liberians) and not the other and is being mistaken by many Liberians; even our so-called “journalists” do not even understand it! They are always misinforming the populace about this issue on their so-called “talk-shows.” President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf raised this issue many times during her administration and was about succeeding in the process, when this Ellen Cockrum theft business came up; she had an American Citizenship, but came back to work for her native-Liberia, but end up stealing from the gov’t along with her boyfriend, one Melvin Johnson. Thus, embarrassing the president’s Dual-Citizenship for natural born Liberians Policy to be defeated. It is good to have an empirical study on the whole issue to inform policy-makers.
    Thanks

  4. No natural person of Liberian parents cares for dual citizenship. Suppose a Liberian of negro descent does not want to be an American citizen? What can you do about that if he or she only wants or needs to be Liberian? If you claim to have or want both citizenships, What mother’s name will you carry? Can two women naturally born a child? What will your fraternity be? ” People of negro descend” mean that as long as you have negro in you, if you want to or need to. We should learn the founders language. Learn the settlers language before you make changes. Many have not understood the 1847, how will they understand the 1986? The constitution is not racist. May Liberians know. Do not reply this box.
    Gone to silent majority.

  5. Mr Emmanuel Wettee has done a good job of clarifying the issue. All Liberians can and should support passage of an Act welcoming their Diaspora brothers and sisters back home as full citizens. It absolutely makes no sense to deprive people of their nationality or citizenship for fleeing the mayhem and carnage of a senseless and needless war in which they had no interest. Later on, if we like, a reunited Liberian people can take their time to discuss and decide upon the matter of giving up their by birthright by extending citizenship and land ownership to Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Jews, Europeans, and to any others who love Black people.

  6. Liberians who live in the diaspora are very patriotic. Because of their love for Liberia, they built houses at home, they create jobs and send millions of dollars to Liberia every year through Western Union, Money Gram and other money transfer networks. Unlike his predecessors, Weah has six senses. The sixth sense in America is called “common sense”. Because of his common sense approach, he is a likable guy. Weah seems to be receptive to contemporary 21st century ideas. Dual citizenship is contemporary. Hopefully, he will use his influence to shake and move a contemporary issue like dual citizenship to the center.

    The question of dual citizenship is unlike the debate of whether non-blacks should or should not be eligible to naturalize. I hope that the issue of dual citizenship will be resolved soon.

  7. Liberia mama Liberia why do u have to suffer?
    The good book says ..my people perish because of lack of knowledge. What is knowledge?
    Dr.degree.?? .master degree??. . PHD..??BSC..??
    NO……common SENSE

  8. My Questions:
    1. Supposed we grant citizenship to non-negros, and their original country retains or maintains their Citizenship, will we by law revoke our (Liberia) citizenship from them because they now have dual citizenship?
    2. If I were a Liberian and also became citizens in a country that has no legal problem with dual citizenship … will my original country (Liberia) at this moment revoke my citizenship and banish me because …?
    3. Is it very relevant and convenient to give “rich non-negros” right to citizenship for the sake of development, and deny dual citizenship to a true Liberia, whose human and material resources is being hardly acquired from the diaspora, …and who is willing, with good intend to develop his/her Mother-Land?
    4. Do we have more focus on the cause and benefits for citizenship? Or are we just trying expound an unwanted lie that Liberians are racists?

  9. My Questions:
    1. Supposed we grant citizenship to non-negros and their original country retains or maintains their Citizenship, will we by law revoke our (Liberia) citizenship from them because they now have dual citizenship?
    2. If I were a Liberian and also became citizens in a country that has no legal problem with dual citizenship … will my original country (Liberia) at this moment revoke my citizenship and banish me because …?
    3. Is it very relevant and convenient to give “rich non-negros” right to citizenship for the sake of development, and deny dual citizenship to a true Liberia, whose human and material resources is being hardly acquired from the diaspora, …and who is willing, with intend to develop his/her Mother-Land?
    4. Do we have more focus on the cause and benefits for citizenship? Or are we just trying expound an unwanted lie that Liberians are racists?

  10. Combaning the both clauses to me is no proem.
    Mr. Emmanuel Wetter, how do you feel as black Liberian taking on citizenship in white man land, knowing fully that you are a Liberian. What were to be your position if a white man refuse to grant you citizenship.
    One thing we need to know here is “do unto others as you wish them do unto you” says the Lord. If a black man can be citizen in white man land let white man be citizen in black man land equally so. The only thing we should concerntrate on is how to put in place policy that will guide the process.
    If we as Liberian love our country we were going to make sure we do everything possible to built this land. All we do make money in white man land spent the money their without thinking about home, now we want to obtain dual citizenship make the money here sent it over sea forget our native land.
    Hummm we need to know where we are from. Thank you for the conference.

  11. Mr. Wettee,

    There is no need to repeal the law. What is needed is an amendment to allow for natural born Liberians and people of Liberian parentage have the option to become dual citizens.

    Sir, be informed that repeal the law, as suggested by you, is a dangerous gamble because rewriting an “act” open up the potential for manipulation that could defeat the DUAL CITIZENSHIP ARGUMENT.

    Mr. Wettee, if you have been following politics closely you will understand how our lawmakers have sacrificed our laws for money, and how the foreign business people have continued to influence our lawmakers against the wishes of Liberians. This is not as simple as you think – just repeal and rewrite.

    Thank you.

  12. I must commend all the Unions (members) from Africa to America.Europe to Australia who have tirelessly and selflessly worked to advocate for all Liberians who for one reason or the other left the shores of Liberia regain their rightful nationality as Liberians

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